The 2014 Banksia Sustainability Awards: how we do “R&D” at ROCKCOTE

The 2014 Banksia Sustainability Awards: how we do “R&D” at ROCKCOTE


ROCKCOTE has been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Banksia Sustainability Awards for our Natural Materials Range. This is the second in a series of blog posts that reflect on our application and provide some insights into why the range was developed, and its benefits.

In part 1 we looked at ROCKCOTE’s goals and the standards in our industry. In this blog, I will provide some insights into how we went about developing our Natural Materials range.

How we do “R&D” at ROCKCOTE

We developed our own structured “R&D” methodology that we call Reseek and Develop: combining ancient wisdom with modern technology. This unique approach is underpinned by ROCKCOTE’s 5 Axioms:

Embrace ancient knowledge and traditional skills.

ROCKCOTE draws inspiration from the enduring creativity of the early artisans whose relationship with their materials was key to delivering stunning finishes. We support and nurture the skills of tradespeople who use our products by designing formulations that save time and money, delivering a beautiful job that continues to look good and perform well into the future.

In developing our Natural Materials range, we systematically reviewed how cultures across all areas of the globe and through all history, chose their materials, how they ‘processed’ them and the skills and techniques used in applying them. We trialled all locally available clays and limestone materials and mixed and blended them until we were satisfied that we had formulations that were suitable for Australia’s climate, the demands of our contemporary built environment and the expectations of our tradesmen.

Live in harmony with Mother Nature, mimic her.

ROCKCOTE’s innovation seeks to understand and use natural design principles to reduce our impact, helping others to do the same. Our production plants were constructed with energy efficiency and waste minimisation in mind, and are self-sufficient in water. A growing number of products (including our EcoStyle Paints and Natural Materials) are classed zero VOC and non- toxic.

We took a giant leap towards living in harmony with Mother Nature by understanding and harnessing the virtues of the materials she has already provided us in clay and lime. These materials are already aligned with nature and provide us with the breathable walls and clean air required for healthy indoor spaces. As an exterior plaster, lime has withstood all that nature can hurl at it and it becomes (through calcification) more stone like with exposure to air.

Be judicious with modern science and technology.

ROCKCOTE’s approach to product formulation is to use just enough advanced technology to ensure our products meet the demands of our punishing Australian climate and are compatible with contemporary construction materials and methods. By using the best quality raw materials we can eliminate the harsh chemicals needed to deliver outstanding performance.

From our 30 years experience in formulating the highest quality coatings, we understand which additional ingredients are required to make clay and lime plasters easier to apply and provide the predictability expected by today’s tradesman.

For example, the average traditional Moroccan Tadelakt bathroom would have taken 2-3 weeks to finish with several tradesman all working at once, pushing the cost upward of $700/sqm. With ROCKCOTE’s Marrakesh, we allow 2 tradesmen to finish the same bathroom in 2-3 days with far less stress for less than half that cost.

Revive the use of natural materials.

We believe that nobody wants poisons and toxins in their indoor or outdoor environments.  Our pioneering work developing natural building materials for today’s buildings using clay, lime, hemp and straw is changing the landscape of Australian building. Architects, designers and home owners are seeking natural building materials which are beautiful, contain no poisons and actually help clean the air.

Help people create naturally beautiful buildings that don’t cost the earth

A naturally beautiful building reflects nature’s limits and design principles. Every element of the design and construction process is considered and integrated through conscious collaboration. ROCKCOTE works with our suppliers, trade community and architectural designers to help bring these elements together and provide quality natural finishes that deliver lasting beauty.

In my next post I will talk about the products in the range, their features and why we believe they are better than other coatings on the market today.

Until next time,



Contact Us

Call 1300 736 668

Sunshine Coast
(Head Office)

18 Machinery Rd
Yandina QLD 4561

Mailing Address

PO Box 230
Yandina QLD 4561

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