Navigation Menu+
Commercial Flooring News

Nora Rubber Flooring

The Flooring Group has been selling Nora Rubber Flooring to both our residential and Commercial Flooring London for many years. Below, Nora Rubber Flooring explain their brand further;


For over 65 years, nora® rubber floor coverings have met the unique demands of facilities worldwide. Ergonomic, sound absorbent and stain and slip resistant, our flooring systems address the many challenges you face in your work environment on a daily basis. And due to the durability of nora® flooring, you can count on a beautiful facility for decades to come. Create an environment that’s more comfortable, safe and quiet with every step. This is flooring made for your world.

Rubber Floor Coverings

With more than 300 variations of colour, design and surface in the standard assortment, the norament and noraplan product lines offer a huge spectrum and wealth of inspiration for creative design in modern architecture.

  • norament (tiles)
  • noraplan (sheet)
  • Special floorings
  • Inlays
  • Flooring Search
  • Interior Design Studio
  • Material Rubber

Two product lines – boundless possibilities

norament is our classic rubber floor covering. Together with the characteristic round pastille, the square tiles are also available in numerous designs with a hammerblow, relief and carving structure. The noraplansheetware offers a practically unlimited scope for design thanks to its diversity and the perfectly coordinated range of colours. norament stairtreads and an extensive range of accessories for both product lines round off the assortment.

Furthermore, nora inlays allow the integration of corporate design elements such as logos and colours, or they can also be used to represent orientation systems with navigation routes and meeting points. Each room can be given its very own individual touch. norament and noraplan form a perfectly practical synthesis of design, functionality, economic efficiency and environmental compatibility.

nora system blue

The requirements put on modern construction are continuously on the rise. Environmental and health considerations are becoming more and more important. In particular, today’s extremely dense, energy-saving construction methods bring huge challenges. They minimise air exchange, making the use of low-emission materials a necessity. That is why we have developed the nora system blue, a unique, composite system, the world’s first certified 360° quality management system for the floor.
nora system blue is the only floor covering system in the world that offers the floor

covering, installation materials and processing companies as a total concept. Qualified installation companies generate greater reliability. All the construction materials are coordinated; their emissions have been optimised, they are tested in accordance with the requirements of the Blue Angel, and are certified in the TUV system.

With the nora system blue system design, you are meeting your obligations to the public to protect the health of building users. That means sustainable future security: functional reliability through perfect coordination of the components, reliability for calls for tenders, particularly from a legal point of view and environmental safety with regard to the materials used.


  • Advice on components when preparing your call for tenders.
  • Technical support on the building site.
  • Full, transparent documentation of the installation phase.
  • As a further element, nora pads are a perfect extension to nora system blue, supplementing the integrated system offer with an exclusive, sustainable cleaning and maintenance solution: cleaning without chemicals, leaning that is ecological and economical and maintenance or increase the value of the investment throughout the full period of its use 

Stair solutions

We satisfy individual needs in stairwells with tailor-made solutions: From the robust norament steptread with pre-shaped stair nosings, single-piece riser and tread, through to combinations of floor coverings with stair nosings and stair angles from the standard programme.

  • norament Stairtreads
  • Individual Stair Solutions
  • nora Stair Accessories

Step by step, individual or functional

Whether pre-shaped stair flooring with a stair nosing, single-piece riser and tread or individually adapted steps for spiral staircases & co. – intelligent and colour co-ordinated accessories allow for easy finishing as well as harmonious integration of the stairs in the architecture.

Flooring Accessories

We offer you a matching range of rubber accessories for norament and noraplan floor coverings which can also be used in combination with other kinds of flooring.

  • Skirtings
  • Further accessories

An extensive range of accessories

The nora assortment with the norament and noraplan product lines, comprising over 300 colour, design and surface variations in the standard range, opens up a huge spectrum of creative possibilities for modern architecture. An extensive range of accessories that match the floor coverings rounds off the nora assortment.

nora Pads

To clean the homogeneous nora rubber flooring all you need is water and the exclusive nora pads. Sharp and aggressive cleaning agents are a thing of the past. A perfect symbiosis of cleaning ecology and economy, which contributes to keep the value of your flooring.

  • Cleaning with nora pads
  • Recommendations with nora pads
  • Standard Recommendations
  • Complementary Recommendations
  • Stain tables
  • Special Cleaning Products
  • Cleaning machines

A pad and some water – that’s all you need

nora pads are floor cleaning disks that are impregnated with countless, microscopically small diamonds. The flooring is mechanically cleaned and polished – just with water and absolutely no chemicals at all. nora pads are suitable for day-to-day care as well as for repairing extremely soiled or damaged floorings. They can be used with most standard types of machine and are available in different sizes. nora pads were exclusively developed for nora rubber floor coverings.

Routine cleaning made easy
It is very simple, you do not have to change your process. Just use the nora pads with your existing cleaning machines and thus simplify the daily or regular routine cleaning.

Define your own level of shine
Often, the operator or user of the floor wants a higher level of shine. You do not have to coat, polish or wax. Using nora pads, you can individually define the level of shine.

Get your floors looking as good as new again
It is always possible that flooring will get scratched through improper use or vandalism or that it will become really dirty. To get it back the way it was, just use the nora pad. Minor scratches and heavy dirt can be removed with abrasive pads 2 + 3 while pad 1 brings back the shine. Even if tiny layers of the flooring have been removed by scratches, it’s not a problem for nora rubber floorings because they have the same structure and colour all the way through.

Three different pads for three different areas of application
Pad 1
is used for initial and regular cleaning, as well as for finishing previously cleaned or newly laid floorings in a single operation. This creates an impressive, prolonged bright sheen effect, whereby the intensity of the sheen can be determined by the user.

Pad 2
is suitable for post-installation, interim and intensive cleaning, laying the foundation for daily use with Pad 1.

Pad 3
removes coarse dirt as well as scratches, and performs impressively in repairing floorings, particularly where satisfactory results can no longer be achieved using conventional cleaning procedures.

Eco-label and cooperations

We take our responsibilities towards the environment and society extremely seriously. Various independent facilities have confirmed this to us in the form of different certificates and awards, not just in Germany but in other countries as well.

  • The Blue Angel
  • BRE Rating
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • Greenguard
  • CA 01350
  • EN ISO 14001
  • EPD
  • DGNB and nora
  • Sentinel-Haus-Institut
  • Green Hospital Program

Excellent quality

At nora systems, the production methods and all raw materials are subject to high ecological standards, and nora products are internationally certified and regularly checked by independent institutes. In the field of the environment and sustainability, nora systems is one of the leading companies in its sector, and is among the initiators of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). To date, it is also the only manufacturer of resilient floor coverings that can refer to its Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Here you can find an overview of the most significant awards and cooperations:

Raw materials

High-quality industrial and natural rubber qualities are the basis of the nora rubber floor coverings. These are supplemented by minerals extracted from natural deposits as well as by environmentally compatible colour pigments.

Carefully chosen

A fundamental claim is that nora floor coverings are made of rubber. This means that they don’t contain any PVC plasticizers or chlorine-organic compounds (both of which are present in PVC). We also stipulate that the rubber we use fulfils strict ecological specifications, which can only be met by a few suppliers. We only use rubber of the very highest quality. We also insist that our suppliers are certified in accordance with the international standards ISO 9000 et seq. and ISO 14001. The quality of the raw materials check is regularly verified by independent institutes.

Production process

nora rubber floor coverings are manufactured at state-of-the-art production plants. Care is constantly being taken during the production process to minimise the utilised resources. Coolant water circulation systems are in operation to limit the use of fresh water. The electrical power and process steam are generated in a power station in an environmentally compatible manner utilising the principle of combined heat and power generation with an overall extremely high degree of efficiency.

Made in Germany

nora floor coverings are produced in Germany. The production processes used here are stringently regulated and are among the highest standards worldwide. The company is also certified in compliance with international standards such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management systems).


We place special emphasis on the ideal health qualities of our floor coverings. To achieve a high quality of indoor air, it is imperative that all the building products used in the floor structure have minimum emission levels. For this reason we recommend using only especially low-emission adhesives, fillers and primers when working with nora floor coverings. Meanwhile, specifications such as EC1 or Blue Angel, which stand for products with particularly low emissions, also exist for adhesives.

Ideal characteristics

nora floor coverings do not have to be joint-sealed because they contain no plasticizers that pollute the environment. The dimensional stability of the rolls and tiles when they are laid means that grouting is superfluous (with just a few function-related exceptions). This is a considerable advantage during installation. nora stair systems, stair margins and skirtings can be laid from the roll using SIFLOOR Goman special dry glue. This highly efficient dry adhesive is odourless and environmentally compatible, and doesn’t contain any solvents, high-boiling point substances, formaldehyde, chlorine, plasticizers or similar substances. Other advantages are a substantially faster installation together with immediate usability and high adhesive strength.


A long service life also means, alongside a long period of usage, the conservation of resources. If one takes a look at the entire life cycle of a nora product, it becomes clear that not just the environmental aspect, but also the economics are optimised. nora floor coverings are supremely durable and wear resistant. Their extremely long service life clearly exceeds the average for resilient floor coverings. The closed surface of nora rubber floor coverings offers the benefits of simple and economic cleaning.

Good indoor air

The quality of indoor air is increasingly gaining in significance. nora rubber floor coverings have already been regularly tested for emissions by independent institutions for several years. On account of the composition of nora floor coverings, the emission of substances in harmful concentrations can be excluded.

The toxicological safety of nora rubber floor coverings has been tested by the Blue Angel, awarded exclusively for low-emission floor coverings,  the US GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), Institut Fresenius Chemische und Biologische Laboratorien AG, Taunusstein/Germany and other institutes.


One objective of our processes is to minimise the burden of pollution on people and the environment as much as possible. For example, production leftovers are recycled, packaging materials are selected from an environmental standpoint, and floor coverings that are surplus to requirements are reused. 

We are extremely careful

Recycling of production leftovers

  • Production leftovers from nora rubber floor coverings such as punching burrs and grinding dust are recycled. These are granulated and form part of the basic raw materials for various nora products. Here they are used as high-quality fillers and partly as decorative granules for design decorations. 

Disposal of laying cuttings and removed floor coverings

  • Reclaiming by nora systems
    Cuttings from newly laid floorings and removed used nora floor coverings with no major residues of filler and screed can be reclaimed by nora systems and recycled.
  • Material recycling
    Granulated rubber floors are reprocessed by specialist companies into fall protection mats, industrial matting or livestock pen mats and sports field coverings.
  • Thermal recycling
    Fundamentally possible as a substitute fuel in thermal power plants instead of gas or oil, whereby the energy contained in the combustible material is used.
  • Complete material-thermal recycling
    Energy generation in the cement industry by means of thermal utilisation. The fillers remain in the cement clinker due to their favourable composition.
  • Disposal on dumps
    Removed nora rubber floor coverings do not contain plasticizers (phthalate) or halogens (e.g. chlorine). This means that these substances cannot seep into the ground water. nora floor coverings can be safely dumped. Current regulations apply here, which may vary from region to region.

Environmental compatibility of packaging material

  • Tiles are delivered on palettes either loosely or in boxes depending upon the customer’s requirements. Only wooden palettes are used, which are then reclaimed by nora systems within the framework of a European recycling programme and reused. The boxes are manufactured on a waste paper basis and are 100% recyclable.
  • Roll products are rolled onto cardboard tubing made out of recycled cardboard. The cardboard tubing is reclaimed and reused. The outer packaging of the rolls is also made of recyclable paper. The single rolls are prepared for delivery in a standing position on wooden palettes, and are then shrink-wrapped using environmentally compatible and recyclable polyethylene sheeting.

Who is nora?

nora systems is the global market leader for rubber floor coverings and floor covering systems. With innovative strength and quality ‘made in Germany’, the company with its products and services support architects, planners, construction developers as well as manufacturers in achieving their aim of designing healthy and aesthetic interiors.

nora systems GmbH

Until 2007 the company belonged to the Freudenberg Group from Weinheim and was known under the name Freudenberg Bausysteme KG. It has been making its mark on the development of rubber floor coverings andshoe components for decades. Sold by the Freudenberg Group in 2007, the company now belongs to a German purchasing consortium.

Today the company employs more than 1,100 people, who turned over in excess of 204,6 million euros in 2014. Around 850 employees currently work at the company’s headquarters in Weinheim, which houses both the development and production plants as well as the administrative offices.

nora systems is active in more than 80 countries worldwide, including in 15 countries by own sales organizations. The internal nora academy assures standardised corporate and product knowledge.

Corporate values

Customer orientation:
nora resolutely stands for premium quality. The aim of our work is always to create sustained and unique value for our customers. Only when they are absolutely satisfied, can we be as well. We achieve this not only with our products, but also by steadfastly accompanying our customers through the planning and realisation process. In doing so, we adapt our services to accommodate our customers’ individual needs.

As a team, we know that commitment, a sense of responsibility and reliability are essential if we are to work together successfully. Our day-to-day dealings with one another are defined by mutual esteem and respect, both within the company as well as towards our external partners and customers.

Not only do we produce and sell our products, we embody them. Quality, innovativeness, sustainability and a high utility value for our customers are just a few of the sound reasons for why we do so. This is made possible because we cultivate an honest and constructive working atmosphere. Our absolute priority vis-a-vis our business partners is loyal conduct. That is why we have been enjoying the trust of our customers for over seven decades.

Ongoing development is a prerequisite for a continuing existence. Our innovative spirit is not just restricted to developing our products. We believe that being innovative means continuously learning in all areas – from the markets, from our customers, and last, but not least, from one another.

Our roots may lie in Germany, but we think and act internationally. Whether economically, ecologically or socially, an integral and forward-looking way of thinking extends over all our activities. Responsibility is not just a word for us. It is our guiding principle and encompasses the reliability of our employees, our sense of duty towards them, and being mindful of our living environment.

Proper installation of nora floor coverings

A good installation result comes from a combination of a first-class floorcovering and sound, expert handling. On the following pages you will find all the information you need to help ensure that the nora floorcoverings in your building have a successful appearance in every way. 

  • Installation Recommendations
  • Subfloor Preparation
  • Material Calculator

Tips on laying flooring

Here is where floor layers will find recommendations on how to set up the floor using different materials, as well as for actually laying nora floor coverings. The special tools that will make your work easier are also described here. Planners and architects can download our recommendations for tenders, and there are also some interesting tips for every user, for example when are sealing joints necessary and when not.

Proficient cleaning of nora floor coverings

nora floor coverings leave our factory in Weinheim as premium products. Cleaning is not to be disregarded if they are to continue looking good in everyday use for years to come.

  • Standard Recommendations
  • Complementary Recommendations
  • Stain tables
  • Special Cleaning Products
  • Cleaning machines
  • Cleaning with nora pads
  • Recommendations with nora pads

Important Information

  • Sand, chippings, and sharp-edged objects may result in irreparable damage. During the construction phase, the floorcovering is to be protected using suitable protective material.
  • Initial cleaning must not be carried out before the adhesive bonding phase has elapsed, i.e. no earlier than 48 hours after completion of the installation of the floorcovering.
  • Use cleaning and care products from a correspondingly matched product range.
  • Do not use cleaning products with a pH value above 12.
  • Cleaning and care products must not have a negative influence on the electrical properties of the floorcovering.
  • Do not use grit brushes, brown/black pads.
  • Single disc cleaning machines for initial or basic cleaning procedure should not exceed 200 rpm.
  • The use of very high speed buffing machines should be avoided. These machines should not exceed 1,500 rpm.F or polishing, a sufficient polishing film is absolutely necessary.
  • Depending on the type of project/application, it may be appropriate to deviate from the standard recommendations and use products and procedures according to the recommendations of the cleaning agent manufacturers.To do so you must perform a sufficient number of your own in-house tests to find out whether the cleaning measures, agents and machines you intend to use meet the special requirements.
  • Any products and processes used may have no adverse effect on the floorcovering and its properties.
  • In areas exposed to heavy sunlight, an increased amount of the cleaning product is to be applied.

Vibrant architecture

On the high seas, under the feet of thousands and thousands of passengers in the New York subway, in the Chinese pavilion at Expo 2010, the Guangzhou opera house, the operating theatres of numerous hospitals or in the kindergarten next door: Worldwide, you come into contact with nora floor coverings every single day. Every project is different, though, with the demands made on the design and technical qualities of our products being determined by the different kinds of building. But also by the innovative minds of our customers.

Market Segments

  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Industry
  • Public Buildings
  • Shops & Stores
  • Transport Sector

Suitable floor coverings for all areas of application

Every project is different. The design specifications and technical properties of our products are determined by the different types of building. To make easier for you to choose the suitable floor coverings, on the “Market Segment” pages you will find recommended floor coverings for various areas of application and valuable tips for the planning and utilisation phases – for a sustainably appealing building.

All-round care as a recipe for success

At all stages, whether initial consultation, tendering, installation, or cleaning – the rub-ber floor manufacturer nora systems is a reliable partner

Weinheim, February 2015 – The renovation of a building assumes definite forms. This also extends to the choice of suitable floor covering. Often, this is a complex decision-making pro-cess. After all, the floor should present a convincing mix of cost efficiency, aesthetics, and functionality. Whether owner, investor, architect, construction manager, general contractor, or even the public authorities: Every project has several decision makers with varying degrees of influence and some conflicts of interest. In healthcare, for instance, ever greater im-portance is being attached not only to the opinions of architects, but also to the wishes ex-pressed by technical and housekeeping managers as well as hygienists. Many interest groups, therefore, that have their say in the choice of flooring. This is where the experts from nora systems come in, a manufacturer of quality rubber floorings. Backed by their expertise and their extensive consulting qualities over all stages, they assist those responsible in forming their opinions and making the right decisions – no matter whether in a new or renovated build-ing. This hits home: Four out of five rubber floor coverings installed in Germany bear the brand name nora and are “Made in Weinheim”.  
Support over all phases of a building project
The nora customer care service includes support over all phases of a building project – from planning to post-commissioning care. Once a building project has been given the green light, the nora experts join forces with the decision makers to work out the optimal flooring solution for each of the building’s sections and to render the specific wording of tender specifications. The company’s experts remain available as competent points of contact during the installation phase as well to enable them to react quickly to accommodate special local requirements. For instance, nora application engineers provide processors on site with professional installa-tion recommendations and offer their support in all cleaning issues after the end of the project. 

“We analyse every building project individually. Then we can meet the needs and require-ments of decision makers and future users to the optimal effect,” explained Andreas Rei?, Healthcare Market Segment Manager at nora systems. The aim is to establish a trusting and long-term business relationship. Consequently, nora technical consultants also stay in perma-nent contact with their customers even at times without ongoing projects and keep them up-dated regularly with the very latest information about building and floor coverings. 
Special orders, experienced field workers, and seminars

Individual care and consultation are practised to the full at nora. This is borne out by the fact that over a third of all orders are made to measure to meet customers’ own specifications. No matter whether the customer wishes a special colour from his corporate design, the surface structure of the one rubber flooring is combined with the properties of another, or navigation lines are integrated as inlays in the flooring – the nora team can provide made-to-measure so-lutions. Besides healthcare, also education and industry form the other strong pillars behind the property business pursued by nora systems. Here, the Weinheim rubber specialist relies on an experienced field services team currently numbering thirty. 

By maintaining its all-round care for all target groups, nora systems is a reliable, competent, and flexible partner at all times. Training programmes for planners; seminars for installers, project managers, and cleaning service providers; and tours of the production facilities sup-plement the range of offers and demonstrate the many advantages and applications of these innovative rubber floorings from Weinheim.”

Made for walking and standing – and a feast for the eyes

Rubber floor coverings from nora systems in extraordinary projects with individual in-terior designs

Weinheim, March 2015 – Milan, Prague, The Hague, New York. Four international locations steeped in history. These cities are united by a common transient history: Different buildings at these locations are now home to extraordinary interior designs that have found worldwide acclaim. One crucial contribution was made by nora systems, a manufacturer of high quality rubber floor coverings whose hallmarks include long life, durability, and easy care as well as the best walking and standing comfort. Besides their functional aspects, these products also trump with an additional, unmistakable strength: They are predestined for individual, creative, and extraordinary design solutions. A brief portrait of four realised customer orders. 

Pirelli Tower in Milan: Faithful restoration

The regional capital of Lombardy boasts three extraordinary structures in the form of the Mi-lan Cathedral, La Scala, and San Siro Stadium. A further imposing landmark of Milan is the Pirelli Tower. When the thirty storey skyscraper was built towards the end of the1950s, the designer and architect Gio Ponti created for the floor a particularly expressive rubber flooring in a powerful yellow hue. “Giallo fantastico” was born. In 2002, a plane crashed into the build-ing, inflicting extremely severe damage on this floor of “fantastic yellow”. The whole complex required extensive restoration. Milan’s order to Weinheim: The flooring should be restored faithfully to its original state. With the aid of old photographs immortalising this distinctive yel-low, the specialists from nora systems developed noraplan vario vivace exclusively for this project. “Giallo fantastico” was reborn.     
Escher Museum in The Hague: Sophisticated optical illusion

Setting creative trends and achieving special interior effects: This museum dedicated to the life and works of the Dutch graphical artist Maurits Cornelis Escher assigns a central role to impossible perspectives and optical illusions. When the floor in a visitors’ room used by work-shop children had to be redesigned, the choice went to nora systems. The commissioned de-sign office had created a uniform rectangle consisting of three rhombi, intending to induce a hypnotic effect of depth recalling Escher’s works. Among their specialisations, the Weinheim experts are masters at realising inlays in rubber floorings that give rise to surprisingly creative effects and unusual design ideas. Today, the floor in the room is made up of exactly 2,505 noraplan rubber tiles in three shades of grey. The tiles were first trimmed at nora systems with a modern ultrasonic cutter, so the joins in this underfoot art did not need to be sealed on site.

National Library of Technology in Prague: Distinctive colour concept

Resilient rubber floor coverings are extremely robust and easy to clean – and so ideal for places frequented by large numbers of people. One of these is the National Library of Tech-nology in Prague. There, about 1.5 million books await the many students and scientists. For these, every visit is special, and not only because of the specialist literature. Extremely fasci-nating is also the distinctive floor design that presents a spectacular sea of colour spreading over 5000 square metres and five storeys in the open plan interior. Blue, yellow, red, orange, and green in a range of nuances. The complex arrangement of inlays was realised by nora systems – with noraplan uni over the second to sixth floors – continuing and supplementing the static lines of force in the ceiling and floor. 

Longchamp in New York Unmistakable objet d’art in orange

132 Spring Street, SoHo, New York. This flagship store of the French luggage and leather goods maker Longchamp bears the title “La Maison Unique”, the “Unique House”. The heart of the building is formed by a set of flowing stairs bearing noraplan uni, giving the impression of huge orange ribbons. Also the landings and transitions sport this special orange – just like the walls. At a height of 5.5 metres, the rubber flooring was additionally installed along the ver-tical plane, a true challenge. The overall work – an unmistakable objet d’art. Customers and staff are unanimous: This visual appeal and its flowing union with the three storeys is unique. Besides its function as a floor covering, the orange rubber also serves as a colourful back-ground for the presentation of high quality Longchamp products.*  

Rubber flooring conquers Southeast Asia. nora systems opens representative office in Singapore

Weinheim, February 2015 – Investment in a growing region: On February 1st, nora systems opened a representative office in Singapore in order to pursue business in Southeast Asia and the Far East. Neo Chai Teck is heading the representative office. The 35-year-old has lots of experience in the flooring industry and contract business. Singapore has managed, within a few decades, to grow from an emerging economy to an industrialized nation, which is partly due to its strategic water traffic between China and Europe. 

As reported by Maarten Emck, sales manager Southeast Asia/Pacific, the new representative office will be focusing on the key market sectors; shipbuilding, healthcare and education.  “Due to the rapid expansion of infrastructure, there is still great potential for our flooring solutions. Singapore is a major economic engine for Southeast Asia and also home to some of the largest architectural firms in the region”. nora has successfully sold its products for years in Southeast Asia and the Far East. In doing so, about half of the “Made in Germany” rubber floorings are installed in ships and railway cars, the other 50 percent is used in building construction. “I want to make nora flooring better known in the region and especially to the users; for example, by contacting the technical directors of hospitals and convincing them to use our solutions,” explains Neo.

High temperature, high pressure, high quality

From the raw material to delivery: How successful rubber floor coverings are created at nora systems

At nora systems, it all comes down to the right mixture. So what is needed to make rubber floor coverings of such high quality? Not every flooring can withstand extreme stress. Also, not every flooring has such a dense surface that it does not have to be sealed with an additional coating, unlike other resilient makes. The crucial steps towards a successful end product involve the perfect combination of the materials and the production process. Valuable natural and industrial rubbers provide the foundation for these floorings made in Germany. They can be found, for instance, in hospitals, old people’s homes, nursery schools, universities, and buses. They are processed on ultra modern production plant to technical standards that are the highest in the world. At the same time, all production steps fulfil strict ecological requirements. For example, the whole process is geared towards minimising the use of resources. This includes reduced cooling water consumption in closed circulation systems and the most environmentally friendly generation of electricity and process steam in a cogeneration power plant, including efficient air filtration systems.

From the raw materials warehouse to the mixing chamber to shaping

It is a long way from the raw rubber to the floor covering, starting at the raw materials warehouse. From there, the diverse constituents have to go through several stages of treatment. Afterwards, all materials enter the large mixing chamber. Here, up to 30 raw materials are mixed together, including minerals from natural sources as well as light and ageing stabilisers. The whole process can be compared to baking a cake. Now the decision is made as to which of the 300 colours from the nora standard range the flooring is to take. The corresponding pigments are then added to the mixture. After the following treatment in the mill, the compound passes through the so called batch stores where the blanks are stacked on top of each other before they enter interim storage. After two days of maturing, the primary product again passes through the large mill. Now the rubber mixture passes over the calendar, a set of rollers arranged over one another, that compresses them under heat into sheets. This is the first step towards shaping. 

Rolled and stacked – vulcanised and finished

For the noraplan product line, later available as sheets in a standard length of 15 metres, the interim product is now rolled up. For the norament product line, on the other hand, the square metre tiles are stacked. noraplan is now vulcanised, so to speak “baked”, at a high temperature and under a huge pressure in a continuous process that lends it its deformation resistant, yet permanently resilient properties. On the other hand, its sister product norament is subjected to the identical process, but under heavy presses. Now both product lines are ready for “finishing”: The backing is ground, and the surface treated with nora cleanguard that makes it even more resistant to wear and scratches. Thanks to this technology, installed nora floor coverings can later be cleaned economically and easily with the mop care method. The edges are now trimmed on the sheetware noraplan, and the product cut to its final length. The norament tiles are punched accordingly. Finally, the two rubber floor coverings are ready for packaging and putting into storage. 

Sustainable and environmentally friendly life cycle

The sheetware is rolled on spindles of recycled cardboard, and also the outer packaging is made of recyclable paper. The rolls are then prepared for delivery in a standing position on wooden pallets, and are then shrink-wrapped using environmentally compatible and recyclable sheeting. Just as the customer wishes, the norament tiles are delivered either loosely or in cardboard boxes on wooden pallets that are reclaimed and reused by nora systems within the framework of a European recycling programme. Just how sustainable the life cycle of this product is, is underscored by an additional fact: The production residue – like grinding dust and punch chips – again serve as an important constituent of the raw materials used in various nora products. They are used as decorative granules for design decorations, for example.

Today, more than one in every three orders received by the nora systems experts are for a special design. Whether a specific colour that matches exactly a corporate design or inlays arranged in individual motifs, we can realise our customers’ ideas without long delivery times. And combining the technical properties of noraplan sheetware with a particular design of norament tiles? Possible at all times, in virtually any colour you want.* 

*This text can be copied free of charge. Please send us a specimen copy.

About nora systems
nora systems develops, manufactures and markets high-quality resilient floor coverings and shoe components under the nora® brand name. The Weinheim-based company was formed from Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007, and as a global market leader has been shaping the development of rubber floor coverings for many years. In 2013, more than 1100 employees generated a turnover of 206.5 million euros.

nora celebrates the region’s best architects & projects at the MEA Awards in Dubai

nora was a proud Gold Sponsor in this year’s Middle East Architect Awards night on November 19th at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai. The annual MEA Awards recognized the best projects and people from throughout the GCC in 2014, ranging from the world’s tallest towers to one-off villas, and veteran designers to those bright young architects just starting out in the region. Among the 15 award categories, two were presented by MENA’s regional manager Steven McFadden. “nora recognizes the MEA Awards as an appreciation of the vision of those at the forefront of innovation and design in the region – who are pushing the limitations and securing sustainability and aesthetics for future generations” says Mr. McFadden. He presented the awards for “Boutique architectural firm of the year” and “Large architectural firm of the year”. “Architect of the year” became Salim Hussain of Brewer Smith Brewer Gulf. The awards ceremony was a wonderful opportunity for the industry to gather in one place to celebrate the success of peers.

nora® introduces all-new colour palette for noraplan® eco

Recolourized product line responds to customer needs and design trends

Weinheim, July 2014 – nora systems GmbH, manufacturer of commercial rubber flooring, has recolourized its noraplan® eco line with 16 new colours.

“The introduction of all-new colours to the noraplan eco palette speaks to the company’s commitment to periodically review our product offerings and ensure that they continue to align with customer needs and design trends,” explained Dirk Oswald, noraplan product manager at nora. “In this case, the new palette is the result of a worldwide workshop where customers were presented with 60 samples to study and comment on. The final colour palette was selected on the basis of feedback provided by these customers and additional input from our sales force.”

Aptly named, the eco-friendly, economical floor covering is high-performance and features a two-tone randomly scattered colour chip pattern. More than 8 million square meters of the popular flooring have been sold since its introduction in 1999 for use in healthcare, education and a variety of other applications, including Germany’s University Medical Center Mainz and Hertha Berlin Sport Club boarding school as well as China’s Peking Union Medical College Hospital and West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu.

“noraplan eco is an affordable option for those who understand and prefer the benefits that rubber flooring offers but are working with a limited budget,” said Oswald. “In addition, each of the new colours coordinates with other floor coverings in the noraplan product offering.”

The permanently resilient noraplan eco does not contain any PVC, plasticizers and halogens and is Blue Angel certified. Highly ergonomic for walking and standing, the flooring features high footfall sound absorption properties and an extended life cycle, which reduces the need for frequent removal and disposal. 

Mastering ups and downs – step by individual step

Innovative and made to measure stairway solutions from nora systems 
Weinheim, June 2014 – Rising to the top step by step. And this with a special, powerful red at your feet, a stylish and confident road that escorts both staff and customers into the imposing building of the renowned Macquarie Bank in London. The impressive stairway in the British branch of the Australian bank is a special design made in Germany, developed and delivered by nora systems GmbH. All over the world, this Weinheim company is famous for its high quality rubber floor coverings whose properties make it the ideal choice specifically for highly frequented buildings such as educational facilities, hospitals, museums, industrial companies, and, of course, banks. 

High quality single piece stairtread
So that stairways too can be integrated harmoniously in architecture and design concepts, the Weinheim company provides an extensive range of rubber floorings for stairways, for both new buildings and renovations. The most popular variant is the single piece norament stairtread with integrated preformed stair nosing, riser, and tread. It is suitable for straight stairs with right-angled edging. These stairways know no limits when it comes to colour and design. The pastille flooring, available in as many as twelve different colours in the standard range, can then be colour configured just as the customer wishes. Other stairway solutions as equally popular as the cult pastille design: the granulate designs norament satura tone-in-tone and the high contrast norament grano. Both of these variants present a tread with hammerblow surface.

Growing demand for signal and safety stripes
One special feature contributing to stairway safety constitutes signal and safety stripes. “Ultra grip safety stripes increase greatly the slip resistance of steps. In addition, we recommend coloured signal strips that we can integrate in the stair nosing. These then enhance the visibility of the first and last step, which is so important at the landings,” said Jurgen Karger, Product Manager at nora systems. According to Karger, a number of countries even stipulate safety and signal stripes, whereas in Germany they are only optional. This option, though, is enjoying ever greater demand.

Besides its single piece stairtread, nora systems also offers individual solutions, e.g. combinations of floor coverings with stair nosings and stair angles. These are used, for instance, for the made to measure integration of a step in a spiral staircase. The range of high quality accessories also includes edges and corners and can be combined easily with other types of floor coverings.

Harmonious look of floor and stairway
Stairway solutions also take the form of the sister product noraplan, which unlike the norament tile can be manufactured and installed as sheetware. This is extremely hard wearing, slip resistant, foot warm, permanently resilient, and easy to clean. And, like norament, it comes with a health aspect. Rubber floor coverings and hence the materials used in the stairway are ecologically safe. When deliberating on an inspiring, healthy, and long lasting solution for their building, the decision makers at Ulm University of Communication and Design HfK+G opted for noraplan sentica. Today, a powerful green escorts the students into an appealing environment, including not only the rubber floor covering, but also the harmoniously integrated steps in the identical colour. Covering 2200 square metres, the floor and stairway present a unified look, affording an essential contribution to the modern design of the interior.

Very fast and low cost installation
By opting for a stairtread, you are guaranteed the optimal combination of handling and economy. The stairtread is installed quickly, cleanly, and professionally as a single piece. All widths are possible, without visible seams or joint sealing. One of the many numerous advantages: the time consuming installation of stair nosings and separately trimmed coverings for single piece risers and treads are now a thing of the past. The subsurface can be virtually any material: wood, stone, screed, metal, or any of many other solid surfaces. Low cost and environmentally compatible in equal measure, the adhesive innovation nora Stepfix 240 proves ideal for the installation. With this double sided adhesive tape, installations, whether in new or renovated buildings, are up to five times faster than with conventional adhesive variants.

Rubber floors for OT ergonomics

The operating theatres of a hospital play a key role in its business success. The choice of quality, long lasting materials for the construction or renovation of OTs therefore constitutes a crucial economic factor. This holds true in particular for the floor covering, which in addition must fulfil stringent hygiene requirements. Floor coverings of rubber as they are offered by nora combine the solutions to all of these diverse requirements. Owing to their extremely dense surfaces, they can be cleaned and completely disinfected with ease. Not only that, rubber floors also present advantages in the form of long lasting and outstanding ergonomic properties.

Permanent resilience makes standing less of a strain
Workplace ergonomics plays a role of growing importance in the fitting out of operating theatres – for a good reason. The strain on the musculoskeletal system of OT staff standing for long periods can cause painful tension in the muscles and degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs and the facet joints. A decisive factor for standing comfort lies in the consistency of the floor covering. The body tires more easily on hard surfaces than on resilient floorings. Owing to the high permanent resilience, doctors and OT staff find it easier to stand for hours, and there is perceptibly less strain on their backs and joints. This is how nora floorings promote a healthy working environment. In the face of the nationwide shortage of skilled OT staff, this proves a crucial competitive factor for clinics recruiting qualified workers. Recently, the report “OP-Personalreport Pflege” surveyed the workers at over 150 hospitals with operating theatres. The findings show that operating theatres are faced with huge problems when filling vacancies. And in turn, these recruitment difficulties have a considerable effect on OT performance, and hence the cost effectiveness of the whole hospital. The ergonomic layout of workplaces for creating a positive working environment is one of the essential factors towards job satisfaction. 

Uncoated and cost effective
Yet another major advantage: nora rubber floorings do not need any coatings, neither before delivery nor at any time thereafter. Other resilient floor coverings have to be treated regularly as soon as the surface coating has been scratched, becomes stained, or wears down, costing both much time and money. Besides the costs of recoating and disposing of cleaning solutions, another huge problem is presented by the areas in the building that must then be cordoned off. Most clinics are unwilling to accept these idle times, especially when their operating theatres are affected. Uncoated nora floor coverings not only save time and money, they also do not disrupt any of the hospital operations, and that 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Outstanding hygiene qualities
How well the floor coverings can be disinfected is also of great significance for a comprehensive hygiene concept in OTs. Moreover, nora rubber floor coverings are impervious to stains and resistant to surface disinfectants listed by the Disinfectant Commission of the Association for Applied Hygiene (VAH) and the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Brief exposure to solvents, diluted acids, or lyes does not leave any lasting traces either. A study by the Hygiene Institute of Heidelberg University confirmed that floors fitted free of gaps with nora rubber coatings can be fully disinfected.

The electrostatically dissipative floor coverings from nora have proved ideal for OTs and are available in a range of qualities, colours, and designs. 

New colours and new surfaces for the anniversary

The world bestseller noraplan stone celebrates its 25th anniversary

Weinheim, February 2014 – classic product in a new look: For its 25th anniversary, the rubber floor covering noraplan stone from nora systems will be presenting itself with a revised colour range and two surface versions. This nora flooring with its characteristic granular design has now been on the market for a quarter of a century, and still ranks among the world’s bestsellers. It is equally at home in rail vehicles and buses in New York, China, and Sao Paolo as in schools, universities, hospitals, old people’s homes, and industry. In the meantime, over 20 million square metres of this rubber flooring have been sold – which is approximately the area of the Republic of Slovenia.

All-rounder for all areas of application

“noraplan stone is an all-rounder for all areas of application and still ranks among the highest selling floorings from the noraplan series,” said noraplan Product Manager Dirk Oswald. “Over many years and even today there have been many attempts to copy this original design, and there are countless imitations on the market.” Yet nora systems repeatedly puts even its bestsellers to the test, modifying them to the current market requirements and trends. “As a result, we can now offer noraplan stone with the classical refractive surface structure as well as a new, smooth variant,” explained Oswald. Whereas the former meets above all the demand for special slip resistance, for instance in trains and school buildings, the smooth, extremely easy care version is ideal where high hygiene requirements must be fulfilled, for example in hospitals and medical practices. Whichever the case, the dispersed granulate is excellent at hiding dirt and dust so that the floor always looks clean even under heavy use by large numbers of people. Yet another advantage is presented by a further innovation. Instead of many colours, the makers are now using exclusively black and white granulate, for more calming and homogeneous effects.

Trendy colours supplement classical hues

Also the colour range for noraplan was revised for the anniversary. In addition to timeless, discreet grey and beige tones, vivid colours like Kiwi Green or Aquamarine provide appealing accentuations in the room. Here, the product developers at nora systems have taken up current colour trends. The customer can now choose from a total of twenty different colours in the standard range of refractive surface variants. According to nora Head of Design Dieter Rischer, the trend is currently returning to “daring, powerful colours”. Nevertheless: “The colour favoured by customers hasn’t changed in all these years. Since the introduction of noraplan stone, Stone Grey still tops the list,” said Oswald. Of course, this colour is also available for the new, smooth surface of noraplan stone. Stone Grey is only one of seven other different colours for this version.

Like all nora floor coverings, this classic product is also free of PVC, plasticisers, and halogens, for healthy indoor air. Its extremely dense sealed surface, of course, also makes noraplan stone highly durable. The classical structured version of this product is still available in an electrically dissipative and a noise reducing design.  

Its diversity and continued, consistent refinement are the key to the success of this noraplan product, even after so many years: “noraplan stone,” explained product originator Rischer, “will lose none of its timelessness over the next 25 years either.”

Durable all-rounder

From the factory floor to the cleanroom: Rubber flooring scores points in industry

Industrial floor covering specifications are extremely challenging: They have to ensure safety for highly developed technical appliances, be highly resistant to wear and chemicals, have ideal cleaning properties, be ergonomical for employees, and much more besides. What are required in this demanding market are therefore high performance products such as rubber floor coverings from nora systems. They are installed in many industrial buildings worldwide: production and assembly workshops, cleanrooms, ESD areas, laboratories and research facilities, as well as in offices and administrative buildings.

Floor coverings from nora are “Made in Germany” and are manufactured from premium quality industrial and natural rubber. The outstanding quality of the finished products makes them highly resistant to abrasion and wear. They still look almost like new even after decades of use in heavily frequented areas. This unusually long service life contributes significantly to their economic viability and the long-term value preservation of buildings.

Made-to-measure solutions for every building

The advantages of rubber are exploited to the full in industrial buildings with their multifarious demands regarding design and functionality. Flooring coverings from nora allow the realisation of integral design concepts that incorporate varying functional characteristics. Architects and designers can choose combinations from the standard range comprising over 300 variations of colours, designs and surfaces. This means that individual specifications can be fulfilled at all times: More than two thirds of placed orders are custom-manufactured at nora systems. Regardless of whether a special colour is required, or the surface texture of a rubber floor covering needs to be combined with the technical characteristics of another covering – the nora team is expert at implementing made-to-measure solutions.

Designers at the agency Bright 3D envisaged a flooring in expressive, accentuating colours to emphasise the innovative room concept when they were designing the offices of Europe’s largest flight search engine, Skyscanner, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Another key aspect for the planners were good room acoustics, since around 300 people work in the open plan office. Bright 3D opted for the rubber floor covering norament 975 LL in the serra design with a relief surface, but preferred the colours of the norament 926 crossline covering, which had been exclusively designed for nora systems by designer Lars Contzen. No problem for nora. The Skyscanner office now revels in norament serra in the special colours pink, green and tur-quoise, providing for trendy surroundings and ultimate comfort.

ESD protection for sensitive manufacturing areas

Floor coverings from nora score points even where special technical properties such as electrostatic discharge capabilities are required. Keinath Electronic GmbH, for example, a leading technology consultant in the fields of ESD protection and soldering systems for companies in the electronics industry, has been recommending nora systems products for years. “Due to their material properties, rubber floor coverings possess generate minimal potential from people and dissipate static electricity, protecting sensitive electronic appliances,” explains Stefan Proba, technical manager and accredited ESD consultant at Keinath. When renovating its own headquarters, Keinath again resorted to nora floor coverings and chose norament 928 grano ed, an extremely popular product in the electronics industry.

Safety for cleanrooms

The Weinheim-based rubber specialists also offer the ideal solution for research and production cleanrooms in the pharmaceutical, medical equipment, food and animal feed industries. The specifications that have to be met by floor coverings in these sectors are extremely stringent: low particle emissions, a non-porous and non-slip surface, resistance to static and dynamic loads, and extremely good cleaning and disinfecting characteristics. Selected nora floor coverings have been tested by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation and certified as being compliant up to ISO Class 2 and GMP Class A. They are also highly resistant to biological contamination, chemicals and disinfectants.

Easy and economic cleaning

Regardless of which area of industry: With their durable, and abrasion-resistant surface, nora rubber floor coverings can be perfectly cleaned since their extremely dense surface obviates the need for a coating. This has several advantages. In contrast to coated surfaces, for instance, nora floor coverings are immune to unsightly signs of heavy traffic. But what is even more important is that the coatings of other resilient floor coverings have to be replaced at frequent intervals because they wear out quickly. This is not only expensive, but also leads to considerable operational disruptions during refurbishment.

On account of its durability and ease of cleaning, the unique rubber surface has proven itself even in heavy traffic production areas, on stairways and in corridors. This is also confirmed by Thomas Volk, project manager at the Facility Management division of Bosch in Abstatt: “The flooring we installed in 2004 is still to be found almost unchanged today in the technical rooms. In 2009 it was therefore an obvious decision for us to have rubber floor coverings from nora laid in the new extension to the development centre.” In total, 16,000 square metres of flooring have been installed in different areas. This area, equivalent to about two football pitches, copes with the toughest demands day in, day out.

Design and functionality for the floor

Rubber flooring coverings in hospitals make their benefits felt to the full

Weinheim, July 2013 – Floors in hospitals have to meet more stringent requirements than floors in practically any other building. Heavy traffic in the main entrance, corridors and diagnostic areas that are subjected to severe strain from moving beds and heavy equipment around, intensively used operating theatres with their high standards of hygiene: all these different areas place varying demands on the floor covering. The same applies to retirement and nursing homes or medical practices.

No matter where they are installed in the health sector, rubber floor coverings from nora systems make their benefits felt to the full. Safety and functionality are, of course, a paramount concern. At the same time, nora floor coverings also score points with contemporary designs, a high degree of economic viability and ideal hygienic characteristics. With a broad colour range comprising over 300 colours in the standard range, various surface structures and the diverse design possibilities offered by inlays, for example, they allow for creative interior design concepts in conjunction with contributing to a feel-good atmosphere. The extremely extensive range of colours from pastel shades through to rich, bright hues available for the rubber floor coverings is truly exceptional.

Harmonious environment

Especially popular in healthcare facilities are the rubber floor coverings noraplan signa and noraplan sentica with their harmonious colour schemes. The youngest member of the noraplan product family, noraplan sentica, even won the Nightingale Award (one of the most prestigious design awards in the U.S. health sector) shortly after its launch in 2012, winning praise for its quality, functionality, wear resistance, design, sustainability properties and the excellent cost-performance ratio. The Nightingale Award is presented to innovative products which contribute to creating an atmosphere in hospital environments that is conducive to patient recovery. The designing of healing environments has become the benchmark in Germany’s healthcare sector as well.

These strivings are supported by nora systems with a comprehensive range of system solutions that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of healthcare facilities. Flooring coverings from nora allow the realisation of integral design solutions. For example, the rubber coverings are available in the same design but with different functional characteristics, be it electrostatic conductivity, enhanced slip resistance or exceptional acoustic properties. From stairtreads to hygienic skirtings – they all look as if they were cast from one mould. With the aid of the NCS system that is also used by nora systems, the colours of the walls and furniture can be precisely matched with the colour of the floor covering.

Excellent economic viability

The dense closed surface of nora’s floor coverings makes them exceedingly resistant to wear and means they can be easily cleaned and continue to practically look like new even after many years of heavy use. And in contrast to other resilient floor coverings, they do not need a coating either. This means that nora products offer a distinct advantage, since the coatings of other resilient floor coverings wear out and have to be replaced at frequent intervals. This is not only time-consuming and expensive, but also leads to considerable operational disruptions during the refurbishment. Consequently, although they are somewhat more expensive in the procurement, in the long term nora rubber floor coverings are the most economically viable solution for hospitals, as well as retirement and nursing homes, for 90 percent of the life cycle costs of a floor covering are maintenance-related.

Ideal hygiene characteristics

The cleaning and disinfecting capability of the floor covering is a crucial factor of all-encompassing hygiene concepts for healthcare facilities The extremely dense surface of nora rubber floor coverings makes them resistant to surface disinfectants and stains. Brief exposure to solvents, diluted acids or lyes does not leave any lasting traces either.

And because, unlike PVC, rubber floor coverings do not contain plasticizers, they are not only low in emissions but are also dimensionally stable and can therefore be installed without any joints. This is both optically and hygienically beneficial. Tests conducted by the Hygiene Institute at the University of Heidelberg have confirmed that floor areas where nora rubber floor coverings without joints are installed can be fully disinfected.

Last but not least, low-emission rubber floor coverings guarantee healthy indoor air, which is why they were the first resilient floor coverings to be awarded the “Blue Angel …protecting the environment and health” eco label as long ago as 2006. A healthy living environment with low-emission building materials is one of the key factors that contributes to the welfare of patients with weakened immune systems in particular, as well as that of hospital and nursing home staff.

Greater customer proximity also in the Persian Gulf

nora systems opens representative office in Dubai

Dubai, May 2013 – Investment in a prospering region: The global market leader for rubber floor coverings, nora systems, officially opened its representative office in Dubai on May 16 2013. The office, which has already been in operation since October 2012, will continue expediting the company’s business affairs in the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is headed by Steven McFadden, who has been living in Dubai for the past five years and has worked successfully as an architect for various companies.

The countries situated on the Arabian Peninsula belong to one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions. The huge reserves of raw materials (half of the global oil reserves and a quarter of the world’s gas reserves), together with its strategic location between Europe, Asia and Africa, make this an extremely attractive region from an economical point of view.

The operational focus at nora systems lies in the healthcare, industry and education market segments. However, McFadden believes that the public construction and airport segments also represent a great opportunity for nora systems. “The Gulf states with their rapidly growing, very young and high-earning populations are investing more intensively in the infrastructure. That means there is a huge demand for top quality and sustainable products.”

nora systems has been successfully selling its products in the Gulf states for many years. Numerous renowned international architects have chosen rubber floor coverings “Made in Germany” for their projects in the region. “The new representative office brings us even closer to our customers,” McFadden is delighted to say. *

Good Design Award for nora systems

Rubber floor coverings awarded one of world’s most prestigious prizes for product design

Weinheim, April 2013 –  nora systems has been awarded one of the world’s best-known architecture and design prizes for outstanding product design. The Weinheim-based rubber floor covering manufacturer has received the Good Design Award 2012 from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for its products norament crossline and noraplan unita. 

The world’s best-known award for excellent product design, the prize has been presented annually since 1950 to companies whose products are characterised by their creative design, innovation, sustainable nature, ecological and social responsibility, outstanding technologies or unusual materials. Over 700 companies from 38 countries were in the running for the 2012 award.

Rubber in 3D and with granite chips

Since being launched in autumn 2011, the award-winning nora rubber floor coverings have created a real stir among international architects and are already to be found in numerous prestigious buildings. The norament crossline range was designed exclusively for nora systems by the renowned designer Lars Contzen and impresses with its decorative 3D structure and handcrafted-like structure.  Already the recipient of the red dot design award, noraplan unita features an unusual combination of rubber and granite. The granite particles sprinkled in the matt rubber reflect light in all its facets, creating ever-changing effects on the floor depending upon the angle of incidence. The prize-winning products lend any room an exclusive atmosphere. *

Redefining architecture

Rubber floor coverings from nora systems installed in numerous prestige buildings in China

Weinheim, March, 2013 – China is currently experiencing a construction boom, with two billion square metres of new buildings being completed every year. In two years, that roughly equates to the total building space in Germany. This means there is much scope for contemporary architecture. Particularly in the large cities, architects famous the world over have erected many trendsetting buildings such as the China Palace of Fine Arts in Shanghai, the Opera House in Guangzhou or the Water Cube national swimming centre in Beijing. All of these buildings have one thing in common: the floor. Visitors walk and stand on floor coverings made of rubber from nora systems.

Made-to-measure solutions as a recipe for success

Products from the Weinheim-based company have been installed in many of China’s public buildings and at practically every major airport. The basis for the success of rubber floor coverings “Made in Germany” are on the one hand their excellent quality, and on the other the personal customer relationships that have been nurtured over the years and are particularly crucial in the Middle Kingdom. Every major architecture project requires made-to-measure solutions – and these are provided by nora systems. The company was the only floor covering manufacturer worldwide capable of producing the 8,000 Chinese characters for the names of the 20 Chinese cities with over one million inhabitants and then integrating them as inlays into the floor covering of the Chinese pavilion in Shanghai, the landmark of Expo 2010, as required by the architect He Jingtang.

And when in 2012 it came to establishing a new museum – the China Palace of Fine Arts – in the former Expo pavilion and fitting it with a floor covering, the Chinese star architect again chose nora. The norament crossline rubber floor covering in a warm shade of brown creates a pleasant atmosphere in the showrooms, and with its handcrafted-like surface it reflects the light depending on the viewer’s position. And like all other nora floor coverings it is extremely resistant to wear, absorbs footfall noise and is easy to clean. Due to their outstanding resilience, nora rubber coverings are supremely comfortable and make walking and standing much less of a strain for the museum’s visitors.

From the opera house to the swimming arena: high scores for rubber

The high level of footfall noise absorption offered by nora floor coverings also convinced the world-famous architect Zaha Hadid. For the corridors and changing rooms of the avant-garde Opera House in Guangzhou she chose three different dark grey rubber coverings, which form an appealing contrast to the futuristic white ambience and provide for good acoustics.

But public buildings are not the only places where nora floor coverings are to be found in China. Their extreme durability also makes them perfectly suited for sports arenas such as the Water Cube national swimming centre, which was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. The architects from China State Construction Engineering Corp. (PWT) found that the linoleum floor coverings initially installed in the arena did not have the desired quality of appearance and so they had them removed again before the opening.

The planners sought a product that would underline the high-end surroundings of the swimming arena. A visit to the departure terminal at Beijing Airport persuaded them that the quality and design of the nora coverings was what they had been looking for, and they chose them for the Water Cube as well. In total, 10,000 square metres of noraplan mega in a very light grey, almost white in its overall appearance, were installed. Navigation lines are integrated in the floor coverings as inlays – a feature popular with many of nora’s customers.

Another key criterion for all the architects was that nora floor coverings have low emission levels and have been awarded numerous international Green Design certificates. Environmental protection and sustainable building are gaining ground in China and the demand for appropriate products and technologies is rising steadily. The prospects are looking good for nora systems on its continuing course for success in the Middle Kingdom.*

Elegant design – pure colour

The new norament 926 satura rubber floor covering satisfies the wishes of architects and building users

Weinheim, April, 2013 – Nothing sets the tone for a room’s atmosphere as much as its colours: they awaken emotions, create or intensify moods, stimulate or have a calming effect. With its high degree of colour saturation, the new norament 926 satura rubber floor covering from nora systems helps planners to realise individual room concepts. The impression of pure, clear colour and the two worlds of colour – neutral architectural colours together with chromatic accentuating colours – open up a huge number of creative possibilities for every desired spatial effect.

Architects from all over the world were involved in the development of norament 926 satura. “Our aim was to create a product that offers made-to-measure solutions to satisfy the demands of our customers and to present them with a whole spectrum of new creative possibilities,” explains Andreas Muller, managing director at nora systems. “Consequently, before we started we asked our customers to tell us which floor covering colours would help them to realise their projects.”

Hanka Griebenow from the architects’ agency Hans Hartmann and Dieter Juranek (HJP) from Ludwigsburg appreciate the broad colour spectrum of norament 926 satura (the name is derived from the term ‘colour saturation’): “We really like the neutral colour range. Complemented by the strong colours, there is a large choice on offer.” Swiss architect Andreas Hertig from BFB Architekten AG in Zurich is thrilled with the neutral colours: “They are ideal for installations in hospital buildings. Let’s have more of them!” The renowned British industrial designer Daniel Weil from London-based agency Pentagram praises not only the colours, but also the light reflection of the rubber floor covering: “The new floor covering creates unique light reflections with its saturated colours and discreet hammerblow surface. norament 926 satura brings colour into every room and the brighter shades in particular create an open, vibrant atmosphere, while the dark tones look especially elegant.”

Elegant tone-in-tone design

The subtle vitality of the surface of norament 926 satura arises from the tone-in-tone play of colours of the granules, which only minimally stand out from the base colour due to their brightness. Another attractive design element is the hammerblow surface with its handcrafted look. The soft, wave-like pattern is perceived as a flowing, yet calm structure. The laid area as a whole lends norament 926 satura a monochromatic look, creating a high-quality, elegant appearance and giving the room visual depth. norament 926 satura thus ideally complements its successful sister product norament 926 grano, which strikingly makes its mark with richly contrasting granules.

norament 926 satura is available in a range of 32 colours. The spectrum of the 16 neutral architectural colours ranges from a warm beige through to cool shades of grey. They harmoniously fit into the room and enter into a timelessly elegant and unobtrusive union with other building elements like the wall or ceiling. The 16 chromatic accentuating colours have been conceived as colour pairs and thus offer a few first inspirations for vibrant, colour-oriented interior design. All the colour shades in the range are mutually harmonised and can be perfectly combined both among themselves, as well as with the 32 standard colours available with norament 926 grano.

Broad spectrum of applications

The universal all-rounder norament 926 satura demonstrates its strengths in all areas of application. From the healthcare sector through to education, industry or the public construction segment: Rooms of any size can be individually designed with discreet or strong colours using norament 926 satura. As with all nora rubber floor coverings, this new product has an uncoated and extremely hard-wearing surface that can be easily cleaned, so that its premium quality appearance remains preserved even when exposed to extreme conditions.

To allow the creation of cohesive room concepts, norament 926 satura is also available as stairtreads in three different widths and twelve colours. Needless to say, the new product is part of the certified floor covering system, nora system blue, which combines nora’s low emission rubber floor coverings with low emission installation materials. Specially trained installers offer additional assurance. That is how nora systems assures the best quality for indoor air hygiene and promotes the development of building concepts for healthy living.

Quality pays off

Building operators save time and money with rubber floor coverings

Weinheim, March 2013 –  Floors have to meet particularly tough specifications in buildings with a lot of public traffic. Floor coverings in public authority buildings, schools and hospitals, for instance, have to be not only extremely durable and hard wearing, but must also be resistant to stains and damage, as well as being hygienic and easy to clean. Another key aspect is the health and environmental compatibility of the products. 

Especially in office buildings and in the public building construction sector, choosing a floor covering is a decision that is made for decades to come and should therefore be the object of considerable consideration. In the life cycle of a building, only around 20% of the total costs are attributable to the actual construction, with maintenance costs making up the other 80%. Forward-looking planning can therefore cut expenditure to a considerable extent. This particularly applies to the floor covering. On the one hand it takes up a large proportion of the building’s indoor surface area, while on the other it is a permanent installation and thus an integral component of the building structure. Rubber floor coverings from nora systems offer far-reaching benefits in this respect – they do not require a coating, can be easily cleaned, and are also exceptionally kind to the environment. 

Long life span

Floor coverings from nora systems are rubber through and through, and their surfaces are totally sealed and therefore practically indestructible. Stains, scratches and other damage hardly have any chance at all. In contrast to linoleum and PVC, rubber coverings do not require a coating. This is a great advantage as other resilient floor coverings have to be regularly recoated as soon as the prone surface has been scratched, becomes stained or wears down, which is both time-consuming and cost-intensive. Nora floor coverings, on the other hand, still look practically like new even after decades of intensive use.

Cleaning plays a key role as well where the economic efficiency of a floor covering is concerned. Due to their dense surface, rubber floor coverings can easily be kept clean using a simple all-purpose cleaner, making them ideal for healthcare facilities with their high hygiene standards. They are insensitive to stains and resistant to surface disinfectants. Even brief exposure to solvents, diluted acids or lyes does not leave any lasting traces either.

Easy to clean – with no chemicals at all

An innovative floor care system was recently developed by nora systems: nora pads. These are cleaning disks that are impregnated with countless, microscopically small diamonds. The floor covering is cleaned and polished mechanically – using just water and without any chemicals at all. nora pads can be used with most standard types of machine and are available in different sizes. Cleaning floors using these pads is not only cost-effective (since it makes cleaning agents superfluous), but it is also good for the environment and people’s health. In this respect, nora rubber floor coverings have always been a step ahead of the competition. Devoid of plasticizers or halogens, they became the first ever resilient floor coverings to be awarded the “Blue Angel …for low emissions” eco-label as long ago as 2006. This was followed by other international Green Design certificates. 

Another bonus is that rubber floor coverings are ideally suited for the increasing number of allergy sufferers as well. Rubber does not offer a breeding ground for allergy-inducing substances, such as the excrement of household dust mites. Blossom or grass pollen brought into the building on people’s shoes can be simply wiped off the floor. All in all, their high degree of wear resistance and outstanding cleaning characteristics make nora floor coverings extremely long-lasting and cheap to maintain, making them the perfect choice for buildings where many people move around every day.*

Milestone in building sustainable hospitals, Contamine sur Arvre, France

Weinheim, February 2013  – Ecological and beneficial to patients – that is the CHAL (Centre Hospitalier Alpes Leman) in Contamine-sur-Arve, near Annemasse, a new hospital in the French Alps that recently went into operation. 

The building complex with a total area of approximately 50,000 square metres was built in less than three years by the Eiffage Group as a public-private partnership (PPP) project. With its 445 beds and various departments – from surgery, pediatrics and neonatology through to oncology – the hospital offers comprehensive and high quality medical care for the around 200,000 people who live in its catchment area. The new hospital was designed by the French architects’ agency GROUP-6. 

The planners pursued ambitious goals, both with regard to ecological, energy-efficient construction methods, as well as where the use of healthy building materials was concerned. For instance, the hospital complex’s energy supply is guaranteed through the combustion of biomass and by using solar panels. Around 75 percent of the required heating energy can be derived in this way. During the summer months, an innovative cooling system and triple-glazed windows with integrated sun screens ensure pleasant temperatures in the buildings. Before construction started, the architects and building developers were given tips by an environment adviser. They also took a look at various hospitals in Switzerland that had been built by incorporating cutting-edge environmental technologies.

Usage of ecological building materials

The planners were also assisted by Professor Karine Guillot, who concerns herself with the building of environmentally compatible and healthy buildings. „Building materials should be ecologically safe and contribute to the health welfare of building users,“ emphasises Guillot. Consequently, only building materials with low emission levels and devoid of toxic or allergy inducing substances were used to construct the hospital. For the floors, the planners chose ecologically sound rubber floor coverings from nora systems. These are totally free of plasticizers (phthalates) and formaldehyde and only contain extremely small quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOC). The very first resilient floor coverings to be awarded the „Blue Angel… for low emissions“ eco-label, they guarantee clean indoor air, which is not only crucial to the patients‘ recovery process, but also contributes to creating a healthy working environment for hospital staff.

No coatings for perfect hygiene

Another focal aspect for the hospital‘s technical director, Etienne Mauget, in choosing the floor covering was this: „nora floor coverings are rubber through and through, and their extremely dense surface means that they do not require a coating.“ This has several advantages. On the one hand, in contrast to coated floor coverings there is no formation of unsightly pathways on nora floor coverings, even in highly frequented areas. What is even more crucial, however, is that the coatings of other resilient floor coverings have to be renewed at short intervals because they quickly wear out. This is not only expensive, but also causes considerable operational disruptions during refurbishment.

No joints required

Another point in favour of nora floor coverings was that they can be installed without joint-sealing. Since rubber floor coverings do not contain any plasticizers, the material cannot shrink as a result of gradual evaporation of the phthalates, as is the case with PVC floor coverings. Rubber floor coverings retain their dimensional stability even after decades of use. Because they obviate the need for time-consuming and cost-intensive refurbishment of the joints, which always involves disruptions to work routines in hospitals, in the long term nora floor coverings are the most economical solution for hospitals. And last, but not least, an installation without joint-sealing gives the laid floor a uniform look. 

Mauget is also extremely satisfied with how easy it is to clean the rubber floor coverings. On account of their material and dense surface, nora rubber floor coverings are less susceptible to dirt and are also resistant to surface disinfectants. Not only that, but nora has developed an innovative floor care system: nora pads. These are cleaning disks that are impregnated with countless, microscopically small diamonds. The floor covering can be cleaned and polished mechanically – using just water and without any chemicals at all. This is not only much cheaper, but it is good for the environment as well. CHAL also utilises nora pads. „Cleaning the floors with pads works exceptionally well,“ confirms the technical director. Mauget also appreciated the extensive counseling given during the installation: „nora‘s application engineers regularly came to the hospital to advise us and make sure that all the conditions for a flawless installation of the floors were met. “ 

Another factor that qualifies rubber floor coverings for being installed in sustainable buildings is their long life span. They are practically indestructible and look almost like new even after decades of intensive use. Quality and customer service: These are the two pillars on which the success of the nora brand has been built. That is why they are the number one choice for countless planners worldwide – and not just in hospitals.

Change in management at nora systems

Andreas Mueller joins Executive Board

Weinheim, February 2013  – nora systems, the global market leader for rubber floor coverings, is starting the 2013 business year with new management. The previous spokesman of the executive board, Alexander K. Althof, has left the company by mutual agreement. The new member of the board with responsibility for global distribution and marketing is Andreas Mueller. He will be heading the company together with Christa Hoffmann, who has been managing director since 2007. 

Andreas Mueller has been working for nora systems since 1993 and was previously at the helm of the company’s US subsidiary. Mueller is extremely confident as far as the company’s development prospects are concerned:  “nora systems has a huge growth potential not only in Europe and the USA, but above all in the emerging markets.”

Two product lines – boundless possibilities

norament und noraplan: Rubber floors for all areas of application

Weinheim, February 2013 – Different formats, premium quality – rubber floor coverings from nora systems’ norament and noraplan product lines have been the number one choice for countless planners all over the world for decades when it comes to fitting out representative buildings. How they differ: norament is manufactured in metre-square tiles, while noraplan is produced as sheetware 15 metres in length.

In 1950, noraplan became the first rubber floor covering to be manufactured at the nora works, at that time still part of the Freudenberg Group. The name giver for the new product was the inventor of the rubber formula, the chemist Dr Nurnberger (in Latin: norimbergensis). The floor covering quickly asserted itself in the market. Production of high-compression tileware began in 1967: norament was born. Today, nora systems is the global market leader for rubber floor coverings.

Design-oriented diversity

The decisive factors when deciding which product line to use are governed solely by the requirements for the building in question. Long corridors such as are found in schools and hospitals, for instance, are ideal for installing noraplan sheetware, made of vulcanised rubber, which are also used in trains and buses. What makes noraplan so special are the large range of coordinated colours and the diversity of appealing designs with smooth or slightly structured surfaces.

norament tiles are the best choice wherever floors have to cope with the toughest conditions requiring utmost durability and wear resistance, for example in airport terminals or production halls. Due to their wide variety of surface structures – from the classic round pastille and hammerblow surfaces through to relief and three-dimensional carving structure surfaces – rubber tiles are also popular with customers who want an especially exclusive appearance. Representative office buildings, museums, showrooms and sports arenas are just some of the places where norament floor coverings are frequently encountered.

Practically boundless design possibilities

With a total of more than 300 colours in the standard assortment and hugely diverse designs, both product lines open up a wealth of creative possibilities. The noraplan sheetware has a standard thickness of two millimetres and is thinner than the norament tiles, which are usually offered in a thickness of 3.5 or 4 millimetres. Nine-millimetre thick norament tiles are also available for buildings where extreme floor conditions prevail such as ice rinks, golf club premises or horse stables.

The different nora rubber floor coverings can be installed in entire buildings and combined with one another. This option is popular among technical directors of hospitals, for instance, who choose norament with electrostatic dissipation properties for the operating theatres and install noraplan floor coverings in the patients’ rooms and corridors.

Made-to-measure solutions

The huge advantage with nora systems is that individual customer specifications can be realised without long delivery times. Today, more than a third of the company’s orders are one-off productions. Customers are able to select a special design from one product line and combine it with the technical characteristics of another – and that in practically any colour of their choice. One example of such a tailor-made solution is the Pirelli Tower in Milan. A floor covering was sought for the listed building that should be an exact replica of the original floor laid in 1958 – a challenge that was mastered with distinction by the developers working in the laboratories of the Weinheim-based rubber specialists. It is also possible to have individually designed inlays integrated in all noraplan and norament floor coverings.

Both product lines have their own bestsellers. From the norament range, many architects choose norament grano with its richly contrasting granular design that is perfect for hiding dirt. But structured surfaces in plain colours are also proving increasingly popular. In the noraplan collection, noraplan signa with its varying base colour of three harmoniously matching colour components and characteristic granule inclusions, launched in 2007, has developed into a sales hit. Both norament and noraplan thus form a perfect synthesis of design, functionality, economic efficiency and environmental compatibility.

Sustainability begins with the floor

Weinheim, February 13 – Essentially, the architecture of a building is determined by three factors: the facade, the walls and the floor. As a rule, these integral components of the building structure remain unchanged for decades. The interior fittings present a differentiated picture. Whereas the colours of the walls or the wallpaper are often renewed at shorter intervals, the floor covering usually lies in the building for many years. It therefore needs to be especially durable, hard-wearing and sustainable.

Long-lasting and ecologically sound: rubber floor coverings in style worldwide

Just how important the choice of a high-quality floor covering actually is becomes apparent when the purchase price is taken into consideration. This accounts for just 10% of the overall life cycle costs, while the remaining 90% are incurred for maintenance, i.e. for care and cleaning. This is why architects all over the world frequently choose rubber floor coverings from nora systems. These are not only extremely resistant and easy to clean due to their dense surface, but they are also the only resilient floor coverings which do not have to be coated – and that is a huge advantage.

Indestructible without a coating

That’s because the coatings of linoleum and PVC floor coverings are only a few micrometers thick and prone to wearing out quickly, not just as the result of mechanical strain, but from normal cleaning as well. For this reason they have to be refurbished at short intervals. Additionally with coated coverings, microscopically tiny tears, into which particles of dirt or even germs can penetrate, appear where the surface coating is subjected to heavy strain. Not only does the floor covering look unsightly, but it can also become a safety hazard, especially in healthcare facilities.

For architects, who are liable for a five year warranty for building products, floor refurbishments represent a considerable risk. As well as the costs of the new coating, the operational disruptions caused by refurbishing are also considerable. To repair the floor covering, whole areas have to be temporarily closed down every time – particularly in hospitals that is a major problem.

Certified environmental compatibility

The increasing worldwide demand for rubber floor coverings is attributable to both the strivings of many planners to design ecologically sound buildings, as well as to the usage of ecologically safe building materials that is already being stipulated in public calls for tenders.

Rubber floor coverings from nora systems are made of high-quality natural and industrial rubber together with minerals and environmentally compatible colour pigments. Devoid of plasticizers or halogens, they became the first ever resilient floor coverings to be awarded the “Blue Angel …for low emissions” eco-label as long ago as 2006. This was followed by other international Green Design certificates.

Contribution to the sustainability of buildings

Another theme which is coming under increasing scrutiny in the construction sector is the sustainability of buildings. To evaluate this, not only the individual building products themselves, but the entire life cycle of the building is also taken into consideration, from the planning stage, realisation and usage right through to the recycling and disposal. The pioneer of this holistic approach in Germany is the Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), of which nora systems is one of the co-initiators and founding members.

The evaluation covers the theme areas of ecology, economics, sociocultural and functional aspects, technology, processes and location, together with the well-being of the building’s users. Taking the floor as an example, this means that if the floor covering has to be replaced ten times during the average life span of a building (between 70 and 80 years), this produces a more negative rating in the sustainability assessment than if it only needs to be replaced twice or three times. The extreme wear resistance and longevity of rubber floor coverings, which still look practically new even after many years of intensive usage, make a decisive contribution to the sustainability of buildings.

Quality management for floors
In 2010, the growing demands being made on modern construction and the rising significance of environmental and health aspects led nora systems to develop the world’s first certified 360° quality management system for floors: nora system blue.

nora system blue combines nora’s low-emission rubber floor coverings with low-emission installation materials. All the system’s components have been awarded the “Blue Angel” eco-label and are also tested within the composite system. This eliminates the likelihood of any hazardous interaction between the single components and assures healthy indoor air. And because every single component of the system guarantees the highest safety levels, the overall system has likewise been certified by TUV Rheinland. On account of its resounding success, nora system blue has recently also been introduced worldwide.*

The pastille: A timeless design classic

The successful journey of the innovative rubber floor covering made in Germany began more than four decades ago – up to this day, more than 30 million square metres have been installed.

Weinheim, December 2012 – Just as many global brand names have become synonymous with a product, a classic is also to be found among floor coverings: the norament pastille flooring. Many people stand on it without being aware of the fact – over the past four decades the rubber floor covering has made its way into airports, sports arenas, lifts and office buildings, and even into the home. There’s no question about it, the round pastille floor covering has been a cult product for many years. A quality product made in Germany, it is manufactured by the traditional company nora systems from Weinheim in Baden-Wurttemberg, which is renowned and respected worldwide for its innovative floor covering designs

Breakthrough at Germany’s largest airport

The history of the norament pastille floor covering begins in the same year as man first set foot on the moon: 1969.  A year later, Germany’s largest airport became the showpiece which helped the floor covering to make its breakthrough. Since then, millions of people have walked on the 80,000 square metres of pastille flooring that was installed at Frankfurt airport.  Its quality and appearance have not diminished to this day. Even stamped out cigarettes or heavy luggage trolleys have no effect on the rubber covering, it is so hard-wearing and resistant. These characteristics also make the pastille floor covering ideal for sports arenas, and consequently it is to be found in the Allianz Arena in Munich as well as in Mannheim’s SAP Arena and the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the mid-1970s, a green pastille floor covering was also laid in the popular state gallery in Stuttgart which has seen millions of museum visitors through the decades.

Even companies like BMW have decided to fit out their production plants with the black round pastille covering, scoring points due to both its resilient surface, which is resistant to oil and grease, as well as its slip resistance. Walking on the round pastille flooring is like treading on firm ground. The rubber pastilles are also frequently utilised for ramps, for example in DIY stores, because it offers especially good grip for shoe soles on slopes compared to smooth covering surfaces. These qualities are also held in high esteem by the operators of harbours and oil platforms. The pastille floor covering is to be found in the harbour building in Helsinki as well as on the Norwegian Nationwide Oilwell BIS oil rig.

The pastille surface is expanding; namely all around the globe. To this day, around 30 million square metres of norament pastille floor coverings have been sold and installed since the end of the 1960s. Why is this rubber flooring such a popular choice? The robust, 0.5 millimetre high pastille is a true all-rounder. The product represents the optimum cost/performance ratio, for longevity without lengthy and costly cleaning, joint sealing or coatings. The pastille floor covering is also a versatile and attractive design element.

Broad range of colours from Stone Grey to Ipswich Green

Lord Norman Foster once recognised this fact. When he was seeking a suitable floor covering for an office building in Ipswich in the mid-1970s, he found what he was looking for in Weinheim. The challenge faced by the German rubber specialists was to fulfil Lord Foster’s wish to bring nature indoors. The result was a shade of green which even today makes the building in Ipswich an extremely popular reference for architecture students from far and wide. 

The famous Ipswich Green still belongs to the nora colour range. Although the colour spectrum has been repeatedly extended over the past two decades, customer preferences have scarcely changed at all. “Nothing is more timeless than dark grey shades or a clear-cut black,” says product manager Jurgen Karger. The best seller is Stone Grey, followed by Platinum Grey and Black. If a customer wants a special colour, nora systems experts can provide a composition and samples within two to three days. To answer the questions on environmental issues and healthy living, norament pastille floor coverings meet the most stringent demands regarding emission levels, which is why they also bear the well-known “Blue Angel … for low emissions” eco-label..*

Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, Lugano, Switzerland

ESD protection for supercomputers

Top-level research without a supercomputer has long been unthinkable. The supercomputing centre at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) has therefore been heavily in demand since it was founded in 1991. The CSCS(Swiss National Supercomputing Centre) is available to every Swiss technical college and research institute, and facilitates investigations in the fields of environment, climate, energy, economy and health.

Supercomputers are the instruments of today‘s discoverers. With them, scientists can see what theory and experiment could not previously reveal. In this way researchers can use simulations, for instance, to predict the weather, to make improved assessments of natural hazards, to model as-yet unknown materials, or to explore new aspects of medical diagnosis.

As a result of the ever-rising demand for computing capacity, the space and the technical facilities at the old CSCS headquarters in Manno were no longer adequate. After just two years of construction, ETH Zurich therefore opened a new supercomputing centre in Lugano in April 2012. The two new, energy-efficient building complexes will ensure that optimum, energy-efficient operation of the CSCS supercomputer will remain possible in the future.

Cooling with lake water lowers electricity consumption

The ability of the new computing centre to house the supercomputing infrastructure for the coming decades was a central issue for ETH Zurich. The computing centre therefore has a modular design that can be extended further when necessary. In addition, the new construction was to be particularly energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable. As one example, the computers are cooled by a sophisticated system that uses cold water – at six degrees – from Lake Lugano. By that, it was possible to forgo a conventional cooling plant which would have consumed a third of the total electricity consumption. The CSCS is thus one of the most energy-efficient, ecologically sustainable computing centres in the world. In future, local industrial plants will be able to heat newly planned accommodations with waste heat and to supply them with hot water from the CSCS, respectively. Less than 10% of the waste heat is needed, for instance, to cover the requirements of about 200,000 square meters of floor area.

Low-emission building materials

For the construction of the new CSCS, ETH emphasized the usage of materials that are particularly low in emissions in order to meet the requirements of the MINERGIE ECO standard. „The flooring also had to be environmentally friendly and sustainable“, said Martin Drzerwinski, who co-ordinated the construction for ETH Zurich. The noraplan astro ec flooring from nora Systems fitted the bill perfectly. Sustainability, environmental protection and indoor air quality have long been core elements of the corporate orientation at the rubber specialists. nora floorings contain no PVC, no potentially toxic softeners (phthalates) or halogens (e.g. chlorine), and have therefore been awarded numerous international environmental certificates for years.

Rubber flooring protects supercomputer

The light grey, highly conductive noraplan astro ec was installed throughout the computer rooms. „We chose the colour of the rubber flooring to create a visual convergency between the floor and the fair faced concrete of the computer centre“, explained the project manager. But above all it was its special properties that made noraplan astro ec so suitable for the CSCS: due to the properties of their materials, rubber floorings have a low tendency to generate electrical charges in humans, and dissipate electrostatic charges in such a way that sensitive electronic devices are protected.

Like all other nora floor coverings, norament astro ec does not have to be coated, which means that its dissipative characteristics are permanently preserved. This is a huge advantage compared with other floor coverings whose coatings not only influence the conducting reliability, but also have to be regularly renewed. nora systems, the only manufacturer of such flooring, gives a ten year guarantee covering retention of its electrostatic properties.

At the same time, nora rubber floor coverings are extremely resistant to abrasion. „We made the maximum possible demands on the durability of the flooring“, emphasised Drzerwinski. „After all, heavy machinery is often moved in the CSCS, and it exerts a huge pressure on the floor.“ Thanks to its permanent resilience, noraplan astro ec also withstands such stresses. The extremely dense surface also means that cleaning is easy and economical. With noraplan astro ec, the supercomputers at the CSCS not only have the best protection against ESD. Through its longevity, the nora flooring also makes a contribution to the ecological sustainability of the building.

„Check in 3“ Terminal, Vienna Airport, Austria

Atmosphere for lift-off

Weinheim, Decembre 2012 – The new “Check in 3” terminal has been operating at Vienna Airport since the beginning of June, 2012: Formerly known as “Skylink”, the new building features unusual architecture and high-quality building materials. The new terminal is unusually open and transparent: with its uninterrupted glass frontage, “Check in 3” offers a view of the apron, the landing strips and the surrounding landscape. Travellers will find plenty of shops carrying internationally famous brands and several restaurants – offering everything from finger food to Asiatic gourmet cooking – on a generously scaled promenade.

High flexibility

The terminal extension lets the airport react flexibly to changing traffic and to varying traffic peaks, and to handle significantly more passengers: “Check in 3” has doubled the previous terminal area. With a length of 270 m and a width of 55 m, the new 20 m high terminal building comprises a gross floor space of 76,000 square metres. The functions that are most important for departing and arriving passengers are housed on two levels: baggage reclaim and the arrivals hall are on Level 0, while the check-in area is on Level 1.

Design and functionality on the ground

The elegance of the floor covering in the terminal needs to be worthy of the rest of the surroundings. At the same time, it must withstand heavy stresses – after all, tens of thousands of passengers, with their baggage, will make their way across here every day. The rubber floor coverings from nora systems are ideally matched to these challenges through their attractive design and their high functional performance. In various parts of the terminal, about 60,000 square metres of the tough norament 926 grano, in an elegant anthracite colour, have been installed. In the Sky Lounge, the norament 926 serra design covering generates a comfortable atmosphere with its relief structure and a warm brown colour.

Hard wearing and ergonomic

The products from the rubber specialists in Weinheim are also noted for their highly ergonomic qualities. Thanks to their lifelong resilience and their shock-absorbing effect, they make walking and standing easier for passengers and for airport staff – strain on the back and on the joints is noticeably lessened. The level of noise inside the buildings is also significantly lower with rubber floor coverings than it is if hard floors such as stone are installed. The material brings an exceptional reduction to the level of footfall noise, and the noise created by rolling baggage and other loads is lowered at the same time. The nora floor coverings thus facilitate comfortable acoustics inside the terminal, in spite of the large number of passengers.

Another big advantage: on account of their dense, sealed surface, nora rubber floor coverings don’t need additional coatings and can be cleaned easily. They therefore don’t just make a good visual impression, but are extremely economical. On top of this, nora floor coverings are extremely resistant to abrasion. Even after decades, they hardly show any signs of wear, and neither their functionality nor their appearance has suffered. That is why they are to be found in so many international airports.

Fire safety

Fire safety is something else that speaks for these products from the world market leader in Weinheim. nora floor coverings contain neither PVC nor halogens (e.g. chlorine). This means that in the event of a fire no hydrochloric gas – which might lead to caustic burns of the respiratory tract – is released. Nor are any toxic, halogenated dioxane or furan gases, substances that can get into into walls and ceilings and can contaminate buildings, formed. The rubber coverings have been awarded numerous Green Design certificates such as the “Blue Angel … for low emissions” from leading test institutes for their outstanding ecological properties. They have also been awarded the Austrian UZ56 Environmental Label.*

Gold for nora systems

Rubber specialist wins Architects’ Darling Award 2012

Weinheim, 9 November 2012 – Every architect’s favourite through being innovative: The rubber floor coverings from nora systems have been honoured with the Architects’ Darling Award 2012 in gold. Around 2,500 of Germany’s leading architect agencies voted for the products from the Weinheim-based rubber specialists as being their favourites in the ‘Resilient floor coverings’ category.

The award was presented by Heinze during the “Celler Werktage” industry get-together following the biggest survey of architects in Germany this year, with products and services from more than 200 manufacturers being nominated as candidates. The award-winning companies are regarded as being Germany’s most coveted suppliers by leading decision-makers in the building segment.

“This award is in recognition of the outstanding quality of nora floor coverings and at the same time acknowledges the company’s innovativeness,” said Jorg Kreuder, National Sales Director at Heinze, in his laudatory speech. norament crossline, noraplan unita and noraplan sentica are three products launched by nora systems within the space of just one year since autumn 2011 that set totally new standards due to their unusual surface structures and combinations of materials in the market for resilient floor coverings.

“We are extremely delighted to have received the award in such an important and independent competition and that we enjoy the faith and trust of our partners in the construction industry,” said Ulrich Mohr, nora Sales Director for southern Germany. “At the same time, the prize is an incentive for us to pursue the path of intensive and direct dialogue with our customers and to carry on optimising our products and services.”*

hamburgmuseum, Hamburg, Germany

The port as the city’s pacesetter

Weinheim, February 2013 – “Port as pacesetter. Hamburg’s urban development in the 20th century” is the name of the new permanent exhibition in hamburgmuseum which has been completing the so-called Historical Round Tour since June 2012. The Museum for Hamburg History, which was renamed hamburgmuseum in 2006, is one of Germany’s largest cultural history museums and has around 200,000 visitors every year. The building at Holstenwall is located near to the “Planten un Blomen” park and was built in 1914 by the renowned architect Kurt Schumacher. Today it is a listed building. Inside on three floors, the hamburgmuseum offers a comprehensive insight into the Hanseatic city’s rich history from its earliest beginnings through to the present day.

Influential branch of industry

The “Port as pacesetter” exhibition illustrates the rapid and far-reaching changes experienced by Hamburg from the 20th century up to the present with a display of pictures, artefacts and models in four newly designed rooms. It clearly shows to what extent the port is permanently shaping Hamburg and how it influences the city’s development like no other branch of industry. Walking around the museum, visitors will find a wealth of information about the course of the Elbe river and shipping traffic in the port and see how the urban landscape and architecture have changed over the years. Interactive displays are also on offer. In the so called City Forum, visitors to the museum can navigate through 1,200 years of the city’s history with a time wheel on a media table and vividly experience how the city has developed.

Prize-winning rubber floor covering

The new permanent exhibition was conceived by the Swiss architect’s agency arge gillmannschnegg in close collaboration with the museum’s scientific staff. “We wanted the rooms to be designed so that they harmoniously fit in with the existing round tour,” explains the curator, Dr Ralf Wiechmann. While the walls become brighter from room to room, the noraplan unita dark grey rubber floor covering from nora systems creates a calming and yet stylish atmosphere due to its reflecting embedded granite chips. Noraplan unita has already won the 2012 red dot design award for this unusual combination of materials. Important factors for the museum’s directors, alongside the visual benefits of the floor covering, were extreme durability and minimum maintenance requirements. “We had norament 926 strada installed in 2007 for the ‘Emigration via Hamburg’ permanent exhibition and were exceedingly satisfied with it. That’s why we wanted a nora floor covering for the new rooms as well,” explains Wiechmann.

Durable and easy to clean

The rubber floor coverings from nora systems offer numerous advantages. On account of their dense closed surface they can be easily cleaned and, in contrast to other resilient floor coverings, they do not require a coating. This obviates the need for time-consuming and costly new coatings, a great economic benefit for the museum. The rubber floorings can also withstand extreme strain. “This is crucial because not only do we have a lot of public traffic, but the exhibits, some of which are very heavy, have to be moved into place using a pallet truck,” says the curator. Like all other products from nora systems, the new noraplan unita floor covering is also permanently resilient and slip-resistant, combining a high degree of walking comfort with good footfall noise insulation, a welcome relief for staff and museum visitors who spend a long time on their feet.

Guarantee for healthy indoor air

“Last but not least, environmental and sustainability aspects, as well as conservation reasons, also played a role in our deliberations,” continues Wiechmann. All floor coverings from nora systems are free of PVC, plasticizers (phthalates) and halogens (e.g. chlorine).

The products from the Weinheim-based rubber specialist therefore guarantee healthy indoor air, for which they were the first resilient floor coverings to be awarded the “Blue Angel …for low emissions” eco label as long ago as 2006. Once noraplan unita had been installed in the new exhibition rooms, the museum quickly decided to use the rubber floor covering for the forthcoming renovation of the listed auditorium. The Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments gave its approval, and so the elegant-looking black noraplan unita flooring is now an attractive eye-catcher in the richly traditional auditorium at the hamburgmuseum.

Rubber floorings are the favourite choice

Award from the US healthcare industry for nora systems

Weinheim, November 2012 – The noraplan sentica rubber floor covering from nora systems has won the gold Nightingale Award. Inaugurated in 1990, the Nightingale Award is one of the most prestigious design prizes awarded by the healthcare industry in the USA. Named after the famous British nurse Florence Nightingale, the award is traditionally presented in the run-up to the Healthcare Design Conference.

Architects, interior designers und hospital facility managers, all of them healthcare experts, make up the jury. The award goes to innovative products that contribute to creating a hospital environment conducive to patient recovery.

The newest member of the noraplan product family, noraplan sentica, convinced the members of the jury in the category “Resilient floor coverings” in several regards, winning praise for its quality, functionality, wear resistance, design, sustainability properties and the excellent cost-performance ratio.

Feel-good colours and healthy living

noraplan sentica has been on the market since spring 2012 and is already a great success. The rubber floor covering scores points on two accounts, namely for its harmonious colours and environmental compatibility. These two factors are especially critical for hospitals and other healthcare establishments.

The 38 colours used for the rubber floor covering correspond to the Natural Color System (NCS), which makes it easier to plan the overall colour concept for buildings. The harmonious colour composition is the result of close cooperation between colour experts, international architects and product developers at nora systems. Their aim with the new floor covering was to do justice to both future colour and design trends, as well as to the increasing demand for sustainable building and healthy living.

Just like all other nora products, noraplan sentica consists of high-grade natural and industrial rubber qualities, naturally occurring minerals, as well as environmentally compatible colour pigments. nora floor coverings do not contain any PVC, plasticizers (phthalates) or halogens (e.g. chlorine). Consequently, noraplan sentica has been awarded numerous Green Design certificates such as the “Blue Angel for low emissions” and contributes to providing for healthy indoor air.

Maternity centre, Bronovo Hospital, The Hague, the Netherlands

Comfort and privacy for parents and children

The new, colourfully designed maternity centre at Bronovo Hospital in The Hague is more reminiscent of a family hotel than a hospital. Following extensive renovations, both the maternity unit and the children’s ward shine in new splendour and now offer an extremely comfortable, stylish atmosphere and much privacy for parents and children.

The Bronovo clinic was founded in 1865 by Dutch deaconesses. Today, this traditional hospital, which is also the teaching hospital of the University of Leiden, has 350 beds and offers comprehensive medical care. Much value is placed on interdisciplinary cooperation.

Opened by Princess Maxima

The renovation of the maternity centre lasted one and a half years and was very complex, during which the maternity unit and the children’s ward both had to be completely closed. The new centre was finally ceremoniously opened by Princess Maxima in June 2012. The surroundings were already exceedingly familiar to the wife of Prince Willem Alexander, as their three daughters – Amalia, Alexia and Ariane – were born at Bronovo Hospital. The maternity unit was thus named after the royal couple’s eldest daughter, Amalia. It stands directly opposite the pediatric clinic which bears the name of Prince Willem Alexander.

Individual daily routines

Parents and children find a lot of privacy in the 16 comfortably furnished single rooms and two double rooms. Expectant fathers are allowed to spend the night with their partner whenever they wish. Couples can also organise their daily routines themselves to a great extent and are supported by the nursing staff as desired. 

The needs of families also formed the focal point in the planning of the children’s department. There are three suites equipped with incubators where parents can stay around the clock with their sick children, several rooms for out-patients, as well as various play rooms. Both the maternity unit and children’s ward were presented with awards by the Dutch “Association for Children in Hospital” for their particularly family-friendly concept.

Rubber floor coverings with many benefits

The developer and architects from the architects’ agency Koldeweij en S & D Ontwerpers in Amsterdam wanted floor coverings of the highest quality, while at the same time underlining the contemporary design of the maternity centre. “An important aspect for us was that the surroundings should be of a high standard and smart – not exactly luxurious, but stylish. That begins with choosing the building materials,” says building manager Frans van Riel. “To fulfil these demanding requirements, we decided in favour of the rubber floor coverings from nora systems,” adds Aad Kohler, who co-ordinated the building work for Bronovo Hospital together with van Riel. “Above all it was the varied possibilities for the colour design that convinced us.”

Easy and economical to clean

The densely closed surface of nora’s rubber coverings makes them exceedingly resistant to wear and means they can be easily cleaned and still look like new even after many years of heavy use. And in contrast to other resilient floor coverings, they do not need a coating either. Consequently, although they are somewhat more expensive in the procurement, in the long term nora coverings are the most economic solution for hospitals since 90 percent of the life cycle costs of a floor covering are maintenance-related.

No plasticizers

Another bonus is that rubber layers, unlike PVC, do not contain any plasticizers (phthalates) or halogens (e.g. chlorine). nora’s products thus guarantee healthy indoor air, which is why they were the first resilient floor coverings to be awarded the “Blue Angel …for low emissions” eco label as long ago as 2006. Healthy living surroundings with pollutant-free building materials count among the essential factors for well-being and recovery, particularly for babies and sick children whose immune systems are not yet fully developed or are debilitated.

Outstanding hygiene qualities

The rubber floor coverings are also a convincing solution where hygiene, the crucial factor in hospitals, is concerned, as they are insensitive to stains and resistant to surface disinfectants. Brief exposure to solvents, diluted acids or lyes does not leave any lasting traces either. Even substances that contain iodine (like skin disinfectants) can be easily removed without any residues.

Healing environment

Colours played a focal role in the renovation of the maternity centre. The consistent colour concept designed by Koldeweij en S & D Ontwerpers takes in both the fitments and furnishings as well as the walls and floors. In the corridors and patients’ rooms, noraplan signa in various warm colours creates a cosy atmosphere. Colourful strips of noraplan uni lend a cheerful touch in the gangways on the wards. The colours used for the floor covering inlays are taken up again on the walls. “The broad colour spectrum available with the rubber floor coverings worked very well for us in the redesigning of both the departments,” emphasises building manager van Riel. The over 300 shades of colours offered with the nora standard assortment give planners plenty of combination options. 

The newly decorated maternity centre is proving to be very popular. “We regularly receive praise from parents and visitors ,” confirms van Riel. A “healing environment” has long been the motto at nora when it comes to building or renovating hospitals. Bronovo Hospital is certainly in keeping with this trend.

On healthy floors

nora system blue: safety with a system – now available worldwide

Weinheim, October 2012 – nora system blue, the first certified and environmentally compatible floor installation system, is conquering the world. Rubber specialists nora systems had launched the innovative composite system in Germany in 2010. In response to the rising demand for ecologically sound and sustainable building materials, nora system blue is now also being introduced on the international markets. 

“The reason behind the development of nora system blue was the more stringent demands being made on modern building methods. Environmental and health aspects are becoming increasingly crucial,” explains Alexander K. Althof, CEO of nora systems GmbH. In particular, the extremely hermetic, energy-saving construction methods used today pose huge challenges since they minimise air exchange in buildings. To sustainably avoid health risks, low-emission building materials should be used for new building or renovations. After all, we spend between 80 and 90 percent of our time in enclosed spaces.

On account of its large surface area, the floor covering in particular is a decisive factor in assuring healthy indoor air. However, not only the flooring should be harmless to health and ecologically safe. Installation materials such as primers, fillers and adhesives, as well as the quality of the work, also play a major role in achieving a healthy living environment.

360° quality management system for floorings

Due to their natural raw materials, rubber floor coverings from nora systems have always been devoid of plasticizers and halogens, which is why they have been carrying the “Blue Angel …for low emissions” eco label for some years now. “With nora system blue, however, we have gone a step further and developed the world’s first certified 360° quality management system for floorings,” emphasises Althof.

nora system blue combines nora’s low-emission, rubber floor coverings with low-emission installation materials. All the system’s components have been awarded the “Blue Angel” and are also tested within the composite system. This eliminates the likelihood of any hazardous interaction between the single components. Additionally, selected installers receive special nora system blue training and are certified by the TUV Rheinland safety standards authority. And because every single component of the system guarantees the highest safety levels, the overall system has also been certified by TUV Rheinland.

Planning reliability for calls for tenders

Everybody benefits from nora system blue: planners, installers and the people using the buildings. Architects submitting calls for tenders with nora system blue are legally safeguarded to the hilt as well, as the test criteria applied by TUV Rheinland can be used as proof that the utilised materials are environmentally compatible and meet the requirements for sustainable building.

“nora system blue gives me planning security,” says Lennart Wiechell, partner at Schmidhuber Architekten in Munich. “The overall system with its safety standards authority certification assures me both excellent installation results as well as good indoor air quality. This enables me to fulfil my responsibilities towards my clients and users.”

Competitive benefits for installers

This composite system, unique worldwide, also offers cutting-edge advantages for flooring manufacturers: “The fact that we are certified installers of nora system blue is a competitive advantage for our company,” confirms Christiane Muller, CEO of Heiligenhaus-based Hoops Bodenbelage GmbH & Co. KG. “There is a huge demand for health-wise safe and ecological floor coverings. These criteria are frequently anchored in the calls for tenders and taken into consideration when awarding the contracts.”

Responsibility for health and the environment

Good indoor air is important for everybody, but it is even more crucial for children and the sick on account of their weaker immune systems. “We chose nora system blue because a healthy and pleasant environment is decisive in aiding the recovery of our patients,” says Ulf Ermshaus, Head of Building Technology at Gutersloh municipal hospital. “In doing so, we are placing our reliance on a systematic method – sustainable and healthy living spaces simply pay for themselves.”

Preschool teacher Sarah Rehm is likewise convinced: “As a kindergarten teacher I assume a special responsibility, and it’s important to me that the children in my care feel good with me. The ambient environment plays a large role. nora system blue has been certified as having low emission levels and consequently contributes to the children’s health welfare.”

Unique customer care concept

Alongside the perfect harmonisation of the individual components, another success factor for nora system blue is its unique customer care concept. Decision-makers are extensively advised by nora specialists in preparing their calls for tenders and are accompanied throughout every phase of their project. Additionally, application engineers from nora systems provide on-site support for flooring installers and give technical recommendations for the installation. This is especially important, because in 95 percent of cases of damage it is not the product, but the work that has been carried out which leads to complaints. Furthermore, every step of the installation is documented seamlessly and precisely. Another advantage is that if nora system blue components are installed by companies that have been certified by the TUV Rheinland safety standards authority, nora systems extends the product warranty from five to seven years.

CEO Althof is certain: “With nora system blue we have created an all-round, care-free package for everybody involved in the construction of buildings and the people that use them.”

App software with many extras

Now in the app store: The free nora app with a host of useful functions

Weinheim, September 2012 – nora systems is the first manufacturer of resilient floor coverings to launch its own app for iPads and iPhones. Easy and intuitive to use, it offers a quick overview of the product range, areas of application and first-rate references, as well as technical data on the rubber floor coverings from nora systems.

“This new form of presentation offers great advantages for planners in particular,” explains project manager Birgitta Knoch. If the architect wants to use a certain colour for a room, for example, he can simply click the colour group in a bar at the bottom of his iPad’s screen and is immediately shown a selection of different products that are available in this colour spectrum. The user can also search specifically for special properties of rubber floor coverings such as electrostatic dissipation or slip resistance, or for individual areas of application. “We regard the app as complementing our brochures and sample cards,” says Dietmar Mavers, Head of Marketing at nora systems GmbH. “We have obviously also integrated selected key reference projects into the app so that users can graphically experience the spatial effect of a certain floor covering in the building. New reference projects are being regularly added which integrate themselves automatically into the app, which keeps this tool up to date.”

Easy and comfortable navigation

The navigation within the nora app is really simple and easy to use. “In designing the app we placed great value on a clearly structured navigation,” emphasises the marketing manager. “The user can find his way around straight away.” For example, the product details for a floor covering can be accessed directly from a reference view by clicking an info button. The user can then send an e-mail with this page as well as all the other information in the nora app. Videos with instructions and tips for floor covering installers are likewise integrated into the app.

Another advantage: Users who have installed the app on their iPhone or iPad are constantly kept informed about news from nora systems, for instance in the news categories on the landing page. Other content in the app is also being steadily extended in the background and updated without the user having to repeatedly download the app from the app store.

The nora app is available now free of charge in the app store. As the global provider of rubber floor coverings, nora systems offers its app in eleven languages.

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Voyage of discovery through the world of beer

The visitors crowd around the four gigantic copper vats in the historical hall. Between 1867 and 1988, this was the heart of Amsterdam’s traditional Heineken brewery. The company has been using the building since 1991 to present itself and its products in a state-of-the-art exhibition: Heineken Experience is the name Showroom of the interactive show. The tour around the former brewery is an experience for beer fans from all over the world.

The emphasis is on beer and how it is produced – from the malting process for the malting barley through to the storage of the fermented fresh beer in large tanks. The combination of original preserved equipment and computer simulations immerses the visitor directly amidst what is happening. For example, he experiences the filling plant from the perspective of a beer bottle, just like being on a real roller coaster. Or he finds himself on the coach box of an old cart with a pyramid of beer barrels on the back and a team of brewery horses in front of him. Two bars with freshly drawn Heineken await those whose mouths are starting to water after all the animation.

3D design on the floor

One of the stops on this entertaining journey through the world of beer is a showroom with a green illuminated ceiling and seating arrangements in grass and dark green. The company’s history comes back to life again on the surrounding screens – including its trendsetting commercials. Since the carpeted flooring installed in the showroom had become unsightly over the years, Heineken wanted to install a resistant floor covering which also underscores the contemporary atmosphere of the small cinema. The brewery company opted for the norament crossline rubber floor covering, which the internationally renowned designer Lars Contzen had designed exclusively for nora systems.

Interplay of light and shadow

norament crossline now effectively sets off the Heineken showroom in an elegant light grey. The unusual feature of the new product line, as well as the 3D structure of the coating, are the extremely expressive colours. The relief structure of the flooring is enhanced or diminished depending upon how the light shines on it and from where it is being looked at. “norament crossline reveals its structure only when the light changes and in doing so creates interesting patterns of light and shadow,” said Contzen at the presentation of the new floor covering in autumn 2011.

It wasn‘t just the tasteful design which spoke in favour of the rubber floor coverings from the global market leader, but also the high degree of functionality. nora floor coverings are exceptionally hard-wearing, making them perfectly suited for rooms frequented by large numbers of people. Another advantage: Floor coverings from the rubber specialists in Weinheim are especially easy to clean on account of the densely closed surface and nora cleanguard, a post-curing process based on innovative compounds and manufacturing technologies that takes place at the factory.

This allows spilled liquids, for example, to be easily wiped up without leaving behind any unsightly stains. Since beer and other beverages are served at Heineken Experience, this was an important factor in the company’s decision to choose a covering from nora systems.

Extremely economical

nora floor coverings require no subsequent coating during their entire life span, obviating the need for time-consuming and expensive new coatings. This also makes them extremely economical in the long term for building owners and operators.

Heineken Experience will remain an attraction for beer enthusiasts from all over the world for years to come – and the showroom’s rubber floor coverings will continue to accompany the crowds of visitors wherever they go.

Office building, IQ 4 YOU GmbH,Obermeitingen, Germany

Offices as venues for creative encounters

Weinheim, August 2012  – Architecture defines habitats – after all, we spend more than 80 percent of our time in buildings. In Germany alone, around 18 million people work in offices. It is obvious that the working environment has a considerable influence on the well-being and motivation of employees. This means that the design of office space becomes a key instrument for the management of tomorrow. Optimised working conditions which facilitate more creativity, communication and performance are thus accorded an ever greater focus in new buildings or when refurbishing office buildings.

 In doing so, acoustics, climate, lighting and space have to be harmonised with one another and incorporate the very latest scientific knowledge. Meeting rooms, for instance, promote a creative exchange of ideas and brainstorming. The office of the future is – more than ever – a place for encounters and interconnecting. Apart from the walls, it is mainly floorings that are characterising stylistic elements with varying purposes in aesthetic designs for office and administrative areas. Not only do they have to be hard-wearing, but also convincing in their design and functionality.

Floor covering with a 3D structure

When it comes to such demanding requirements, rubber floor coverings from nora systems are the first choice for many customers in the property business. Christian Becker, managing director of the beverages manufacturer IQ 4 YOU from Landsberg, also decided in favour of the design-oriented products from the Weinheim-based rubber specialist. IQ 4 YOU has been developing innovative beverage concepts and brands since 2005 and markets them internationally. Its “Energy XXL-Vodka-Mix” was even the “Product of the Year” in 2011. In 2012, its business success meant that the company had to relocate: in spring, IQ 4 YOU moved into its new premises in Obermeitingen with 600 square metres of administration and office space and 1,800 square metres of warehouse space. “The aesthetic design of the new premises had top priority for us,” stresses Becker.

The norament 926 crossline rubber floor covering with its 3D structure and extremely expressive colours fitted perfectly into this concept. The covering had been designed exclusively for nora systems in 2011 by the renowned designer Lars Contzen. What makes norament crossline stand out is its marked, yet subtle structure. Varying incidences of light and viewing angles amplify or suppress the relief or 3D character of the flooring. Sometimes its pattern gives it an elevated appearance, at other times it seems to have been embedded into the floor. It only unveils its structure in changing lighting conditions, thus creating the exceptional atmosphere of alternating light and shadow:. “As well as the design, it was above all norament crossline’s range of colours that convinced us,” continues Becker. “We chose red and magenta as these are our corporate colours.”

Focus on ecologically friendly products

The office areas in the new building are bright and have an open plan design. The clearly defined lines of the white furniture and the large glass surfaces provide for calmness and clarity, while the intense colour of the floor covering adds bright accents. To encourage communication and informal discussions between the employees, the company has furnished one area with stand-up tables and seating. Shelving with the entire range of trend beverage products are located here as well, so that at the same time the “brainstorming corner” serves as a point of contact for customers and visitors. Of great importance to IQ 4 YOU was that the floor covering should be environmentally friendly and durable.

“In the planning of the new building we placed great value on a future-oriented and ecologically friendly overall concept,” emphasizes the managing director. The heat insulation and recovery capabilities of the cooling systems totally obviated the need for a heating system. A photo voltaic system and a wind turbine on the 2,000 square metre roof supply the building with electricity. The rooms are exclusively illuminated with LED lamps.

Rubber floor coverings provide footfall sound absorption

Like all products from nora systems, norament 926 crossline does not contain any PVC, plasticizers (phthalates) or halogens (e.g. chlorine). The coverings from the world market leader therefore guarantee healthy indoor air, for which they were the first resilient floor coverings to be awarded the “Blue Angel …for low emissions” eco label as early as 2006. It goes without saying that this new designer product also displays all the other positive qualities of rubber floor coverings such as permanent resilience, wear resistance, a high degree of fire safety, ideal cleaning characteristics and footfall sound absorption. “Sound minimisation in particular was exceptionally important for us to guarantee a quiet working atmosphere,” says Becker. That is why hard floor coverings like stone were not considered at all. This also applied to the stairs which connect the two office levels.

Here IQ 4 YOU chose steptreads made of norament 926 studded. These can be installed quickly and cleanly in one piece, eliminating the need for a laborious installation of stair edges and separately fitted coverings for single-piece risers and treads – an uncomplicated and reasonably priced solution. The black studded flooring which has also been installed on the stairway offers an attractive contrast to the red and magenta-coloured norament crossline with its 3D structure.

Quality, design and function complement one another in a good product – this is the premise for repeatedly innovative solutions at both IQ 4 YOU and nora systems.*

Staff restaurant, Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany

Weinheim, February 2013  – With its bright and friendly atmosphere, the new staff restaurant in the Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen has quickly become a popular meeting place for employees. The 2,600 square metre, 2-storey canteen was opened in September 2011 and replaces the old facility which was in need of refurbishment.

The communicative character of the rooms was an important aspect to Bayer in the construction of the staff restaurant. Consequently, the restaurant, conference and lounge areas have an open, bright and modern design. The food is dispensed on the ground floor, while seating for around 200 people is available on the first floor, which is reached by means of an open stairway and a lift suitable for wheelchairs. Comfortably furnished sitting areas with club armchairs offer guests the opportunity for a relaxed chat with colleagues after lunch over a cup of coffee.

Floor covering with relief structure

The contemporary ambience of the new staff restaurant is emphasised by the rubber floor coverings from nora systems. “We were looking for an attractive, high quality floor covering in an elegant design which highlights the modern interior layout with its predominantly orange colours,” explains Cristina Ferri, architect at Bayer Technology Services. The floor covering also had to be robust and slip-resistant, offer excellent footfall sound absorption and have a minimal installation height. “The norament serra rubber flooring meets these requirements perfectly as well,” adds Ferri. Another important factor for the developer was that the floor covering is environmentally sound. 

The dark grey norament 926 serra with its relief structure lends the staff restaurant an harmonious, and at the same time stylish atmosphere. The chamferd edges distinctly emphasises the tiling character of the installed area. The stairs were also fitted with norament 926 serra. The steps framed in steel and stainless steel border strips set a tasteful note and accentuate the sophisticated design. At the same time, thanks to its slip-resistant surface (with its R10 slip resistance class compliant with DIN 51130) the floor covering contributes to enhancing safety.

Durability for a long product life cycle

nora’s rubber floor coverings are perfectly suited for highly frequented areas with a discerning interior architectural concept, such as restaurants, because they offer an ideal combination of an elegant design and a long life. Its dense sealed “nora cleanguard” surface makes them impervious to stains and means they can be cleaned easily and economically. Spilled liquids like coffee, tea or fruit juice can be quickly wiped up without leaving behind any unsightly blotches. Rubber floor coverings are also largely resistant to soiling by fatty or oily food.

Eco-friendly material – healthy indoor climate

Last, but not least, rubber fascinates with its environmental compatibility. nora systems floor coverings have been awarded numerous Green Design certificates including the “Blue Angel for low emissions”. As a natural raw material, rubber does not contain any toxic plasticizers or halogens and therefore has a positive influence on indoor air. 

Bayer has been fitting its buildings with nora floor coverings for many years now. Shortly after completion of the staff restaurant, around 1,400m? of norament 926 grano and more than 1,000m of S 1023 U skirting were installed in another building. Planning is already underway for the next building project.

Central Administrative Office, LANXESS AG, Leverkusen, Germany

3D design in a test laboratory

Weinheim, February 2013 – Technicians at the rubber test laboratory of Germany‘s leading special chemicals group, LANXESS in Leverkusen, are intensively involved with rubber materials. Before new rubber compounds are launched they are subjected to numerous sophisticated tests using the LANXESS test systems. The experts examine whether the compounds have the desired characteristics and then document the results – and are frequently commissioned to do so by the customer. Leverkusen is home to the headquarters of LANXESS. Not only are the group’s global activities controlled from here, but the city on the Rhine is also the company’s most important production location with the largest workforce.

More than 4,000 employees manufacture products such as base chemicals, primary products and active agents for pharmaceutical products and pesticides, raw materials for paints and lacquers, water purification products, plastic additives, leather chemicals and synthetic rubber products. When the rubber test laboratory was to be renovated at the beginning of 2012, LANXESS did not hesitate to choose a floor covering of the Weinheim based rubber flooring specialist nora systems. “We have been successfully working together with nora for years now,” says Peter Wolf, Key Account Manager at LANXESS. nora systems purchases a significant proportion of the top grade synthetic rubber from the Leverkusen chemicals company to manufacture its floor coverings.

A stylish touch with inlays

The commissioned interior designers from the Cologne agency mediastyles chose the new rubber floor covering norament 926 crossline in LANXESS’ corporate colours red and black for installation in the technical rooms. nora systems had designed the product with the innovative 3D structure in 2011 in collaboration with the internationally renowned designer Lars Contzen. Contzen’s aim was to create a floor covering with a surface reminiscent of handmade wood carvings. The carving structure of norament 926 crossline reates a rich spectrum with plays of light and shadow. The optical effect of the flooring’s relief structure is enhanced or diminished depending upon how the light shines on it and from where it is being looked at.

The world of colour developed exclusively for nora system unites Contzen’s colourcourage® concept with the architecturally proven nora colours, thus offering fascinating options for interior design. “The norament 926 crossline design convinced us in every respect,” says mediastyles managing director, qualified designer Dirk Behrendt. The rubber floor covering emphasises the representative character of the rooms – a key factor for LANXESS since the test laboratory is visited by customers from all over the world. The largest proportion of the technical rooms were fitted out with norament 926 crossline in black. Rectangular inlays made of norament 926 crossline in red add a tasteful touch.

Hard wearing and environmentally sound

Important aspects for the head of the test laboratory, Dr. Klaus Wrana, were also the wear resistance and robustness of the rubber floor coverings. Like all nora products, norament 926 crossline is also largely resistant to chemicals. On account of their extremely dense surface, nora floor coverings do not require a coating either, and they are easy to clean. In turn, the staff working in the test laboratory appreciate the high walking and standing comfort of the rubber coverings. Because it is very resilient, norament 926 crossline is kind to joints and the spine and thus contributes to creating ergonomic workplaces.

A further attribute that spoke in favour of products from the global market leader in Weinheim is their environmental compatibility. nora floor coverings do not contain any plasticizers (phthalates), chlorine-organic compounds or halogens. The rubber coverings have been awarded numerous Green Design certificates such as the “Blue Angel for low emissions” from leading test institutes for their outstanding ecological properties. norament 926 crossline also fulfils Federal Environmental Agency regulations on indoor air hygiene – a significant criterion for the LANXESS chemicals group, which, like nora systems, has anchored climate protection as a core theme of its corporate guidelines.

And last, but not least, LANXESS appreciates the excellent customer service that nora systems provide. “The renovation of the rubber test laboratory had to be accomplished as quickly as possible,” says Key Account Manager Wolf. “With its fast delivery and extensive support, nora once again proved itself to be a premium supplier.”*

Cinematic experience in superior surroundings

Weinheim, June 2012 – An unusual design is their trademark: With their futuristic architectural designs, the chain of CinemaxX multiplex cinemas occupies a special place in the German cinematic landscape. The CinemaxX group currently operates a total of 34 cinema centres in Germany and Denmark with 295 big screens and around 78,000 seats.

The corporation is regarded as a pioneer in designing modern multiplex cinemas and an innovation leader with regard to their technical systems. The outstanding comfort and quality standards include sophisticated video and audio systems, oversized screens, modern comfortable armchairs in air-conditioned film theatres, as well as a subtle ambience. By constantly modernizing its cinemas, the CinemaxX group makes sure that they always keep up with the very latest trends.

Clean Lines

“The operator wanted the CinemaxX in Bielefeld to be extensively renovated in a completely new look in keeping with the corporate interior design we had developed in 2010,” relates Belinda Mull from Hamburg-based Studio Elbglanz. The interior designer adapts the corporate interior elements as an innovative creation concept for every commissioned multiplex cinema: “My aim was to achieve a formal reduction of the interior, so to speak as an attractive medium for what is taking place.” The use of airiness and much light was intended to create a link in the building between the indoor space and outside. “The bright, clear and inspiring ambience in the foyer and the areas outside the film theatres underlines the innovation leadership of Germany’s best-known cinema chain,” explains the designer. Bielefeld’s CinemaxX, the largest cinema in East Westphalia, was reopened in May 2012 with a big show event. Visitors to the eight theatres offering around 2,600 seats can choose from the latest blockbusters well as alternative films.

Floor covering with fine, silky shine

The designer wanted the floor covering in the new multiplex cinema to underscore an homogeneous overall appearance, round off the unusual design concept and discreetly put the interior into the limelight. Following in-depth research, Mull decided in favour of the rubber floor coverings from nora systems. Noraplan uni in elegant grey and lime now forms a perfect contrast to the apple green, magenta, violet and white seat elements in the foyer. The stairways have also been laid with noraplan uni in green. “Among other things, its fine, silky shine really makes the floor covering stand out,” says the satisfied designer. Before the renovation, the cinema had been fitted with carpeting. For various reasons, Belinda Mull definitely wanted to avoid using a textile floor covering again, whereby durability, comfort and footfall noise insulation are critical factors for CinemaxX. And floor coverings from nora systems satisfy these criteria to the full.

Extremely hard-wearing and economic

Rubber floor coverings from nora are extremely resistant and practically indestructible on account of their dense, closed surface. This is especially beneficial in highly frequented buildings where the floor covering is subjected to strain not just from dirt, but also from the dampness brought in by people on rainy days.The dense surface of the rubber floor coverings offers even more advantages. For instance, they are very easy to clean. Spilled liquids, for example, can be easily wiped up without leaving behind any unsightly stains. And oily and greasy food doesn’t leave any lasting traces either. “The uncomplicated cleaning was a decisive factor in choosing the floor covering,” confirms Belinda Mull. And in contrast to other resilient floor coverings, nora rubber floor coverings do not require a coating that would have to be renewed, in itself a time-consuming and expensive process. All of these factors have a positive impact on the flooring’s economic efficiency.

Comfortable and ecologically sound

Rubber has even more benefits to offer, for example a high degree of standing and walking comfort. Not only is the material slip-resistant and foot-warm, but it is extreme resilience means that it is also kind to body joints. Footfall noise is also absorbed exceedingly well, providing for pleasant acoustics in the cinema even on days with large numbers of customers. “With the floor covering, CinemaxX placed great importance on good footfall noise insulation and a high degree of walking comfort,” emphasises the interior designer. And last, but not least, rubber is distinguished by its ecological compatibility. The floor coverings from nora systems have been awarded numerous eco-labels including the “Blue Angel …for low emissions”. Since rubber does not contain any toxic plasticizers or halogens, it has a positive effect on the room climate as a whole. The benefits of rubber have convinced Belinda Mull: The CinemaxX cinema in Oldenburg, which was also completely renovated and given a modern design in March 2012, was likewise fitted with noraplan uni.

City of Westminster College, London

The landmark educational facility and icon of West London, the City of Westminster College has finally opened to over 8,000 students on the Paddington Green Campus. One of the many outstanding design solutions and innovative features for the college was the specification of the norament Loose Lay rubber floor tile.

The new main campus has been designed by international award-winning architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen to be state of the art, sustainable and flexible. The building’s spiralling atrium and circulation areas remains sensitive to the surrounding environment, providing natural light and air ventilation amidst study zones and work stations. The norament 975 LL (loose lay) floor covering was an ideal choice in order to stay in keeping with the pioneering design of the college and support the unrivalled vision of Schmidt Hammer Lassen. The norament 975 LL product is a loose lay tile which is extraordinarily dimensionally stable and has excellent lying performance. The floor covering can be securely, quickly and cost-effectively fixed in a simple way without requiring the otherwise necessary subfloor preparation, using Quickfix dry adhesive stickers.

The cost effective, easy to install floor system, allowed for installation of the rubber tile over a very short window during the program. Throughout the schedule of the construction phase, this enabled other contractors to develop and complete works under the floor which would normally be inconceivable. The system of self-adhesive quick fix squares enable the rubber tile to be laid off grid across a raised access floor without any further preparation or bond. The tile in essence was installed straight onto the panel, allowing for a very rapid installation process which in turn helped to reduce the otherwise lengthy fitting period required for traditional methods of application.

Ultimately as with any large project, flexibility is always beneficial and the loose lay system ensured that regardless of floor void, any maintenance or repair that is required under the floor, the system confidently supports the reinstatement process. Across 8,000sm of floor pace this is a practical advantage which guarantees flexibility and movement required throughout the construction phase and for any future works.

norament 975 LL benefits from the special features of the loose lay along with the characteristics which make other products from nora floor coverings world renowned. The latest loose lay product combines existing and pioneering characteristics: the floor covering does not contain any PVC, plasticizers or halogens, is extremely durable and easy to clean thanks to the extremely dense, closed surface and nora cleanguard.

nora rubber floor coverings are repeatedly preferred for schools worldwide, thanks to the high resilience and low maintenance costs. For years to come, The City of Westminster College will benefit from the revolutionary loose lay product of nora rubber floor coverings.

noraplan sentica convinces with its harmonious colours and healthy living characteristics

 Colours create moods and influence our well-being. Architects are making use of this knowledge, particularly in designing buildings such as hospitals, universities and administration offices that exude a positive atmosphere. nora systems has recognised this trend and incorporates it in an innovative rubber floor covering. The 38 colours used for noraplan sentica correspond to the Natural Color System (NCS), which makes it easier to plan the overall colour concept for buildings.

The harmonious colour composition of noraplan sentica is the result of close cooperation between colour experts, international architects and the product developers at nora systems. Their aim with the new floor covering was to do justice to both future colour and design trends, as well as to the increasing demand for sustainable building and healthy living.

Sylvia Leydecker, a certified engineer from Cologne who specialises in corporate interior design, assisted with the final colour collection for noraplan sentica in an advisory capacity with marked results. The process started with a survey of architects from all over the world from China to the USA. “The colleagues had said which colour trends they foresee being used for floor coverings and which colours they need to put their planning ideas into practice,” explains Leydecker. To combine the international, and in part rather different tastes to create a range of colours was a challenge which the team has successfully mastered.

Colour collection for the global market

“With the colour system for noraplan sentica, we have succeeded in developing a collection for the global market,” Leydecker is delighted to say. The broad spectrum of natural tones of grey and brown is one contributing factor to this success. “These timeless floor covering colours are in demand all over the world because they open up a great wealth of design opportunities and will still be contemporary even years later,” the interior designer says knowingly. “On the other hand, the strong solitaire colours allow the planners to make an individual statement.” 

Designers are focusing more and more on the floor covering when it comes down to achieving a harmonious spatial effect and ambience of well-being in buildings. “We are observing a trend towards more nature in the choice of floor coverings where both colours and materials are concerned,” says Olaf Kuppers, interior designer at TMK in Dusseldorf. Environmentally compatible products in warm, natural tones are in particular demand for creating a comfortable room atmosphere. “nora systems satisfies these demands with the range of colours it uses for noraplan sentica.”

Colour system encourages combinations

The noraplan sentica colour system comprises 32 colours which are complemented by six accentuating solitaire colours. All the colours in the range can be perfectly combined with one another both horizontally, as well as vertically and diagonally. This well thought-out system makes it considerably easier for planners to create stylish rooms with a feel-good character. 

The demure design of noraplan sentica gives the floor area an almost uni-coloured appearance, creating inviting and soothingly peaceful rooms. At the same time, the harmoniously dispersed granulate effectively hides dirt. noraplan sentica proves that optimum functionality and elegant design do not have to be a contradiction in terms.

Their dense closed surface allows nora rubber floor coverings to be cleaned extremely easily, and they do not require a coating. The outstanding resistance to wear, means that they look almost as good as new years later, even in highly frequented public areas. This long life span is the reason why nora floor coverings are so cost-effective.

Certified environmental compatibility

Another key factor which contributes to making us feel good in buildings is a good indoor climate. The theme of healthy living is increasingly gaining in emphasis, particularly in the public building construction sector. What this means is the quality of the indoor air, which is primarily determined by the choice of building materials. The floor covering plays a decisive role here, because the floor represents a large proportion of the room. Architects are resorting more and more to low-emission products such as rubber for new buildings or renovations for this very reason.

Just like all other nora products, noraplan sentica consists of high-grade industrial and natural rubber qualities, naturally occurring minerals, as well as environmentally compatible colour pigments. nora floor coverings do not contain any PVC, plasticizers (phthalates) or halogens (e.g. chlorine). Consequently, noraplan sentica, the newest member of the nora product family, has been awarded numerous Green Design certificates such as the “Blue Angel… for low emissions”, and thus fulfils the most stringent standards for good indoor air quality.

With its design-oriented and environmentally sound floor coverings, nora systems offers the perfect solution for all those involved in constructing buildings. Architects can plan creatively and put their visionary designs into practice. At the same time, the high expectations of developers with regard to sustainability and preservation of the value of their real estate are also met. And everybody who lives or works in the building benefits from the comfortable, healthy-living atmosphere. *

red dot design award

Symbiosis of rubber and granite wins red dot design award

nora systems has been honoured with the globally coveted “red dot design award 2012” for outstanding product design. The innovative noraplan unita floor covering succeeded in convincing the jury of international experts with its unusual combination of rubber and granite materials. Creative designers and manufacturers from all over the world had submitted a total of 4,515 designs to this prestigious product competition.

The special characteristic of the new rubber floor covering, launched by nora systems in autumn 2011, is the combination of two totally contradictory, yet perfectly complementary natural materials. The granite particles sprinkled in the matt rubber reflect light in all its facets, creating ever-changing effects on the floor depending upon the angle of incidence. With its versatile, but at the same time reserved design, noraplan unita endows rooms with a particularly elegant atmosphere and can be integrated into any building. 

Recognition for outstanding design

“With their achievements, the prize winners have demonstrated not only an extraordinarily high quality of design, but also that design is an integral component of innovative product solutions,” says Professor Peter Zec, the initiator and managing director of the red dot design award. Alexander K. Althof, CEO of nora systems GmbH, is also convinced that “investing in creative ideas pays off.” “An interdisciplinary team has worked intensively on the development of noraplan unita. We are delighted about the recognition for this work and the fact that we have convinced the international jury with our unique product design.

nora floor covering in the red dot design museum

The internationally acknowledged seal of quality will be presented on July 2, 2012 at the traditional red dot gala. More than 1,000 international guests from the worlds of design, industry, politics and media will come together in Essen’s Aalto theatre to celebrate the climax of this year’s competition. The award-winning products will then go on display at a 4-week long special exhibition in the red dot design museum. The museum, housed in the impressive atmosphere of the former boiler house of the Zollverein coal mine, is the world’s biggest permanent exhibition of contemporary design with more than 1,500 products on display over more than 4,000 square metres. 

The red dot design award has been conferred since 1955, and has established itself internationally as one of the most coveted seals of quality for excellent design. In 2011 alone, more than 14,000 applications were submitted for the competition from over 70 countries.

On healthy ground

Floor coverings of rubber are the first choice for schools and nurseries

Especially where schools and nurseries are concerned, ever greater importance is being attached to the subject of healthy living. What this means is the quality of indoor air in buildings, which is primarily determined by the choice of building materials. The floor covering plays a decisive role here, because the floor takes up a large area in the room. In new and renovated nurseries and schools, developers should choose low emission products like floor coverings of rubber.

We Germans spend on average about 80–90% of our time in closed rooms. The indoor climate is therefore crucial to our well being and our health. Above all children, whose immune system is still developing, react sensitively to pollutants in indoor air and may suffer irritation of the mucous membranes, headaches, asthma, and allergies as a result.

One of the causes promoting these complaints lies in the effective heat insulation installed in new buildings. In conjunction with modern window systems, this acts as a virtually airtight seal around rooms, preventing draughts that were earlier so common, and therefore the supply of fresh air. Poor ventilation increases the indoor concentration of pollutants that are given off by furniture, fittings, and building materials. Above all plasticisers (phthalates), a general constituent of PVC floor coverings, have come under fire.

Plasticisers a health hazard

In a drive to determine the burden of pollution on children (“KiTas unter der Lupe – Zukunft ohne Gift”), the largest environmental group in Germany BUND recently analysed dust samples from 200 institutes. The result: The dust from all nurseries exhibited above average high levels of plasticisers. According to this study, it is particularly infants whose health and development are at jeopardy because plasticisers are suspected of interfering in the hormone system and therefore disrupting the healthy development of organs.

Polluted indoor air also caused problems at the Regenbogenschule primary school in Hemer, North Rhine-Westphalia. Shortly after it had opened in 2009, it had to be closed again because the children and teachers complained of offensive smells, coughing, and irritation to the respiratory tract. The indoor air was then measured and found to contain harmful substances. There was no other choice but to renovate the whole building. Markus Rahrbach, Project Manager for Building Management in the Mark Brandenburg district, drew the obvious conclusion: “We clearly saw that only sustainable and healthy building materials may be used.” Rahrbach therefore decided in favour of the rubber floor coverings from nora systems.

Floor covering as a system solution for a healthy living environment

Rubber scores on many levels: as a safe raw material it is free of PVC, phthalates, and other plasticisers and does not contain any organochlorine compounds or halogens. Yet nora systems, a leader on the world market for rubber floor coverings, has taken a step further on the road to healthy building and developed the system solution nora system blue. This complies with the indoor air health guidelines issued by the Federal Environmental Office and was also installed in the Regenbogenschule.

All of the installation materials for nora system blue are a harmonised combination of primer, filler, adhesive, etc., and the rubber floor covering itself. These materials have therefore been approved for the quality label “Blue Angel for low emissions”. Yet not only that: “The personnel installing this floor covering have received special training, passed both written and practical examinations, and been certificated by the TUV Rheinland Safety Inspectorate,” explained Friedhelm Beiteke, Sales Manager for Germany at nora systems. “Before a floor can be verified to be ecologically safe, both its installation materials taken separately and their interaction with each other must fulfil healthy living and sustainability criteria.” 

A further advantage of nora system blue is the close collaboration during installation. The developer, installation company, and experts for nora system applications share their ideas and experience at regular intervals and can therefore respond together to the most diverse requirements on site. Also, every phase of the installation is documented meticulously – ensuring transparency and safety for both developers and users.

“Green” building a new trend

Building according to environmental criteria is pointing the way into the future. When nora systems recognised this at an early stage, it committed both its product portfolio and its corporate philosophy to the advancement of sustainability. With its environmental product declaration under DIN EN ISO 14025, the company has become devoted to the Green Design certification of the German Sustainable Building Council DGNB. Moreover, nora systems has been validated since 1996 under EMAS, the voluntary environmental management and audit scheme applying throughout Europe.

With its system solution nora system blue, the company also ranks among the exclusive partners of the Sentinel-Haus Institut (SHI) in Freiburg. The concept of the same name developed at the SHI serves as a contract that guarantees developers and investors indoor air for a healthy living environment. This involves testing all of the used building materials for their emissions. In addition, planners and personnel are trained in how to handle these low emission materials. At the end of the building or renovation project, an independent expert measures the quality of the indoor air and confirms its healthy living properties.

 “The materials our partners use have been verified to be low emission and healthy,” stressed Peter Bachmann, Managing Director of the SHI. “nora systems is a key constituent of our network. After all, floors always take up large areas in buildings and often cause health problems when they are not low emission. Rubber floor coverings are an excellent solution for healthy living especially in nurseries and schools.”*

Hygiene begins on the floor

Rubber floor coverings are safe and environmentally compatible

For years, the hygiene departments of clinics and other health care facilities have been occupied with the control of infections caused by multiresistant microbes. In addition to extensive preventive and hygiene measures for patients and medical personnel, also the choice of suitable building materials can contribute to the prevention of these infections. At the focus of special attention is the floor covering, which takes up a large area in every building.

In Germany, half a million patients at clinics still become infected with hospital microbes, and according to the Robert Koch Institute 20,000 of them die of these so called nosocomial infections. Particularly serious are still the consequences of infection with the Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to most antibiotics.

Yet also the spread of Gram negative rod shaped bacteria ESBL (extended spectrum beta lactamases) has increased greatly over the past years. This bacterial group, which also includes klebsiellae, enterobacteria, and salmonellae, occurs in the intestine where it produces an enzyme that makes many conventional antibiotics ineffective. The consequences are serious infections of the bladder, wounds, and the respiratory tract. Between 2003 and 2008, infections with this dangerous bacterial group grew fourfold.

In the fight against these multiresistant pathogens, the building materials are becoming the focus of every greater attention because they have a considerable effect on the hygiene standards in clinics and other medical institutes. Particular importance is attached here to the type of floor covering.

Dangerous microbes in the coatings

Floor coverings made of linoleum or PVC can also have hygienic deficits because the coating is only a few micrometers thick and prone to wearing out quickly, not just as the result of mechanical strain, but from normal cleaning as well. Germs quickly colonise worn out patches.

An alternative for perfect hygiene is provided here by rubber floor coatings from nora systems. Owing to their extremely tight surface and their UV polymerisation, they need neither a coating nor varnish. The danger of viruses or bacteria penetrating the floor covering is therefore eliminated.

Hygiene through gap free installation

Unlike other flexible floor coverings, nora rubber coverings do not present gaps that must be sealed – and that therefore provide a further niche for microbes. Even after thorough cleaning, the gaps in floor coverings can still offer pathogens a place where they can settle and multiply. 

nora rubber coverings do not contain plasticisers (phthalates), so they cannot shrink, for instance like PVC floor coverings, when these substances volatilise over time. Rubber floor coverings retain their dimensions even after decades. Yet their gap free installation minimises not only the danger of microbial invasion. There is also no time consuming and costly sealing maintenance, so nora floor coverings are also the most economical solution for clinics over the long term. 

Moreover, a floor covering’s disinfectant properties are also very important for an extensive hygiene concept at hospitals. nora rubber floor coverings are resistant to surface disinfectants and stains and are bacterio- and fungistatic. Also the short term action of solvents or diluted acids or alkalis leave no permanent marks. Even substances containing iodine like skin disinfectants can be removed with ease.
A study by the Hygiene Institute of Heidelberg University in 2004 confirmed that floors fitted free of gaps with nora rubber coatings can be fully disinfected.

Permanent solution for good indoor air

Yet rubber floor coverings not only present convincing hygiene aspects. Especially hospitals and health care facilities attach great importance to the quality of indoor air. All nora floor coverings have been free of harmful plasticisers throughout their history. With its certificated installation system nora system blue, the company is taking yet another step ahead on the path to a healthy living environment for patients and staff.

nora system blue is a low emission system that applies not only to the rubber covering itself, but also to all of the installation materials, which are installed by qualified personnel only. Every single constituent of this system solution complies with the indoor air health guidelines issued by the Federal Environmental Office and has been approved for the “Blue Angel” eco label.

A further advantage of nora system blue is the close collaboration during installation. The developer, installation company, and experts for nora system applications share their ideas and experience at regular intervals and can therefore respond together to the most diverse requirements on site. Also, every phase of the installation is documented meticulously – ensuring transparency and safety for both developers and users.

The sealed and uncoated surface of nora rubber floor coverings also makes unnecessary the use of aggressive cleaning agents – and this too helps to minimise emissions to indoor air. *

Centre for Pediatric Oncology, Moscow

Centre of hope

Giving new hope for children suffering from cancer, Russia’s largest paediatric oncology centre opened in Moscow in June 2011. The clinic, one of the most modern anywhere in Europe, lies in the south-west part of the Russian capital but children with cancer come from all over the country to be treated at the paediatric oncology centre (Federal Scientific Centre for Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Immunology). The clinic is also a central advanced training institute for around 600 Russian paediatric oncology specialists.

The opening of the paediatric oncology centre is the culmination of a successful German-Russian cooperation project where technical and medical advisers from Germany were involved in planning the construction, while Germany’s foreign ministry gave assistance in ensuring that the doctors were qualified in line with European standards. The general contractor for the new centre, which cost 300 million euros, was Transumed GmbH-Medizintechnik from Koblenz with the implementation planning being taken over by its subsidiary Hospital Technology, while Berlin-based interior designer Bettina Koenen was responsible for the design concept and interior planning. The new centre comprises 220 beds for in-patients, a day clinic with 20 beds, and a polyclinic. 25 departments – including transplantation, oncohaematology, immunopathology, oncosurgery, neuro-oncology, radiotherapyand radiodiagnostic departments – can be found together with three operating theatres and 14 laboratories.

Cheerful colours disperse fear

“The children’s clinic should meet the most stringent requirements with regard to functionality, safety and hygiene, and at the same time be a place with a positive, cheerful atmosphere that contributes to the young patients’ recovery,” Koenen describes the planners’ task. “With its bright colours the building is reminiscent of aplay house, and that takes away the children’s fears. ”The clear colourful tones inside and outside the building reflect the children’s perception of colour, as they initially learn to differentiate between the prime colours red, blue and yellow. Supplemented by the complementary colours green and orange, a primary colour is allocated to each of the five wings of the clinic and also serves as orientation.

Floor covering inlays inspire children to play

The rubber floor coverings from nora systems, which are installed in all parts of the clinic, also contribute to the ambitious design concept of the paediatric oncology centre. The main colours of green, orange, yellow, blue and red were chosen for the flooring. “The large choice of colours available with noraplan signa appealed me,” says interior designer Koenen. “It means that the floor covering can be ideally combined with other materials.” To create more exciting waiting areas for the young patients and to encourage them to play, the designer also incorporated inlays in the floor coverings. For example, the floor of one of the playrooms in the polyclinic’s waiting area features a sea landscape. The inlays for this design were cut to shape at nora systems in Weinheim from noraplan signa using ultrasonic technology. “As was the case throughout the project, the exemplary service and technical advice provided by nora systems was outstanding,” emphasises Koenen.

Safe and economically viable floor covering 

But it was not just the optical merits of the rubber coverings that convinced the architect. nora floor coverings do not require a coating, are easy to clean, hard-wearing and have an extremely long service life. In the long term, this made them the most economically viable solution for the clinic. nora’s products also fulfil the stringent hygienic standards that apply to floor coverings used in hospitals. In the operating theatres and radiology department, the electrostatically dissipative noraplan signa covering protects both staff as well as the sensitive electronic appliances against electric shocks. The ergonomic characteristics of nora floor coverings also enhance the walking and standing comfort for doctors and nursing staff as the resilient coverings exert less strain on the spine and muscles.

Another aspect that spoke in favour of the products from the Weinheim-based global market leader concerned their fire-toxicological properties. nora floorcoverings are virtually inflammable, and in the event of a fire they do not release any hydrogen chloride which can lead to acid burns of the respiratory tract. “That persuaded the Russian authorities,” the interior designer knows for a fact. Koenen is nothing but satisfied with the building project: “The new paediatric oncology centre offers a diverse, but nevertheless harmonious environment for patients, visitors and staff – a functional ambience with a feel good factor.”

For safety underfoot

Rubber is the ideal floor covering in residential homes for the elderly

Weinheim, February 2012 – Knowledge of gerontology and nursing science today plays a central role in choosing the fittings for residential homes for the elderly. The utilised building materials should contribute to preserving and improving the residents’ quality of life. The main decisive factor regarding the well-being and safety of old people is the choice of floor covering. Not only can it help to prevent falls, or to at least minimise the harmful consequences, it also has an impact on the quality of the indoor air.

The growing proportion of very old residents or those suffering from dementia in residential homes for the elderly and nursing homes is also resulting in changing requirements where the interior fittings are concerned. In addition to a homely atmosphere, safety aspects in particular are becoming more and more significant. Many facilities now have programmes for maintaining or improving the mobility of senior citizens. The main aim of care staff and physiotherapists is to help residents walk with more assuredness, including those who are reliant on walking aids or zimmer frames. The floor covering can support these therapeutic measures.

For example, the surface of the floor covering should not be reflective because people suffering from dementia are afraid to walk on apparently smooth surfaces. However, a dull floor covering makes old people less uncertain and improves their walking behaviour. It is also advisable to choose a plain floor covering wherever possible since multi-coloured coverings or incorporated inlays can likewise cause disorientation. To prevent falls, or at least minimise their consequences, the floor covering must also be slip-resistant and extremely resilient.

Rubber floor coverings alleviate the consequences of falls

This is where rubber floor coverings from nora systems offer an ideal solution. On the one hand they are slip-resistant, while on the other their matt refractive structure prevents visual irritation such as reflections, which helps to prevent falls. However, since falls cannot always be avoided in spite of numerous preventive measures, the floor covering has to absorb the energy of an impact as much as possible to prevent serious injuries like femoral neck fractures. Rubber is clearly superior to other resilient floor coverings here as well. This is indisputably demonstrated by case studies that were accompanied by the Bethseda geriatric clinic in Ulm.

The four millimetres thick noraplan acoustic rubber coverings absorb more force of an impact (almost 50 percent) than other resilient floor coverings. This means that the force of a fall on the hip can be reduced by practically half. 

In the Rupprechtstegen senior citizen’s and care centre near Nuremberg, the linoleum floor coverings were replaced with rubber coverings in 2007 – with positive results: “We have established that the total number of falls here has been significantly reduced since the installation of the rubber coverings,” says the centre’s director, psycho-gerontologist Sabine Distler. “The consequences of falls have become less serious as well.” Considerably fewer residents have had to be sent to hospital due to injuries after a fall. 

The management of the Albert-Schweizer-Haus in Marienmunster-Vorden (North Rhine-Westphalia) have had the same experience. At this senior citizen’s home, which was opened in 2005, all the rooms and living areas (with the exception of the kitchen units and bathrooms) are fitted with rubber floor coverings from nora systems. 112 falls were recorded here between 2005 and 2007. “That’s an unusually low rate for a facility of our size,” director Elisabeth Klennert is pleased to say. Only two falls, or 1.78 percent of the total number, resulted in a femoral neck fracture, and both of these residents fell over on the hard tiles in a bathroom.

Rubber floors put less strain on joints

Due to their high degree of resilience, rubber coverings are also extremely kind to the joints, which is beneficial not only to the residents, but to the nursing staff as well. As the director of the home in Rupprechtstegen, Sabine Distler recalls: “Our living units were renovated one after the other with generous breathing spaces for the residents and reorganising times for the staff. With this transition period, the staff were able to distinctly notice the difference between the old linoleum covering and the new rubber floor. The rubber covering is immediately perceived as being soft, pleasant and beneficial to walk on.”

Fresh indoor air for greater quality of life

The indoor air also plays a major role in the quality of the life of people in senior citizens’ and nursing homes – and this is significantly dependent on the kind of floor covering that is laid. Soiling of the floor with urine or excrement cannot be avoided in day-to-day life there. With a porous surface, some of the contamination sticks to the covering even if it is cleaned straight away. This process is amplified over the course of the years and is one of the reasons why the indoor air of many senior citizens’ and nursing homes is perceived as being unpleasant.

But bad odour is not the only problem. Floor coverings made of linoleum or PVC can also have hygienic deficits because the coating is only a few micrometers thick and prone to wearing out, not just as the result of mechanical strain, but from normal cleaning as well. Bacteria quickly colonise worn out patches. With the increasing spread of multi-resistant germs (MRSA), the floor covering can thus become a safety hazard.

That is why Joachim Vetter, a publicly appointed and sworn expert for economic performance assessments for nursing facilities and homes in Amerang, recommends the installation of rubber floor coverings. Even without a coating, these have an extremely dense surface that cannot be penetrated by excrement. In turn, hygienically clean floors have a positive effect on the indoor air and consequently on the well-being of residents and staff. Rubber floor coverings are also resistant to all commonly used surface disinfectants and can be easily cleaned without the use of aggressive cleaning agents, which also contributes to ensuring a good indoor climate. *

The fascination of contrasts

Rubber and granite united in an unrivalled combination.

Weinheim, November 28, 2011. When opposites meet, the effect can be one of incompatibility – or it can even be unexpectedly harmonious. Combining nora rubber floorings with granite produces such a surprising harmony. Two materials that could not be any more different, but which nevertheless complement one another perfectly. The result is a new floor covering called noraplan unita.

noraplan unita impresses with a previously unknown blend of materials in a unique design. The granite chips are dispersed randomly and overwhelmingly subtle. Light is the great ally of noraplan unita – its reflections on the otherwise matt flooring create a vivacious und exquisite atmosphere. This is enhanced by an alternately discriminating and more concentrated dispersion of the granite, the so-called glitter variant. With noraplan unita, the stone has become a design-defining constituent of the resilient and dimensionally stable nora rubber flooring. “How the light plays on unita lends it a versatile design, which allows the floor covering to be laid in all manner of spatial situations. This makes it the perfect supplement for our customers’ architecture,” says Carsten Klever, Product Manager for the noraplan line of products. 

The innovative design of the flooring does nothing to com-promise the familiar nora quality. noraplan unita is yet another extremely tough and environmentally compatible rubber floor covering that is healthy to walk and stand on. What on the face of it sounds so simple was a real chal-lenge: Development work on incorporating this combina-tion of materials in the new nora floor covering, unique in the history of rubber floorings, lasted over a year. “What we have come up with is a true all-rounder”, says Dieter Rischer, head of the Design and Development division at nora systems. 

The challenge faced by nora was how to handle processing the hard granite with the resilient rubber. In contrast to conventional methods of dispersing granules, it immediately became evident that the stone could not be incorporated in the same way.

nora systems has been ready to go into production since the autumn of this year. “The answer to the key question of how we mastered this challenge will remain our secret,” says Stefan Muller from the technical engineering department with a telling smile. “This outstanding product goes to show that we did actually achieve it.”

The two design variants of noraplan unita have a timeless and natural character. Whether puristic or elegant, a stylistic element or a supplementary feature suitable for everyday use, noraplan unita is a piece of flooring architecture in close touch with nature. 

noraplan unita is available in 12 different natural shades of colour with discreetly dispersed granite. Those who prefer a more sparkling effect can choose between the four natural colours of the glitter variant. noraplan unita is, of course, also available as part of the successful nora system blue concept. *

Inspirational encounter on many levels

Rubber displays itself in 3D and copious colours

Weinheim, November 28, 2011. The market launch of norament crossline marks yet another of this year’s highlights from nora systems. The exceptional characteristic of this new line of products is the vibrant interplay of structure and colour, light and shade. nora systems presents a real designer’s item in 16 striking colours – norament crossline designed by Lars Contzen.

“The idea is based on woodcuts. The roughness is familiar from looking at artistic wood carvings. The mark of the artist, the handcrafting skills, are still evident,” explains the designer. That is precisely what he found so interesting, says Contzen, and what is missing from the modern world of today – an original piece of handicraft. 

The norament product line is manufactured in metre-square tiles. The relief structure used for norament crossline means that the tiles have to be fitted with millimetre-fine precision. “If you imagine a room of between 40 and 50 square metres in size, it becomes a formidable challenge to present it in its entirety so that there are no disruptions within the laid flooring surface,” explains Jurgen Karger, Product Manager at norament. “The result is an extremely open design. The impact arises from its multi-level structure and it isn’t visually strenuous to look at,” adds Contzen.

What makes norament crossline stand out is its marked, yet subtle structure. Varying incidences of light and viewing angles amplify or suppress the relief or 3D character of the flooring. “The floor only reveals itself over the course of time,” explains Contzen. Sometimes its pattern gives it an elevated appearance, at other times it seems to have been embedded into the floor. It only unveils its structure in changing lighting conditions, thus creating the exceptional atmosphere of alternating light and shadow: “You could say that norament crossline is three floorings in one”. 

Alongside the outstanding design, norament crossline captivates with its broad range of colours. “Essentially, the architect can let his ideas run wild. The flooring has got colour, but not colourfulness. Added to this is the three-dimensional aspect, which materialises or disappears again, and that’s what really makes it so special,” concludes Karger. The result is a design object with a spectrum of colours ranging from the effervescent through to the strong and subdued. There is a suitable variation for every taste and mood. *

Macquarie Bank, Ropemaker Place

Originating from Sydney, Australia in 1969, Macquarie’s UK commercial office environment is situated on Ropemaker Place, London, where they are dedicated to providing a diversified range of services to their clients.

The brief of this project was to create a unique central staircase. In order for the aim to be fulfilled a special red colour was produced in the norament 926 stair tread material. Working with the innovative design of the building, Clive Wilkinson architects began turning the central atrium space into the main focal point of the building. However, the architects also had to keep the health and safety of the staff and visitors using the stairs on a daily basis, at the forefront of their minds.

The stair tread incorporated safety insert strips with the 50 mm strip cut into the top of the stair and 30 mm in the front of the step to ensure the stairwell complied fully with BS8300/DDA standards. The contrast of the grey signal strip ensures that each step is visually pronounced to the staff or visitors using the steps. The studs provided a good slip resistance rating; these two components working together, not only began to create an eye-catching central stairwell, but also ensured maximum safety for all using the stairs.

The stairs were to act as the focal point of the offices, which could be seen when looking up and down the different levels within the building. The dominating red feature set against the grey insert strips created a gentle contrast, which was also illuminated by the lighting on the side of the stair treads. The unique red stair case provides access to all levels within the office to take an interesting stairwell concept into an innovative design feature within the building, thus fulfilling the architects brief.

An additional feature to the stair well was the incorporation of the floor numbers of each level of the office. The numbers made it visible to the employees and visitors as to where they were within the office. norament 926 grey studded tiles were used throughout the rest of the office, a theme that continued within the building, with the studded tiles again contrasting with the central stairwell. The use of the norament 926 studded tile proved the perfect choice for the Macquarie bank offices, not only because of its oil and grease resistant properties, but its 4 mm thickness provides the material with a durable, long lasting life span suitable for the amount of traffic the office see on a daily basis.

nora rubber floor coverings and stair tread systems were the natural choice when thinking about not only the innovative, unique nature of the offices, but also its proven quality and durability to create a magnificent working environment.

New laboratory building WKL 693, Basel, Switzerland

Colour and design for high-tech laboratories

Weinheim, February 2011 – Since the beginning of the year, around 250 employ¬ees at an international pharmaceutical company have been benefiting from an open plan and transparent working atmosphere which facilitates and encourages communication. The 4-storey laboratory and office building situated on an industrial site in Basel was designed and realised by the architect’s office wilhelm and hovenbitzer and partner from Lorrach.

“Basically, we believe it is important that laboratory areas which are markedly defined by technology are given a structure with the aid of colour – and also become more vibrant and inviting,” explains architect Frank Hovenbitzer. “We want to get away from “greige”, the grey-beige monotony which is too often a characteristic of technical and functional areas. Of the three possibilities for bringing colour into the rooms using the walls, furniture fronts or floors, in the laboratories themselves we decided on yellow floors throughout, also to contrast with the grey and anthracite facade.”

Clear structures, short routes

The arrangement of the building, measuring 68 x 27 metres, is open and clearly structured. Open-plan laboratory areas are located along both the long sides of the building. The ends of the building are reserved for “open-space” office areas. Here, dark-stained oak furniture complements the yellow floor coverings, creating a harmonious overall effect. The spaces in between are also succinct: Just like the concrete elements of the facade, the architects also work with the interplay of light and shade in the heart of the building. The two laboratory areas are separated by a brown-coloured corridor area that runs lengthways through the building’s core. Short corridors, completely designed in yellow, link the laboratory areas. These short interconnections and the colour design – applied to all the ceilings, walls and floor coverings – are intended to allow a high degree of communication between the staff working in both areas despite the spatial separation. On the technical side, the layout incorporates a cleverly conceived fire protection and escape route concept which fulfils the stringent fire protection standards for laboratory buildings in the open-space areas without the need for an additional, cost-intensive sprinkler system.

Technical functionality combined with comfort

Due to the varieties of installation areas in industrial buildings, floor coverings have to meet a number of different requirements: outstanding economic viability, suitability for areas exposed to dynamic pressure loads from forklifts and pallet trucks, extensive resistance to chemicals, oil and grease, slip resistance and fire safety characteristics, electrostatic properties and environmental compatibility – to name but a few. The architects decided in favour of rubber coverings from nora systems. Although these are industrial products, they are “in the broadest sense naturalistic”. Another bonus is that they combine technical benefits with comfort. They are resistant, long-lasting, and provide for pleasant spatial effects and acoustics. noraplan signa ed with its dissipative qualities fulfils a dual function. Electrostatic charges are dissipated so quickly that electronic components and devices are protected and incorrect measuring results can be avoided. At the same time, the covering offers effective personal protection and safeguards the people working in those areas against electric shocks. nora systems GmbH is prepared to provide a ten-year warranty on the floor coverings’ electrostatic properties. nora floor coverings offer the potential to implement integral design concepts with different functional properties throughout a building. In the standard range, one can choose from over 300 variations in colour, design and surface. The floor coverings are comple-mented by an extensive assortment of profiles, steptreads and accessories. In combination with, for instance, special ESD protective floorings they allow for a consistant designs in different functional areas throughout the building.*

Universitats-Kinderspital, Basel, Switzerland

A building for a healthy recovery

Weinheim, February 2011 – Colourful, cheerful, vibrant: The new University Children’s Hospital (Universitats-Kinderspital or UKBB) for the two Basel cantons, the most modern of its kind in Switzerland, began operating in January 2011 after a three year construction period. Previously located at two sites, since the move the clinic has been merged under a single roof. This creates synergetic effects and allows for optimum treatment of the young patients. 84 nursing beds and 16 places in the intensive care unit are now available at the children’s hospital. The building developers, the cantons Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, had issued calls for tenders for the new building in the form of an architectural competition, which was won by the Basel-based architects Yves Stump and Hans Schibli with their concept for a transparent and colourful building with an expansive layout.

Floor covering emphasises colour concept

For the competition, the planners were required to conceive a building that exudes an atmosphere of security and trust for the sick children and adolescents, as well as for their relatives. The young patients should be reminded as little as possible of the fact that they are in a hospital. The architects were aware that alongside the spatial concept, colours also play a key role in creating an ambience of well-being. Horizontally applied facade striping on the outside of the building creates astonishing colour effects depending upon the viewpoint of the observer. Inside, the coloured furnishings in the waiting areas and playrooms are an eye-catcher. The cheerful colours chosen for the furniture are perfectly complemented by the rubber floor covering from nora systems in a warm, reddish brown with dispersed chips in orange. The colour used for noraplan mega is custom-made and was specially developed by nora systems for this property in line with the specifications of the architects and developer. “We are very happy with the result and the floor is often praised by visitors as well,” confirms the UKBB project manager responsible for the new building, Philipp Stoll. But it was not just the visual benefits that were a decisive factor for the users: “We wanted an absolutely top-quality floor covering, which meant that it was not just the price that was a key aspect for us, but above all the quality,” stresses Stoll. For instance, the covering should not have to be sealed or have any joint seams, and it had to be lightfast. Due to the large area that was installed, the consistently even layer thickness of noraplan mega was also significant, “since that was the only way of creating a uniform appearance,” appreciates the project manager.

Environmentally friendly premium product

Like all floor coverings from nora systems, noraplan mega also has such low emission levels that it bears the “Blue Angel” environmental label. This was also an important aspect for the developers, for the children’s hospital fulfils the Minergie criteria and is certified with the Minergie label, the leading Swiss energy standard for low energy houses. This obviously meant that the materials that were used likewise had to meet the most stringent requirements with regard to hygiene, the indoor climate and sound insulation. Stoll is convinced: “With noraplan mega, we have chosen a premium product in every respect.”

nora systems managing director, Mr. Heinz Futscher, goes into retirement

Weinheim, 31 January 2011. Heinz Futscher will resign from his office as managing director of nora systems GmbH by 1 February 2011 and will go into retirement. His tasks will be assigned to his colleagues from the management, the managing directors Alexander K. Althof and Christa Hofmann, who will continue to jointly manage the company.

As interim managing director, Heinz Futscher was assigned the task to restructure the then Freudenberg Bausysteme in 2006. The declared objective was to sell the then Freudenberg subsidiary company. After 2007, Heinz Futscher accompanied the successful sales process to the investors. He stayed as managing director, last for development and production, far longer and had a lasting effect on the shaping of nora systems.

Following his activity as managing director for nora systems, Heinz Futscher will assist the company in an advisory capacity as member of the steering committee from February 2011.

Dr. Peter Schwarzenberger is new engineering manager at nora systems

Weinheim, January 2011. Dr. Peter Schwarzenberger became the engineering manager with responsibility for production, research and development as well as engineering technology of nora systems at the beginning of the new year.

In this position, he directly reports to the spokesman of the management, Mr. Alexander K. Althof.  After 11 years of service at the Continental Group, one of the leading automobile suppliers worldwide, the PhD physician transferred to the world market leader for rubber floor coverings in Weinheim.

Based on his earlier positions, Dr. Schwarzenberger can draw on scientific research activities but also on experience gained in sales and field service. At Continental, he held various international management and executive positions, last as worldwide responsible quality manager at the headquarters in Hanover, as well as several years as product industrialisation and quality manager at the French Continental tyre plant. He is perfectly familiar with the material rubber and intends to meet the challenge to continue to position nora systems as leading provider of innovative floor coverings and systems in future.

EXPO 2010 – Walking through the country pavilions on nora floor coverings

With spectacular fireworks, the mega-city of Shanghai gave the starting signal for the EXPO 2010 on May 1st in 2010. True to the motto “Better City, Better Life”, around 240 nations and international organisations present themselves at the EXPO. Around 12,000 square metres of the renowned nora rubber floor coverings are to be found in the various international pavilions. (06/10)

Apart from the “German Pavilion”, the floor coverings of the rubber specialist are also installed in the “Chinese Pavilion”, which is the centrepiece of the exhibition, and the “Shipping Pavilion”. Around 12,000 square metres of the renowned nora rubber floor coverings are to be found in the various international pavilions. Germany participates with its own pavilion with a height of 20 metre and a surface area of approx. 6,000 square metres – the largest possible area a country could obtain. It is named “balancity” – a made-up word combining “balance” and “city” – and also looks great as regards the balance of the chosen nora floor coverings:  Approximately 3,000 square metres were installed here on all four levels.

The designs noraplan uni and norament 825 – the renowned classic round pastille – adorn the exhibition, restaurant as well as the administrative areas and the VIP area. The country with the established brand label “Made in Germany” stands for the quality of its products and the “German Pavilion” thus presents the Federal Republic of Germany as an innovative and future-orientated country which at the same time attaches great importance to maintaining the roots and traditions. nora systems, as an international company with German headquarters and a long tradition, also presents its innovative and future-orientated vision and thus fits ideally into the concept on which the pavilion is based.

The “Crown of the Orient” – the “Chinese Pavilion” – named after the architect He Jingtang, presents itself in the traditional red colour. The building architecture of the landmark of the EXPO 2010 stands out by its characteristic roof in Gugong red: The wooden construction modules of the “Dougong” architecture, based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, represent one of the most important elements in Chinese architecture. The “Crown of the Orient” thus not only symbolises Chinese wisdom in urban development, with its 56 brackets holding together the roof it also represents the number of nationalities in China.

The objective of the design of the “Chinese Pavilion” was to establish a relationship between the EXPO theme and good product performance based on the chosen construction materials.  The planners thus decided in favour of the environ-menttally friendly, resource-saving and low-emission nora rubber floor coverings. A special detail are the 8,000 Chinese characters integrated in the floor covering – inlays which attract the attention of the visitors. Not least because the delicate inlays cut by a special ultrasound cutting technique represent names of Chinese cities.

The nora floor coverings noraplan eco and logic cover around 3,000 square metres of the floor of the “China State Shipbuilding Corporation Pavilion”. The pavilion is recon-structed from an old factory and adds aspects of a new architectural anatomy to it. Its arc structure resembles the keel of a ship whose exterior already hints at the interior of the pavilion. To some visitors the architecture of the building may also look like bones of dragons, bringing to life the insisting spirit of China’s national industries.

The nora floor coverings noraplan eco and logic cover around 3,000 square metres of the floor of the “China State Shipbuilding Corporation Pavilion”. The pavilion is recon-structed from an old factory and adds aspects of a new architectural anatomy to it. Its arc structure resembles the keel of a ship whose exterior already hints at the interior of the pavilion. To some visitors the architecture of the building may also look like bones of dragons, bringing to life the insisting spirit of China’s national industries.

The interior of the building depicts the product processes in shipbuilding and future ship models are displayed. In the pavilion, visitors of the exhibition can also preview novel, promising models of human civilisation, emphasising the leading part of shipping.

The visitors being able to enjoy highest walking comfort when strolling through the three presented pavilions is owed to the high level of resilience of the nora floor coverings. A wide range of themes from the World Fair theme ‘City’ to the comprehensive nora floor covering solutions for application areas in public buildings is covered. Be it entrance areas or office spaces, staircases or lounges, storage rooms or exhibition areas: The properties of the nora products, among others, range from extreme resistance and long life through easy and economic cleaning up to resistance to cigarette burns and excellent footfall sound absorption.  And thus, the also design-orientated nora floor coverings, which help to shape the living and working space of the nora customers as well as the imaginary cities in the pavilions, also connect very quietly to the EXPO 2010 theme:  “Better City, Better Life”.

Marc Assa new member of the supervisory board of nora systems GmbH

Weinheim, Germany: Since the middle of February 2010, Marc Assa is a new member of the supervisory board of nora systems GmbH. Mr. Assa has been in the floorcovering industry for almost 40 years, having always held top ranking positions (since 1968). Mr. Assa, who originally hails from Luxemburg, was last employed as CEO at Tarkett. Since 2008 he has been self-employed in the private equity sector.

Alexander K. Althof takes over the reins at nora systems as new Chairman of the Board

Weinheim, Germany: “Well begun is half done” – These words from Aristotle aptly describe the recent progress made by nora systems GmbH. The Weinheim-based manufacturer of premium-grade, resilient rubber floor coverings has successfully completed the first leg of the path to independence. Since becoming independent from the Freudenberg Group in 2007, nora has been able steadily boost its turnover while expanding its market leadership in the rubber flooring sector – despite the global recession.

In February 2010, the young but well established company received an infusion of new blood at the top-management level. Mr. Heinz Futscher, who will begin enjoying his well-deserved retirement at the end of 2010, is to be succeeded as Chairman of the Executive Board Chairman by Alexander K. Althof. Formerly the long-time Board Chairman of Franz Kaldewei GmbH & Co. KG, Mr. Althof was able to position this German company as a leading global provider of top-quality sanitary products. 

Alexander K. Althof was clearly positive about his initial impressions of nora systems and his goals for the company: “With its premium products and its respected, long-established nora brand, nora systems is well poised to take a lasting lead over it competitors. My objective will be to further strengthen our premium-brand strategy, while implementing it throughout our core markets in a sustained fashion. We will also explore opportunities in other regions with significant growth potential where we are already well positioned. I’m specifically thinking of countries such as China, the US, the UK, France and the Russian Federation.”

“Our sustainable rubber floor coverings have the potential to generate a whole range of dramatic innovations. We will focus on developing and exploiting these innovations, while orienting them consistently towards the specific requirements of our growth markets. By now, nora systems has progressed well past the phase of establishing itself as a standalone company; we are ready to move on to the next phase with giant strides. This will involve solidifying our position in the global arena while also venturing into new growth markets. I am very excited about taking on this new challenge”.

Bosch Development Centre, Abstatt, Germany

A Flooring to Meet High Requirements

Weinheim, February 2010 – Bosch has been investing in trendsetting technology to make people’s life easier for over one hundred years. This is also the goal the company is pursuing at its de¬velopment centre in Abstatt, which was built in 2004. Because the staff there work with readily combustible and aggressive liquids, an especially robust flooring had to be found for the construction. The developer and architects decided in favour of a rubber floor covering from nora systems for this very reason. Bosch manufactures and tests vehicle components at the Abstatt development centre. Liquid fuel, oils and acids are commonplace substances with which the staff work on a daily basis. Inherent risks are involved which had to be taken into consideration during the planning phase for the research and laboratory building in 2002.

Well planned

Those responsible for the project therefore made sure to use exceptionally resistant building materials. “This applied particularly to the floors in the laboratories and workshops,” explains architect Rainer Wild from Schwarz Architekten. “To make sure that we would use a floor covering that meets our criteria, we installed and tested different rubber and PVC floorings in trials conducted in a test container.” These test trials lasted nine months.

The acid test

The floor coverings were tested to establish whether they were abrasion-proof and resistant to chemicals. “Because many of the substances used in the laboratory are readily combustible, the electrical dissipation qualities of the floorings were also an especially vital factor,” says Wild. “A small spark can have catastrophic consequences.” To prevent accidents, the floor also needed to be slip-resistant. Another important aspect was easy cleaning.

A clear decision

“At the end of the test trials, the choice fell on floor coverings from nora systems,” reveals Thomas Volk, construction project manager at Bosch in the Facility Management Abstatt department. “Not only did they prove to be exceedingly robust and they fulfilled all our technical expectations, but they also fitted exceptionally well into the overall architectural concept. Colour-wise, they harmonise perfectly with the other materials such as the ashlar and needle felting.“ The fact that Bosch could rely on these coverings being available even years later for possible renovations and enlargements of the building also influenced the choice.

Safety with raised-access floors

At the time, the designers of the development centre decided to use two different varieties of the rubber floor covering. “Due to the technical fittings, we had to be able to lay parts of the covering as a raised-access floors. This meant that coverings that were only available as sheetware were ruled out right from the beginning. A bonus point for nora systems,” explains Wild. norament 928 grano ed was therefore chosen for the technical areas because the rubber tiles are electrostatically dissipative, making them suitable for ESD-protected areas (EPA). They are also resistant to most acids and lyes. The building developers decided to use noraplan stone, which is installed in sheets, for the rooms where the floor does not come into contact with such substances. “The work didn’t present any problems,” explains Wild. “We just had to experiment with cutting to shape at the round supports.”

Fit for the future

The building developers are satisfied with their choice of floors. “The floor we installed in the technology rooms in 2004 is still practically unchanged to this day,” says Volk. “That’s why it was obvious to us in 2009 that rubber floorings from nora should also be installed in the new extension to the development centre.” Today, 11,000 square metres of the floor coverings are installed there. “Another location where the flooring is to be used has already been decided: The new Bosch development centre in Renningen, near Stuttgart,” reveals Wild.*

With nora 1,956 km to the Roof of the World

Lhasa/Weinheim. The most altitudinous railway line of the world has been connecting inland province and Tibet in China since 2006. This is the hitherto largest railway project of the 21st century with many superlatives. On board in each coach: nora floorcoverings.

The China Tibetan railway links Xining and Lhasa, the capital of Qinghai Province to the capital of Xizang(Tibet) Autonomous Region, – its last line section between Golmud and Lhasa built at a spectacular altitude was opened in 2006.

Convinced by the long service life the nora rubber floorcoverings have proven in other railway and tram projects, the coach builder Bombardier Sifang Power Transportation in Qingdao decided to equip the coaches with the German quality floorcoverings made of rubber. These meet the high fire protection requirements specified by the operator. Durability was another important criterion – in the first 1.5 years alone, 6.5 million passengers travelled on this line. This means that the floorcoverings must be abrasion-resistant and durable. Residual impressions which have a negative influence on the look may not occur. In this case, too, nora was able to provide excellent references.

The Tibetan railway, or Qinghai-Tibet railway as officially known in China, runs for approximately 2,000 kilometres, of these almost 50% at altitudes above 4,000 metres. Around 500 kilometres of the line were built on permafrost. The railway line approaches Tibet from the north, crosses the Kunlun and other mountains. At the Tanggula Pass, the railway then crosses its peak at an altitude of 5,072 m near the highest railway station of the world at 5,068 m, followed by the most altitudinous tunnel of the world at 4,905 m, the Fenghuo Shan tunnel built through permafrost. On a total of 160 line kilometres, 675 bridges cross the dry, icy-barren high mountain landscapes.

Three locomotives pull 16 special coaches each – comprising seat, couchette, and sleeper coaches. These accommodate at total of 930 passengers.

Because the oxygen content of the air at extreme altitudes is only half of that on the plains, the altitude sickness threatens to significantly influence the well-being of the passengers because of nausea and circulatory problems. Thus, oxygen is blown into the cabins, similar to an air conditioning system. For emergency cases, each passenger has his/her personal respiratory mask, like in airplanes. Physicians also accompany the train to treat patients suffering from altitude sickness.

The technical equipment of the trains also includes amenities such as Internet availability via WLAN or electronic displays informing about the present travel altitude as well as the speed of the train.

Approximately half of all Tibet tourists already use the new railway line to travel to the Tibetan region. The trip from Beijing to Lhasa takes around 48 hours and tickets are available from around Euro 40 for a seat, depending on the comfort category, or Euro 126 for a sleeper. The high mountain section from Golmud takes 12 hours. In the past three years, the nora rubber floorcovering has proven it’s worth. The operating company informed on request that the requirements made on and wishes put into the floorcovering have hitherto been fulfilled to the utmost satisfaction.

Exterior view of the train: Henry Chen; License: Share Alike 2.0. Interior views of the train: nora systems. nora photos can be downloaded and released in connection with the reporting about nora systems and with the indication “nora systems”. In any other cases please contact nora systems.

New Spectacular Project: National Technical Library in Prague

Prag / Weinheim (Germany). The National Technical Library adds a new architectonic highlight to the Czech capital.

After interior construction has been completed, the approximately 50-million-euro building will offer space this fall for about 1.5 million books in the public and storage areas. About 1,200 reading and workplaces will be available to students, scientists, and those with a thirst for knowledge. The building was constructed on the campus of the Technical University of the Czech Republic by the two Prague architectural firms of Helika (Obermeyer Group, Munich), which was responsible for the general design, and Projektil Architekti, which was responsible for the detailed planning.

The striking colour concept for the approximately 5,000 m2 areas on each of the upper floors 2-6 was implemented with noraplan uni. The complex inlay installation echoes the lines of static force in the ceiling and floor.

The building design is a rounded cube with the external dimensions of 75m x 75m. The three sublevels provide space for parking, storage, and the technical systems. The first and second floors above ground house the public areas, with cafeteria, lecture hall, and exhibition spaces, as well as communication zones. The reading room is open seven days a week for 14 hours daily. Actual library operations begin on the mezzanine starting with the 2nd floor and up.

The nora systems group develops, produces, and markets high-quality resilient floorcoverings and shoe components under the nora brand. The company, which has its headquarters in Weinheim, was spun out by Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007 and, as the world market leader, has shaped the development of rubber floorcoverings for many years. In 2008, its more than 1,100 employees earned sales of about 167.4 million euros.

Photos can be downloaded and released in connection with the reporting about nora systems and with the indication “Lhotakova/nora systems”. In any other cases please contact nora systems.

Ice Age in the Desert: nora systems supplies floor technology for new attraction in Dubai

Dubai / Weinheim (Germany). Dubai has a new attraction: The “Dubai Mall” is one of the largest shopping centres in the world: offering more than 1,200 shops. The crowning attractions of the 1 million m2 mall include the world’s largest aquarium, a cinema complex with 22 theatres, and an ice rink with Olympic and ice hockey dimensions. The flooring around the ice was provided by nora systems of Weinheim.

As an event location for figure skating events, hockey matches, and live concerts, the stadium, which opened at the end of the year, is designed both to attract the general public and to serve as a sporting and leisure facility for young and old alike. The facility is visible from three floors of the shopping centre and, thanks to this openness, creates an open air atmosphere for the skaters and also offers entertainment to shoppers.

Yousif Al Ali, General Manager of Dubai Mall, reports: “Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall features the world’s most advanced systems in indoor ice rink design and execution to offer a world-class multi-purpose venue.” That applies not only to the floorcoverings: A thermostat system controls the temperature – independent of the outside temperature – always providing the optimal competitive standard for figure skating or hockey events. The stadium is transformed into a multipurpose arena by a perfectly fitting cover, which is insulated to prevent the ice from thawing. As for the offerings for visitors, the planning was sophisticated down to the last detail: In addition to skate rental during the daily skating hours and a wide variety of courses at different levels, as well as hockey camps, medical care is also available at the site. A mezzanine level is available for private events.

The facility is located at the feet of Burj Dubai, at 818 meters the world’s tallest building, and, like the Burj Dubai, it was built by the project company Emaar. The design concept for the ice rink came from DP architect Fook Man of Singapore: The floor design is dominated by broad block strips in grey and three shades of blue, which alternate in different widths. The floorcovering selected was a norament 992, a special quality pastille floorcovering, which stands up even to the footfalls of ice skate blades. Eight strips are used per square meter. They were cut by nora personnel in the Inlay Centre in Weinheim. Using ultrasonically operated knives, a total of 11,200 perfectly fitting strips were cut in record time from a total gross area of 1,400 m2. Packed in three containers, the goods then made their way to Dubai by sea. As a result nora was able to organise the installation to the satisfaction of all those involved within just two weeks.

The nora systems group develops, produces, and markets high-quality resilient floorcoverings and shoe components under the nora brand. The company, which has its headquarters in Weinheim, was spun out by Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007 and, as the world market leader, has shaped the development of rubber floorcoverings for many years. In 2008, its more than 1,100 employees earned sales of about 167.4 million euros.

Photos can be downloaded and released in connection with the reporting about nora systems and with the indication “nora systems”. In any other cases please contact nora systems.

nora systems celebrates 1,000,000 m2 of noraplan signa in one year

Weinheim (Germany). nora systems and all its employees have good reason to celebrate: The noraplan signa floor covering has become the most successful market launch in the history of nora. Just two years after the sales launch, noraplan signa has developed into a sales hit. In 2008, over 1,000,000 square meters were delivered.

three turns – to accommodate shift operations – the history of the floor covering was presented to nora employees in the form of an exhibition. “We wanted to enable everyone to look beyond his or her individual workplace, to gain insights into the development of noraplan signa. Everyone could learn more about the many complex processes between the purchase of the raw materials and the installation of the finished floor covering for the customer,” explains Stefanie Pluschke, Department of Communication, who was responsible for the exhibition. 14 presentation boards and a large display screen presented facts, figures, and pictures about the floor covering, which is the first in the nora product range to be custom-tailored exactly to the needs of a single market segment – the health care sector.

What makes it special?

noraplan signa is available in 48 colors, with an extensive range of accessories, and in different qualities. For patient rooms and corridors it is available in a thickness of 2 mm. For children?s wards there are imaginative inlays, so-called intarsia. For radiology rooms or intensive care units, sensitive electronic equipment is protected through its properties of electrostatic conduction. For operating rooms, to accommodate the movement of heavy equipment, it comes in a thickness of 3.5 mm. For physical therapy and sports areas, there is a particularly elastic acoustic variant.

Large variety of colours as success recipe

The broadest range of colours that was developed during the history of nora emerged from the results of two workshops with architects in the USA, Germany, and Austria. “We learned that it was not so much a matter of the number of different designs, but the number of colours that could be combined within one design. Just as important is a cohesive overall package of floor covering variants, accessories, and colour,”reports Martina Hoock, who as the market segment manager is responsible for the health care sector and for the product. “From concept to implementation, there were many steps – starting with development and including the creation of brochures and advertising materials – simultaneously with production planning and execution and, finally, sales and customer logistics,“ comments Hoock. The employees at the exhibition found explanations of all these stages. Part of the 1,000,000 square meters – actually part of an order for a hospital in Fulda – was taken from the batch and also put on display.

The nora systems group develops, produces, and markets high-quality resilient floorcoverings and shoe components under the nora brand. The company, which has its headquarters in Weinheim, was spun out by Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007 and, as the world market leader, has shaped the development of rubber floorcoverings for many years. In 2008, its more than 1,100 employees earned sales of about 167.4 million euros.

Photos can be downloaded and released in connection with the reporting about nora systems and with the indication “nora systems”. In any other cases please contact nora systems.

nora systems presents noraplan ultra grip, the first resilient PVC-free safety floorcovering

Amsterdam/Weinheim (Germany). Floorcoverings in rail vehicles and busses must meet high requirements. nora systems GmbH has added a floorcovering with a slip resistance of R11 to its proven assortment of rubber floorcoverings: the noraplan ultra grip.

Thousands of people daily take trams, trains, busses, and suburban rail trains to work, to another city or to a holiday destination. Their shoes carry sand, gravel, soil, moisture, and thawing salt into the vehicles. The sand and gravel can act like sandpaper. Dirty shoes, wet from rain and snow, leave distinct marks.

In the face of these varied challenges, manufacturers and operators of vehicles, as they select materials, pay particular attention to the ability of the floorcoverings to stand up to these stresses and attacks over the long term. Another very important aspect is slip resistance. The passengers must be able to move around safely in the vehicle, and the floorcovering must not turn into a dangerous sliding board during acceleration and braking – even when wet.

nora floorcoverings have proven themselves for decades in rail vehicles and busses – both in the entry areas and in the normal passenger area. They consist of rubber and are long-lasting and extremely wear resistant. Practical use has shown again and again that there is hardly any visible wear even in areas of intensive use. Even smouldering cigarette butts, chewing gum, and graffiti are not serious problems.

New product: noraplan ultra grip
To enlarge the even now broad spectre of applications of their rubber flooring, nora systems GmbH has now developed the safety floorcovering noraplan ultra grip. It is the first PVC-free safety rubber floorcovering to meet the requirements of the UK Slip Resistance Group for a floorcovering with “low slip potential” – whether dry or wet. The homogeneous rubber floorcovering was tested under the high requirements of the British TRRL Pendulum Test and is particularly slip resistant – R11 under DIN 51 130 and BGR 181 or GUV-R 181. Whether dry or wet, it provides a high degree of slip resistance – while maintaining its outstanding characteristics in regard to wear resistance, durability, and long service life.

The floorcovering provides additional security in case of fire. nora floorcoverings are classified as flame retardant and free of PVC, softening agents (phthalates), and halogens (e.g. chlorine). They therefore do not release any hydrogen chloride, which could lead to caustic burning of the respiratory tract and – in conjunction with the water used to extinguish fires – forms hydrochloric acid. Like all other noraplan floorcoverings of slip resistance classes R9 and R10, noraplan ultra grip is rated for fire safety class SF3 in accordance with DIN 5510-2.

The safety floorcovering noraplan ultra grip becomes standard in 16 colours – including orange, brown, green, and blue hues, and even grey and anthracite – and thus offers a broad palette for individualized and appealing interior design.

With this new safety floorcovering, nora systems GmbH adds to its product portfolio of more than 300 different types of rubber floorcoverings, which have proven themselves for decades to be hygienic, wear-resistant, and fireproof, e.g. in busses, trains, and ships.

nora systems GmbH develops, produces, and markets high-quality resilient floorcoverings as well as shoe components under the brand name nora. The company headquartered in Weinheim was formed in 2007 from Freudenberg Bausysteme KG and as the world market leader has shaped the development of rubber floorcoverings for many years. In 2007, its more than 1000 employees produced sales of approximately 165 million euros.

nora on cruise: Solid floor at sea

Papenburg/Weinheim (Germany). When the largest cruise vessel ever built in Germany, the Celebrity Solstice, will leave the port for its first cruise to the Caribbean in December, nora from Weinheim will also be on board.

With a length of 315 metres, a width of 37 metres and a registered tonnage of 122,000, the latest ship of the US shipping company Celebrity Cruises recently left the Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Lower Saxony, and attracted great attention during its conveyance on the narrow river Ems. The cruise vessel is presently on sea trial in the North Sea.

Under the Caribbean sun, the “Solstice” with its 1,426 cabins will invite its up to 2,900 passengers to a luxury dream holiday: 85% of the cabins offer their own balcony and the cabins of the newly developed “aqua class” permit unlimited access to the “AquaSpa Relaxation Room” and the “Persian Garden”. The ship also features a golf course of 2,000m2 with real turf, a theatre with 1,100 seats as well as exciting details such as the fountains on the pool deck, which can be synchronised with the music played.

For the floorcoverings on board, different materials were combined. For all places where passengers also enter technical areas, as e.g. for boarding, for shore leave, and where the floorcovering is to maintain its good look even when highly frequented, the Meyer Werft decided to use nora rubber floorcoverings.

nora floorcoverings, which are completely without any PVC, have proven themselves for many years on all types of ships thanks to their wear resistance and long life. They are slip-resistant, resistant to cigarette burns, are highly fire-resistant and still look great after many years at sea.

nora systems GmbH develops, produces, and markets high-quality resilient floorcoverings as well as shoe components under the brand name nora. The company headquartered in Weinheim was formed in 2007 from Freudenberg Bausysteme KG and as the world market leader has shaped the development of rubber floorcoverings for many years. In 2007, its more than 1000 employees produced sales of approximately 165 million euros.

nora rubber floorings at the Olympic “Water Cube” in Beijing

Beijing / Weinheim (Germany). The National Aquatics Centre – or “Water Cube” as it is affectionately called – is one of the landmarks of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Located inside the Beijing Olympic Green and being together with the stadium of athletic sports the formative part of the National Stadium complex, the National Aquatics Centre will be the venue for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water-polo. Up to 17,000 visitors will follow the competitions and support their teams.

A consortium of China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China State Construction International (Shenzhen) Design Co. Ltd., PTW Architects and Ove Arup won the international competition scheme which was judged by a panel of international architects, engineers and Chinese academics. The extraordinary design concept is seen as a symbol of architecture as it fulfils all up-to-date requirements on design, sustainability and safety.

Speaking of sustainability, the National Aquatics Centre has been designed to act as a gigantic comb-like greenhouse, which was fitted with 3.500 components of plastic film. The unique prototype cladding, which is based on the natural formation of soap bubbles, allows high levels of natural daylight into the building to heat the interior as well as the pool water. Energy consumption is thus expected to be reduced by up to 30 per cent. Beside sustainability and energy cost reduction, safety was crucial. All materials used had to fulfil the highest demands of fire safety. It was therefore no surprise that nora rubber floorings were eventually chosen. Dark circles on a light base revive the natural formation of soap bubbles  forming the exterior shell.

Up to 10,000 m2 noraplan mega were installed mainly in corridors and high traffic areas in which the flooring is required to offer an excellent walking comfort, anti-slip properties, a dense surface; thus easy and cost-efficient maintenance and an extraordinarily wear-resistance. For this purpose, nora rubber floorings fulfil these requirements.

As nora makes changes to its products, the company continues to take its responsibility to the environment seriously. Rubber floorings produced by nora are sustainable products made from renewable natural rubber that is extracted from the sap of tropical rubber plants and industrial rubber. The flooring also contains natural minerals that supplement the high-quality natural and industrial rubber qualities, as well as environmentally compatible colour pigments that are free of lead and other heavy metals. It was therefore no surprise that the standard noraplan floorings have been certified under BRE Certification’s scheme for Environmental Profiles of construction products. The Ecopoint scores achieved as part of the certification process gave a BREEAM ‘A’ rating (best possible) from the ‘Green Guide to Specification’.

Furthermore, our standard products fulfil the strict specifications of the qualification guidelines RAL UZ 120 and have thus been the first resilient floorings awarded with the eco-label “Blue Angel”. This label is one of the most important awards worldwide which is only given to products that are exceptional environmentally friendly. PVC floorings (Vinyls) are not eligible to get this label.

With its more than 300 types of designs and surfaces in the standard range, the assortment offers a multiplicity of design optionsthat offer architects and designers the opportunity to infuse any outstanding architectural project with striking design elements.

New rubber flooring noraplan ultra grip: Slip-resistant without PVC

Weinheim. nora systems GmbH, Weinheim, developed the first resilient safety rubber floorcovering without PVC which was awarded the slip-resistance class R11 and passed the British TRRL pendulum test.

The rubber floorcovering noraplan ultra grip offered in 16 colour shades significantly reduces the risk of industrial injuries by slipping both in dry and wet conditions. In contrast to hard safety floorcoverings, the natural resilience and foot warmth of the floorcovering improves the ergonomics of the equipped surfaces thanks to its shock-absorbing properties. The wear-resistant noraplan ultra grip safety floorcovering is suitable both for production areas and traffic areas in buildings and offices.

nora floorcoverings consist of natural and industrial rubber, minerals from natural resources as well as environmentally compatible colour pigments. They do not outgas any plasticizers or halogens and have all environmental certificates of international relevance. The dense, largely chemicals-resistant surface has dirt-repelling properties and thus reduces the cleaning costs.

With its new safety floorcovering, nora systems complements the product portfolio of more than 300 different types of rubber floorcoverings which have proven themselves for decades to be hygienic, wear-resistant and fire-proof e.g. in airports, health institutions, clean rooms and industrial applications, busses, railways, and ships.

Pudong Airport, Shanghai: Endurance test passed with 200 million passengers

Shanghai/Weinheim. Pudong International Airport in Shanghai relies again on nora rubber floorcoverings from Weinheim in its Terminal 2 which was recently opened at the end of March. The wear-resistant floorcovering, which has been in use in the airport since 1998, passed the endurance test with more than 200 million passengers.

Pudong International Airport belongs to the many airports worldwide which experienced major growth. From this airport, more than 50 Chinese and international airlines link the booming region of Shanghai to the worldwide air routes. With the second expansion stage now complete, the operators have consistently used sustainable and environmentally friendly produced construction materials such as nora rubber floorcoverings. In this respect, priority was given to the highest possible comfort of the passengers and a unique design as competition characteristics. The floorcoverings do not contain any plasticizers or halogens which might be emitted. Thanks to their excellent abrasion and wear resistance and resistance to cigarette burns, the floorcoverings did not lose their attractive look even after a decade of permanent use in daily airport operation. 

For the 45,000 m2 of floorcoverings installed in Terminal 2, the Chinese architects combined twonorament colour shades as well as the matching stairtreads. A total of more than 300 different types of design were available for selection. Pudong International Airport thus belongs to the more than 150 airports worldwide which welcome their passengers on resilient nora rubber floorcoverings. Including Terminal 1, more than 115,000 m2 of norament floorcoverings are now installed in the airport.