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Commercial Flooring News

As School Terms Ends Refurbishments Begin

Lynette Bowden, product manager for Gradus, looks at how choosing the correct barrier matting, carpet tiles and flooring accessories can help to make the most of the available space in today’s multi-purpose educational establishments: 
WITH educational establishments around the country breaking up for the summer, now is the perfect time to consider refurbishment projects. Here are some of the key points to consider when it comes to flooring.
Making an entrance: Entrances are often subject to a high volume of traffic, with pupils and staff entering or exiting the building at the start and end of each day, as well as at break or lunchtimes. Dirt, moisture and mud from the playing field tracked into the inside of a building can have a dramatic impact in reducing the appearance and lifecycle of internal floorcoverings
Using barrier matting improves the appearance of the interior, increases the lifecycle of floor and reduces cleaning and maintenance costs. An effective entrance matting system can reduce the amount of dirt and moisture tracked into a building by up to 90%, helping to minimise the risk of slip, trip and fall accidents caused by wet flooring while reducing cleaning and maintenance costs. High performance secondary barrier carpets can also be used in areas at increased risk of soiling and heavy wear such as corridors, staircases, canteens and vending areas.
Zone out: From a design perspective, stimulating colours can benefit learning by providing a positive environment which helps to engage students, increasing their concentration and productivity. Colour can also highlight different areas and zones within the building such as breakout areas, walkways and reception areas. This ‘zoning process’ helps to differentiate these areas, assisting navigation and circulation, while creating an interesting design statement.
Sound solution: Unwanted noise can be the biggest issue in schools and colleges, with acoustics often one of the most difficult balancing acts for multi-purpose spaces and, in particular, learning environments. Conversely, for teachers to be heard classrooms cannot be too absorbent or reverberant.
Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic Design of Schools sets out performance targets for compliance with Building Regulations and states that: ‘Each room or other space in a school building shall have the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its normal use.’ Carpet tile is a particularly effective option for such applications, as it muffles reverberant sound, to the benefit of the hard-of-hearing.
Leading edge: Safety is another vital consideration, especially on stairs, which pose the highest risk of trips and falls. This is compounded when young people are running, playing and texting on stairs, further increasing the risk of accidents.
Stair edgings create slip-resistance at the step edge to help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls on staircases. They should also visually contrast with the surrounding floorcoverings by 30 points on the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) scale in line with the guidance in BS8300+A1:2010.

Flooring in a school, academy, college or university is vital for creating functional, safe, practical and low maintenance establishments conducive to learning.