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First Class

Flooring is used in education needs to have a variety of different qualities:
Altro products were used in the new £15m Notre Dame Catholic College in Liverpool. Catering for 850 pupils, it is the first of 10 new schools that will be built in Liverpool over the next few years.
Altro Suprema II was specified for circulation and classroom areas, Aquarius in the showers, Walkway for store areas and toilets, Stronghold in the kitchen and Whiterock for the kitchen walls.
Altro products were reportedly chosen due to their proven success on other school projects in terms of safety, aesthetics and maintenance. All Altro safety flooring has lifetime sustained slip resistance. The products also met the brief for value for money for a project built to an austerity plan.

‘Altro flooring is great to work with and the installation went well. The welds were neat, the coving sharp. Altro were supportive and gave us excellent service throughout.’
Altro Whiterock wall cladding in the kitchen was installed by MI contracts.
burmatex offers a selection of BREEAM A and A+ rated carpet and carpet tile ranges for education projects.
Their design-led inspiration, generous colour palettes and hardwearing finish reputedly enables the creation of distinctive layouts which appeal across educational establishments.
Burmatex is regularly specified for further projects. Currently the Times Higher Education University of the Year, the University of Huddersfield features burmatex installations within their conference room and corridors.
Combining structure bonded and tufted ranges, the conference room is said to combine subtle colours with bold highlights, maximising the space and canal-side views.
Most recently, the university has completed a layout of tivoli, in rich marie galante purple, creating a smooth, high impact design.
Projects at Boston College include a newly built, classroom block and library refurbishment. The contemporary designs use the colour in structure bonded lateral, zip and code to create visually textured effects including solid corridors, bright accent bands and subtle, peppered designs with a gradation of colour.

Desso carpet tiles were installed in the refurbished West Bridgford library in Nottingham to include a new young adult space and toddler area, plus new meeting rooms for hire.
Desso carpet tiles were chosen to inject colour and texture within the building: Dash with vibrant lime green highlights was the carpet tile of choice in the young adult area, while the same tile was fitted in a more formal, subtle shade of blue in the meeting rooms. For the children’s area, Twist in sea blue offered soft, thick carpeting with a luxurious cut pile.
An ode to the building’s Art Deco history, the main library boasts a monochrome theme with slick, curved bookshelves, epitomising the scheme’s high design. In the library’s main traffic areas, Grids and Flow carpet tiles in dark, grey and brown-grey were selected for framing spaces with a border in a contrasting colour. Entry, a specialist entrance barrier matting in grey with black stripes, was fitted to welcome visitors inside and safeguard the interior from external dirt and moisture.
Aileen Prince, building project officer at the County Library Headquarters comments: ‘The refurbishment has exceeded our expectations. Although the library now covers a more extensive area – 1,600sq m in total – the different parts have been cleverly laid out to subtly define the various sections. We love the use of colour, inspired by the County’s Crest. The whole scheme works really well for a modern, tasteful design in a listed building.’
Desso Dash, Flow and Grids carpet tiles contain Econyl, a yarn made from 100% regenerated nylon including post-consumer yarn waste from Desso’s Refinity plant.
Heckmondwike FB Supacord fibre bonded carpet in Steel Grey was specified for the new £14.9m Gloucester Academy, creating a robust, neutral base for the minimalistic, contemporary design.
A total 4,200sq m of Supacord was chosen for the classrooms, atrium and breakout areas by Nicholas Hare Architects. To protect the carpet throughout the building, 100sq m of Diamond in Silver was specified for the entrance and transition areas. The academy, which opened last September, caters for 1,250 pupils, including a sixth form of 200.
Supacord and Diamond entrance carpet was installed by the flooring contractor Corinium Carpets of Cheltenham. Heckmondwike’s products were selected for being able to withstand the high volumes of foot traffic associated with large schools and colleges.
The grey and silver colours were chosen as a neutral base for the accent colours brought out in the red, grey and blue furniture. Supacord’s grey colourways are also said to have a positive effect on pupils’ mood and concentration.

‘We have received high praise from the main contractor and have been offered a number of further contracts.’
Supacord has been assessed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and has gained a BRE Global A+ environmental rating for use in school buildings, offices and retail outlets, helping the school to achieve its target of a BREEAM Very Good rating.
Supacord is also compatible with F40 high tack adhesive which provides a sustainable and cost-effective end-of-life solution allowing carpet to be lifted without causing significant damage to the floorcovering or subfloor, as demonstrated in this video:
Also used on the Gloucester Academy project, Diamond is reportedly a popular choice for schools and commercial buildings.
Heckmondwike FB offers a bespoke design service in this carpet for the creation of personalised entrance areas with customised logos and designs.
Diamond is said to provide low maintenance and providing acoustic properties and will not ravel or fray.
Interface is helping specifiers and flooring contractors in the education sector to steamline the design and specification process by increasing its offering of Building Information Modelling (BIM) objects. Over 600 Interface carpet tile products are now available on the NBS National BIM Library.
The online tool makes it easy to explore the key physical and functional characteristics of a project’s walls, ceilings, roofs and floors in digital form via a 3D model, before it is built. Centrally procured government projects in the education sector must be designed using BIM by 2016.
Louise Swift, public sector sales director at Interface, says: ‘BIM allows specifiers to address complex challenges common in an educational environment, such as acoustics and durability, at the click of button.
Interface is increasing the number of products available through the NBS National BIM Library, to create more choice for specifiers.’
Karndean Design Flooring has donated 150sq m of luxury vinyl flooring to New Hope, a charity which provides respite care for children with disabilities and complex healthcare needs.
The Worcestershire education centre was a winner of the company’s 40 Free Floors for 40 Good Causes appeal from nominations received via Facebook.
Launched as part of its own 40th anniversary celebrations, the donation reputedly helped to transform New Hope’s facilities by replacing dated carpet with Karndean floors throughout its new multi-sensory, kitchen, hallway and jubilee play room.
Navarra Chalk Spanish pebble effect flooring and Umbrian Nero mosaic pattern flooring were chosen for the centre.
nora supplied Norament serra (slate effect rubber tiles) for installation in the main corridor of the William Robertson Wing at Edinburgh University. Founded in 1583, it is one of the oldest universities in the world. With high academic ratings, the university strives to provide the highest quality learning and teaching environment.
It required a sleek, hard wearing floorcovering with a contemporary look that would enhance the environment and not clash with the traditional surroundings.
William Robertson building, which has extremely high footfall, links the campus at Teviot Place, the old medical building and the Chrystal MacMillan building.
nora rubber floorcoverings are described as extremely resilient and hard wearing offering excellent acoustic performance, making it a great choice for schools, universities, libraries and lecture theatres.
Polyflor supplied over 4500sq m of flooring for the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy project in Stoke-on-Trent. Part of Stoke Building Schools for the Future, the £19m new-build academy in Blurton is a business and enterprise maths specialist academy accommodating up to 1050 students.

All Polyflor materials used in the project achieve an individually certificated BRE Global A+ rating, contributing towards the award of a BREAM: Very Good Rating to the project.
Suited to the demands of high traffic school environments, Classic Mystique PUR is said to demonstrate outstanding durability and abrasion resistance, benefitting from the incorporation of Polyflor’s PUR maintenance enhancement. Cross-linked and UV cured, PUR is described as a super strength polyurethane reinforcement which facilitates a lifelong polish-free maintenance regime and optimum appearance retention.
Available in 16 colours, Classic Mystique has a tonal, non-directional appearance with clean architectural neutrals and warmer tones.
The product is 100% recyclable via the Recofloor scheme with an average recycled content of 25%. Its environmental credentials are supported with the award of an individually certificated BRE Global A+ rating.
tremco illbruck flooring products were used for a fit out of student accommodation buildings at Nottingham Trent University. The refurbished bedrooms and communal areas had floorcoverings installed using an integrated selection of tremco illbruck products. The new Students’ Union complex was a joint venture with the University Partnerships Programme, with main contractor Vinci.
Associate member of the CFA Titan Interior Solutions installed 13,000sq m of carpet tiles in the 911 student study bedrooms, plus 4,000sq m of sheet vinyl.
tremco illbruck’s technical service team took moisture readings across all the screeded concrete substrates, to determine if they were ready to receive floor finishes. The manufacturer recommended an effective moisture vapour suppressant be applied throughout.
Paul Rangeley, the commercial manager for Titan, part of the Horbury Group, comments: ‘As a flooring contractor working across the country, we only use Tremco products based on not just price, but also performance and our experience of the company’s technical support. At Nottingham Trent University’s new Students’ Union building, we used ES100 wherever we installed vinyl. We also levelled the floor slabs using SX300 and SX302.’
The vinyl was laid using Tremco SF108 pressure sensitive adhesive, while in the student bedrooms, the manufacturer’s SF200 carpet tile tackifier helped speed completion of the installation. Finally, SF115 was employed to fix coved skirting through much of the building.
A spokesperson for the university adds: ‘The proposed scheme provides 5,500sq m of social, leisure and wellbeing facilities, plus living accommodation. Facilities include a sports hall, entertainment area, fitness studio with around 100 stations, a shop, bars, and social space. Our facilities among the best equipped in the country.’

Upofloor LifeLine is a new type of PVC and plasticiser-free floorcovering. Launched in 2004, it offers an eco-friendly alternative for users seeking high performance, whilst ensuring personal safety. The range is developed for heavy commercial applications, including schools and nursery environments.
LifeLine is also classified in the highest wear resistance group T. Its impermeable ionomer surface is designed to repel dirt for easy maintenance.
The floorcoverings are manufactured in Finland from natural minerals and thermoplastic polymers that are reputedly entirely free of PVC and plasticisers and free from chlorine and other halogens.
Tests by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) found no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The floor surface and colour is claimed to withstand strong chemicals without any alteration in appearance.
LifeLine does not act as a substrate for bacterias, such as MRSA. It has good fire resistance properties and is 100% recyclable.
The range includes alternatives across four collections: LifeLine CS monochrome-style sheet flooring in 48 tones; LT luxury tiles in 12 wood-effect designs and 50x50cm tiles featuring a chip pattern for areas subject to extremely high traffic. Seven LifeLine tile designs are also available in sheet format in the Forte collection.
All formats are 2mm thick and can be mixed and matched.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at