Once a month we ask a member of Flowcrete’s global team to share some of their insights and expertise with us. This month we talked to Ben Smith, Vice President of Flowcrete Americas.
1. Where do you foresee the growth in the industry over the next five years?
With continuing pressure on schedules and time constraints, our fast cure materials will continue to see growth. This, combined with an ever-decreasing tolerance for solvents and odours, will put the spotlight on high solids, low odour, fast cure products like Flowseal PA – our latest offering, tailored to these demanding requirements.
In keeping with this observation, we have recently seen an upswing in demand for our unique accelerator that can be used with our Flowfresh line. A big advantage that Flowcrete has is the intelligence of our Technical Team who have managed to formulate these fast cure materials, whilst maintaining an acceptable working time or pot life, making installation easier.
2. What has been the biggest flooring challenge you have had to overcome?
Dilution – with the market being flooded with low cost, inferior products, an on going challenge is to inform owners and contractors that cheaper materials on the front end usually end up being a massive expense and lengthy process on the back end, making the “lower cost” materials far more expensive.
3. Is there a flooring project you’ve seen that has particularly impressed you?
The Encana Event Centre in Dawson Creek had 23,000 sq ft of mezzanine that was constructed without any joints. The result was a slab full of cracks. The application of Flowfast Flake using semi-flexible methyl methacrylate resins ticked all the boxes. This custom, decorative solution protected the slab’s re-bar from corrosion and provided a stain-resistant, highly functional system that enhanced the entire facility.
4. What has been the major game changer in your career?
After a brief interim period at the helm of Flowcrete Americas, my appointment as Vice President of Flowcrete Americas saw my carrier transition to executive management. This position came with endless challenges and opportunities that have enabled me to engage with Flowcrete’s global team of professionals, thereby expanding my knowledge and experience.
5. What’s your number one piece of advice for someone going through the flooring specification process?
Start with functionality, not aesthetics. There isn’t a “cure-all-for-all” flooring resin, but there will always be the best resin for each particular application.
By focusing on the functional side of the design, you can ensure a flooring system that will perform throughout the life cycle. Temperature resistance, impact, abrasion, chemical resistance and traffic conditions are all critical to choosing the right floor. From there, the aesthetics can generally be tailored to suit.