Gerflor - Sports flooring

EARLY years learning is where the backbone of education begins and delivering an environment that provides younger children with the necessary infrastructure to support good practice in sports, communal areas or teaching rooms is an essential element in the education mix. At the new flagship Pencoed primary school near Bridgend in Wales they make it their mission to ensure that every child learns in a friendly, happy school where they feel valued. Work on the new £10.8m Pencoed Primary School has now been completed with the school bell ringing for the first time at start of the Autumn term earlier this year. When pupils walked through the doors it was the first time that the whole primary school has been on one single site since the old school was built in the early 1900s. For more than a century, there were separate infant and junior sections, with buildings across either side of the busy Penprysg Road as well as premises at Heol y Cyw. Now with 600 children presently on the roll in one single site it’s their aim is to deliver an environment suitable for all needs. Councillor Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council said at the time,” I can’t emphasise enough how proud I am that we have been able to deliver an outstanding new school for the people of Pencoed. The old school buildings served generations of local people, but this modern integrated facility is required so that we can move with the times and can provide the best educational environment possible”. When the school needed flooring for this massive new build project they turned to international flooring specialists Gerflor to deliver a solution. The installation would fall into the hands of Floor Furnishings based in Cardiff. Since 1961 they have been carrying out flooring contracts through the UK for a wide range of clients, which include hotels, hospitals and schools. Nick Jefferies, managing director, Floor Furnishings commented, ‘We initially had an enquiry through BAM Construction which was then specified through the Architect to us.’ The range of specified Gerflor products would be ‘extremely varied’, the company says, and include its Taralay Impression Control and Taralay Impression Comfort, its Tarasafe Ultra and Ultra H20 complemented by an amount of Mural Calypso shower wall, together with some 300sq m of Taraflex Multi Use sports flooring. With over-70 years’ experience Gerflor has honed its expertise in safety flooring to produce what it calls the highest standards of safety and durability, coupled to delivering ‘stunning, beautiful designs that are both inspirational and eye-catching’. In 2016 Gerflor won the CFJ/CFA Product of the Year category with its Taralay Impression Control safety flooring range. Taralay Impression Control is suitable for a wide variety of education new builds and refurbishments where high volumes of footfall are expected and there is a need for safety and slip resistance. A multi-purpose floorcovering available in 2m sheet format with a Group T wear rating, it’s said to be ideal for a host of heavy traffic environments where slip resistance is a must. Available as a dual collection: Safety in Wood and Safety in Design, the range includes woods in contemporary colours and modern all over designs. Taralay Impression Control also reportedly has a Pendulum Test value +36, meets HSE guidelines (BS 7976-2), a surface roughness of >20 RTM-RZ and R11 ramp test value (DIN 51130), together with providing 24 design-led colourways and is suitable for a host of other contract applications. Taralay Impression Control also reportedly offers a hygienic solution thanks to a UV-cured PUR surface treatment for easy cleaning and maintenance. With the Protecsol Control surface treatment it’s said to be easy to clean and 100% recyclable, offering a ‘state-of-the-art flooring solution for a myriad of applications’.

Nick Jefferies went on to further comment, ‘All Gerflor products are very easy to lay and weld which is a great help in any installation.’ Jason Burton MCIAT, principal architectural sssistant, Bridgend County Borough Council commented: ‘We have a long-standing working relationship with Gerflor formed over years of specifying and dealing with their products. Any specification used has continually met the needs of the building and has stood the test of time. They have many design options within each range, affording us the opportunity to be as creative as possible. Their pre-sales and specification support are exemplary and after care equally so’.

Taralay Impression Comfort from Gerflor comprises a very high density (VHD) foam backing reinforced with a glass fibre grid and a printed design that’s protected by a transparent wear layer (0.65 mm thick) which reportedly offers 19 dB sound insulation and an indentation resistance of 0.11 mm. The product is protected by a UV cured surface treatment Protecsol 2 which is said to be easy to maintain and permanent eliminate the need of an acrylic emulsion (metallisation). Gerflor says it does not contain any heavy metals or CMR 1&2 and it is 100% compliant with REACH. The product emission rate of volatile organic compounds is < 70 µg/m3 (TVOC after 28 days – ISO 16000 -6). It is also 100% recyclable. This flooring is suitable for medium to high traffic areas including hospitals, schools, commercial and public areas. For designers, the range reportedly offers 160 references and includes 21 wood effect references, covering the spectrum of wood colours in 10 designs. Changing rooms and showering areas in many educational locations can often be wet and slippery environments and that’s where Tarasafe Ultra H20 from Gerflor is the ideal solution, the company says. Intended for traditional barefoot spaces where there are continuous wet areas, Tarasafe Ultra H20 also offers a shod solution, providing a blend of flooring applications for those areas where wet flooring conditions can be an issue. Within Gerflor’s other Tarasafe vinyl safety flooring range there are over 80 finishes available to choose from. They are reinforced with a glass fibre grid and are reportedly suitable for use in all areas of heavy traffic where slip-resistance, durability and hygienic conditions are required. Using mineral crystal particles, rather than the industry standard carborundum, Tarasafe is said to be easier to install, lighter and more flexible to handle. The range reportedly has a maximum hygiene rating meeting the EN Standard 22196 for anti- bacterial activity (E. coli - S. aureus - MRSA) (3) returning >99% levels of growth inhibition and comes with a 12-year warranty and is also 100% recyclable. The Tarasafe Standard range comes with the UV cured PUR surface treatment and their Tarasafe Ultra range (excluding their Tarasafe Ultra H20 offer) also reportedly sees a benefit from the SparClean surface treatment. On specification criteria Nick Jefferies said: ‘We have used Gerflor products on numerous occasions and try to specify them wherever we can and are always very pleased with the final result.’ Commenting further on the project Jason Burton added: ‘We have used Gerflor many times and were delighted with the outcome. We had numerous discussions with the Head Teacher and the colour and finish selections were co-ordinated with a lot of the loose furniture options that the School selected. Overall the result has been very well received.’

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