Although natural light is essential to houses, especially townhouses, there might still be interior spaces where light cannot reach that not only necessitate electric lights but may also leave the areas feeling musty. With this issue in mind, Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited, in collaboration with the Siam Gypsum Industry (Saraburi) Co., Ltd. and Thai MMA Co., Ltd., a joint venture of SCG Chemicals Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Japan), has developed transparent access panels for bathrooms and ceilings in stairways – Thailand’s first access panel innovation that not only provide accessibility into the plenum but also helps with indoor lighting, gives a modern touch to a house and enhances its energy efficiency
The Inception of the Collaboration
This collaboration began with the initiative of the architects of Baan Pruksa and the Connect to present smart products to Group 1 house and townhouse customers. Eakkpol Sirisuvan, AVP. Design of Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited, said:
“We have our eyes set on four goals: Smart Homes, Safety Homes, Healthy Homes, and Green Homes. Skylights were among what we hoped to incorporate in our houses, so we began to consider our possibilities. Whenever we have ideas, we always approach SCG Chemicals and Siam Gypsum because they have the capabilities to deliver what we need and have thus far done so excellently.”
That initial idea led to the collaborative development of an access panel that fuses together two products: Elephant Gypsum Brand, ready-to-use ZERVEboard access panels from the Siam Gypsum Industry and transparent ShinkoLite acrylic sheets. Yuthasak Naruechaipramoj, Architectural Services Director of the Siam Gypsum Industry (Saraburi) Co., Ltd. recounted the reasons for choosing Thai MMA under SCG Chemicals to join this collaboration.
“We have worked with Pruksa for many years. We have consistently maintained our quality and demonstrated our credibility to them. Therefore, any choice of new partners to be taken on board must undergo careful consideration. SCG Chemicals is known for their undisputed reliability and quality. Given Pruksa’s numerous house and townhouse projects, supplies must be delivered reliably and promptly. We knew that SCG Chemicals was a partner that we needed to contact if we were looking for this kind of material.”
In this trilateral collaboration, Yuthasak added that the working process involved all three parties meeting and working together closely. This method fostered familiarity and facilitated communication and understanding, which helped the project run smoothly and promoted cooperation. In addition, each also offered advice, suggestions, and solutions frankly in the hope of creating the best product. For instance, when Pruksa expressed their desire for custom size access panels, the other two proposed possibilities, enabling Pruksa to eventually obtain such panels as they wished at within an appropriate price range.
“In this three–way collaboration, I see prospects of new possibilities. When we encounter a problem, we have the partners to straightforwardly exchange ideas with. If there are any needs that may require the involvement of SCG Chemicals and Siam Gypsum in the future, discussion and collaboration will be much easier now. In addition, we have also worked closely, which has enabled us to design products that meet Pruksa’s needs and keep the costs within a reasonable range.”
Representing Thai MMA Co., Ltd. under SCG Chemicals, Choardsak Karmai, CCS Sales Department Manager of Thai MMA Co., Ltd., said that because Shinkolite acrylic sheets are already used for roofing, users can be confident that the product will be strong enough for indoor use and enjoy a long lifetime. To boost their customers’ confidence further, the company has also conducted studies on customers’ house specifications as well as designed the product for easy installation.
“When we received the brief from Pruksa, we researched and decided to choose ShinkoLite DX, which best suited this project because it could be cut quite easily and has great thickness tolerance. Also, it allows 70% of the light to pass through, corresponding with the needs of Pruksa and their clients as they had previously determined with Pruksa’s architects.”
“ShinkoLite transparent acrylic sheets are produced in accordance with the standards of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Japan and come with a 10–year warranty. The gypsum structure of the ZERVEboard is already excellent. In applying the acrylic sheet, we have also taken into account resulting scrap materials. We take into consideration cost management by providing laser cutting supplier combined with reasonable price of sheet because we want to offer houses at reasonable prices for our clients.”
Towards Mutual Success
After meetings, prototyping, and testing to ensure that the quality was satisfactory for all parties, the Siam Gypsum Industry (Saraburi) Co., Ltd. proceeded to manufacture the products and successfully delivered them to Pruksa for installation in its projects in only a month. The first projects where these Transparent ZERVEboard Access Panels were installed were Baan Pruksa 109 and the Connect 47. At present, these panels have been installed in over 30 Group 1 townhouse projects of Baan Pruksa and the Connect.
Because of their aesthetic appeal, these Transparent ZERVEboard Access Panels have been well received by customers. Panyapon Sopan, Senier Architect Supervisor of The Connect/ Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited added:
“The feedback has been positive. We want to install skylights in our townhouses because the space in the middle usually has no windows. It is our hope to improve the quality of life of our clients, and we believe that a house will feel much more pleasant with a larger sense of space in the middle. This has been a common problem in townhouses.”
Furthermore, thanks to the fruitful collaboration and the ability of the product to help Pruksa pursue its policy on smart products, including healthy homes and green homes, Pruksa decided to enter townhouses with Transparent ZERVEboard Access Panels into the Housing Award 2017 in the Townhouse Category hosted by the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency. The collaborative development of this transparent access panel has been a resounding success that caters to the needs for natural light, cleanliness, and aesthetic appeal.
The Transparent ZERVEboard Access Panel is therefore a clear and remarkable achievement of a collaboration between SCG Chemicals and every relevant party that is guided by innovative thinking and successfully answers the needs of its customers.
Transparent ZERVEboard Access Panel
The combination of transparent ShinkoLite acrylic sheets and ready-to-use ZERVEboard access panels has resulted in Thailand’s first innovative access panel that not only brings into any home beauty and natural light but also helps create hygiene and conserve energy.
For additional information, please contact:
ShinkoLite Acrylic Sheet Sales Division
Thai MMA Co., Ltd., a joint venture of SCG Chemicals Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Japan)
Tel: +66 2 586 5812, +66 2 586 3084, +66 2 827 7389, +66 2 586 2348
Fax: +66 2 586 5393