Healthcare - Gerflor

WHEN a health and wellbeing charity needed a new purpose-built building, it also required floorcoverings for its gym and meeting rooms that would contribute to the overall aesthetics and functions of the facility and accommodate the needs of those who use it.

Designed by 3DReid architects, Thistle’s Centre of Wellbeing in Edinburgh replaced a former and no longer fit-for-purpose facility with what’s described as a more welcoming building rotated 90deg to face a different aspect.  

‘The over-riding factor was that the new facility should provide a friendly and welcoming environment and be appropriate for all the people who come to the centre. Thistle works with people who are living with disabilities or long-term conditions such as depression, arthritis and MS and it was paramount that visiting the centre should be an enjoyable experience,’ said project architect Chris Dobson, 3DReid.

A holistic approach to the building’s design was therefore adopted with the use of timber cladding inside and out, creation of a friendly ambience and flooring specifications that couple function and style with the necessary attributes among the key elements.

Consequently, floorings for the gym, meeting and exercise therapy rooms were specified by 3DReid, provided by Gerflor and installed by CCG Flooring. ‘The main challenge of the building was making sure it worked for people who may be living with a wide range of health conditions. So, it was important to make the choice of flooring product in consultation with Thistle staff,’ said Chris.

‘Flooring is an incredibly important part of the building,’ concurs Tilly Sheridan, facilities manager, Thistle Foundation. ‘It’s a big contributor to our aesthetic aims and helps in many areas where we need light, highly visible flooring to assist people with conditions such as Parkinson’s and dementia who have difficulty differentiating surfaces and steps.’

It was Gerflor’s Taraflex Evolution in Wood Oak that reportedly satisfied Thistle’s clear brief for a good-looking, comfortable, hygienic, high performing and durable gym flooring. ‘Taraflex Evolution has properties perfectly matched with multifunctional spaces and multi-levels of sport offering appropriate shock absorbency and protection from impact falls,’ says the company.

‘It also fulfilled the requirement for a product that could contribute to the warm, welcoming and friendly aesthetic.’
In addition, Gerflor’s Taralay Impression Comfort in Blade Clear was chosen for the meeting rooms in which the Thistle Foundation delivers its lifestyle management courses and where creating a feeling of wellbeing and harmony was essential.

‘R10 slip resistant, 19db sound rated Taralay Impression Comfort is a safe and reliable, multi-purpose vinyl flooring with a 0.7mm wearlayer, group T wear-rating and a Protescol 2 surface treatment to eliminate polishing for the life of the product,’ says the company.

Tilly Sheridan commented on the maintenance and performance benefits of Gerflor products: ‘Maintenance costs can be a real issue if the choice of flooring isn’t right. It’s essential for us that everyone who comes to the centre can enjoy it fully and that means ensuring the flooring doesn’t lift and cause a trip hazard for those who are less mobile.’
Chris Dobson, project architect, 3D Reid commented on the performance of Gerflor’s products in situ: ‘They still look like new.’
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