Being Green Won’t Put You In The Red
Craig Pawson on sustainability
SUSTAINABILITY is a key topic in the construction industry where flooring plays a key part in both the physical structure and aesthetic appearance. Here are a few ways in which flooring contractors can best
The general definition of sustainability is to help conserve and reduce the depletion of natural resources – and for those of us working with wood, it is a key concern.
With more pressure than ever for companies to be sustainable, businesses must consider their actions, from beginning to end, to ensure an eco-friendly approach.
I Reuse and recycle: Wood is perhaps thought of as the most eco-friendly choice for flooring applications, especially if obtained from a sustainable source.
It is also good practice to first consider the existing flooring material. Can it be refurbished rather than replaced?
Where hardwood flooring is in place, it may be restored, and could therefore be the greenest solution. Worn wood can be sanded, cleaned and re-finished to present an as-new appearance.
And where a different appearance is desired, wooden flooring is versatile as it easy to tint, stain and even apply opaque colours – whether natural, toned-down appearance, or a diverse design statement.
Where carpet is installed, although not suitable for repair, many carpet manufacturers now offer reclaim / recycling service. This allows the old flooring to be recycled which goes into making new materials, such a vehicle parts, packaging, fuel, or even new carpeting.
This represents a closed-loop cycle that may not necessarily be 100% natural, but will reduce the consumption of other materials, making carpet a greener material than before.
As with any material though, it is important to use an eco- conscious supplier who takes green initiatives, as this will encourage the industr y to move for ward as a whole.
I Specification: When choosing materials for a project, think of the long term aspects of the installation.
For example, when considering a commercial application, the flooring is likely to endure increased wear and tear. This factor should be par t of the decision-making process, reflected in the materials specified.
In a large surface area, the flooring often sustains uneven footfall – which causes certain areas to wear quicker than others. For a solid-floor installation like wood, this can be remedied by using suitable flooring finishes, such as a high quality, natural wood protector.
This gives the flooring increased longevity, and reduces the need for replacement. For additional user protection, I suggest applying an anti-slip finish.
Where carpet is chosen, although not so easily remedied as wood, there are methods to ensure a long-term satisfactory appearance.
Carpet tiles, or similarly for wood, smaller planks, allows for easier replacement of damaged areas, without the need for a complete refit. This minimises waste and downtime required to repair the flooring. C F J
Craig Pawson is Osmo’s flooring specialist
T: 01296 481220
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.