Lessons In Maintaining School Flooring
Ricky Smith, Truvox International UK field sales manager, offers some thoughts on the way ahead for school flooring:
SPECIFIERS are becoming more aware of the full range of flooring solutions available. Resin flooring, for example, provides outstanding flexibility in terms of design – bespoke finishes can be created with colour combinations and patterns tailored to suit requirements.
School flooring has to be tough and durable to withstand the impact of hundreds of pairs of feet, and it helps if the material used is non-slip to reduce accidents, and is also noise-resistant. Stain resistant materials that are economical to clean are further factors.
Loose-laid interlocking floor tiles can be a suitable material, being cost efficient to maintain. Loose
laying has health benefits, since some adhesives, primers, levelling compounds and underlays can produce volatile organic compounds.
The internationally recognised Emicode EC1 recommends only very low emission products be used in schools. Interlocking floor tiles can be laid directly onto the existing substrate without needing a screed or adhesive.
Modern resin and polymeric flooring materials can help to cut cleaning costs by reducing the time needed to scrub, buff or polish. To achieve these savings, the school, or its cleaning contractor, must be equipped with the latest machines developed or improved to suit the requirements of the most recent flooring materials.
Cleaning staff should also be trained to ensure that the dilution of cleaning chemicals is carried out accurately (to optimise safety and minimise the cost of chemicals) and to maximise the effectiveness and productivity of their equipment. Noise is also a major factor in floor specifications for education, as anyone who has suffered the noise of hundreds fast moving children on timber floors will know.
Under the BSF programme the Government plans to make acoustic testing mandatory in all new schools as they are built. A school environment is a prime example of where effective acoustic solutions are essential.
A structured approach to acoustic design at each stage of the planning and design process is required by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) – the government guidance for meeting Part E of the Building Regulations.
Detailed planning at the design stage is imperative to determine the appropriate noise levels and reverberation times for various activities and room types.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them online at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.