Why Carpet Tiles Are Right Choice For Schools
Karen Burman, Gradus product manager for floorcoverings, considers how contractors can provide fit for purpose flooring for schools with increasingly tight budgets:
A TOTAL of 178 school rebuilds and refurbishments were completed between 2005 and 2010 under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. It was axed in July 2010. With subsequent reductions to education budgets, school spending is at an all-time low.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that UK public spending on education will fall by 3.5% a year in real terms between 2010–11 and 2014– 15. This represents the largest cut in education spending over any four-year period since the 1950s.
Similarly, BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) has been the most widely used environmental evaluation tool for school buildings in recent years. However, the Department of Education wants to scrap BREEAM requirements for new schools to streamline procurement and further reduce costs. This puts contractors under more pressure than ever to deliver the right flooring for schools – but at the right cost.
So, how can contractors deliver flooring solutions
that offer long-term value for money and meet specific requirements of educational buildings? Perceived as being difficult to clean, carpet has often been avoided for education applications on the basis that it can quickly become dirty. However, hardwearing carpet tiles with proven durability can reduce cleaning and maintenance requirements with longer product lifecycles.
Flooring that looks good for as long as possible helps to maintain a strong learning environment and reflects well on the school building’s overall impression. Carpet tiles are good for corridors and multi-purpose rooms due to ease of installation and replacement, helping to reduce costs and minimise disruption. Carpet tiles are a durable, low-maintenance floorcovering for education buildings. They offer good acoustic performance, helping to reduce noise levels and providing a calm, comfortable and peaceful atmosphere.
With carpet design, neutral and natural colourways remain popular, as they do not date easily. For example, carpet featuring subtle tones of beige and grey will not look out of place in an education building in 10 years.
Colour and pattern can also be used to prolong a carpet’s lifespan. Ver y light, ver y dark and plain colours tend to reveal dirt and should therefore be used in areas less prone to soiling. Mid-toned and patterned carpets disguise soiling and therefore, require less frequent cleaning.
At a time when school spending is being cut even further, contractors must specify flooring that can stand the test of time and be hardwearing, repairable and easy to maintain. With replacement periods likely to be longer than previously, carpet tiles are a good solution, being easily replaceable and able to withstand thousands of young feet.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them online at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.