Forbo and Erskine Court

FORBO Flooring Systems says it’s played a vital role in delivering a bright, healthy and hygienic environment for the residents of Erskine Court, a new ‘housing with care’ facility for the over-55s, one of the first of its kind in southern England.

Said to have been attracted by Forbo’s extensive range of colourful and practical floorcoverings, Design Consultant Alex Salway from Daring Design UK incorporated Flotex flocked vinyl in an array of different styles and colourways into his interior design scheme for Southampton City Council’s extra-care housing scheme which offers residents 24/7 access to care should it be needed, while allowing them to maintain their independence and providing space in which they can socialise and be part of a community.

The project subsequently won a commended award in the Fly Forbo 16/17 competition.  
Alex said: ‘I opted for Forbo’s Flotex Metro collection for this project as the colour range was vast, and Flotex is also Allergy UK approved, which is ideal where a healthy indoor environment is of utmost importance for residents’ wellbeing.’

Spanning across three floors, Flotex Metro was used in various colours in breakout areas and lift and stair landing areas to help residents to identify their own floors and apartments.

The green tones of the Citrus colourway represent leafy grass on the ground floor; Tangerine represents earth on the first floor, and the blue shade Petrol, representing the sky, was used to help residents recognise the top floor.

Alex said: ‘Before I started on this project, I went to visit a local special needs school where Flotex had been installed throughout. I was really impressed with how good it looked, how easy it was to clean and how well it handled the heavy footfall over the years, as well as the heavy traffic from motorised wheelchairs and scooters, which were going to be used internally in the Erskine Court scheme.

‘I took a Flotex Metro sample to the project managers and contractors to demonstrate its robustness and durability by spilling red wine and various food types onto the surface and then wiping it away. They were sold - keeping cleaning and general maintenance costs down is vital for councils and all local authorities.’

Flotex Naturals in American Oak has been used in Erskine Court’s communal corridors and lobbies, paired alongside the bright colours of Flotex Metro, providing the appearance of a wooden floor covering but with the warmth of carpet.

For comfort and safety, Surestep Texture and Stone in neutral linen and warm concrete colourways were installed for their slip resistant properties throughout other communal areas such as the hair and beauty room and laundry rooms while the commercial kitchens were all kitted out with Safestep R11 to meet their more demanding requirements.

‘Completing the scheme, the award-winning entrance flooring system Coral Brush was used in the entrance and lobby area to prevent dirt and moisture from entering into the building.’

Southampton City Council’s interim regeneration manager, Fiona Astin, said: ‘The Council is delighted with the appearance, practicality and durability of the flooring at Erskine Court. Daring Design has used the colourways and products to great effect, creating an attractive environment that’s sensitive to the needs of the residents.

‘We’re planning to build another new Extra Care scheme in the city starting by early 2018. We’ve been so happy with the flooring at Erskine Court that we plan to replicate it in the new scheme.’
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