Itec Acoustic flooring
THE primary goal in the design of any education environment is to provide an inspiring place that fosters learning. Flooring has a role to play in this, but not just in the foundation of an aesthetic principle. A floor’s impact reaches further, and it can also help to encourage learning through function.
It’s well-documented that acoustics can play a significant role in encouraging learning and indeed newbuild and refurbishment projects must comply with Acoustic Design of Schools: Performance Standards, published by the DoE, 2014.
This stipulates values for the maximum impact sound pressure levels in various parts of school buildings.
The most conventional way to meet this standard is through the subfloor construction itself, but careful selection of floorcovering can also contribute to significant impact sound reduction.
In fact, particularly in refurbishment projects, an acoustic floorcovering can present a huge cost-saving, potentially negating costly subfloor structure revisions, or the need for specialist resilient acoustic underlays.
Vinyl floors in the Itec Contract Floors Acoustic Flooring Collection can reportedly reduce impact sound by up to 19dB while still achieving the all-important Class 33 Commercial Heavy rating under EN ISO 10874.
But Itec Acoustic Flooring claims to deliver more than simply great acoustic performance for the pound and like other floors in the manufacturer’s extensive collection, ‘it comes with a range of performance features to ensure it’s easy to maintain, safe underfoot and even more hygienic’.
Itec floors are said to be equipped with Hyperguard+ PUR, a technology that provides a long-lasting low maintenance surface that resists scuffs and stains.
‘Ensuring Itec acoustic flooring can slot straight in to existing maintenance regimes or newly-established ones without complication, Hyperguard+ is a real boost in education environments where floors come under intense pressure from pupils and activities alike,’ the company says.
‘Rated R10 under DIN 51130, also means a good degree of slip-restraint, not safety flooring standard, but enough for Itec Acoustic Flooring to be suitable for use in congregation and thoroughfare areas, as well as classrooms.
‘With 19dB floors in the Optimise Timber and Optimise 70 collections also benefit from the addition of Sanitec, an antibacterial treatment that helps to provide a more hygienic floor – a great addition no matter what the location.’
The company adds that: ‘Reducing impact sound by 18dB, Silento Design and Silento Timber ranges are available in both two and four-metre roll widths, ensuring waste and seams are minimised.
Fewer seams reduce potential failure ‘hotspots’ and this is making four-metre wide vinyl flooring particularly popular in open congregation areas and classrooms.
‘Of course, in thoroughfares, a two-metre wide floor makes more sense, and with Itec this can be achieved without comprising aesthetics: the same décor can be selected in the most appropriate width.
‘With a diverse collection of looks, from the blues and yellows known to have a positive impact on learning to natural wood effects that replicate a sense of nature indoors, there is an acoustic solution to suit any education environment.
‘Each can be accessed in two and four-metre widths, making it easy to put together a scheme. This level of flexibility is even more important in refurbishment projects where it may be prohibitive to change other elements of the interior’s design.
‘It’s also worth noting that Itec’s proprietary Invisiweld installation technology, that relies on an imperceptible chemical join, rather than a traditional unsightly weld, will do much to enhance the aesthetics of any wood or mineral effect floor. It also provides a stronger joint, minimising risk of failure in these ‘hotspots’.
‘With so many options for education environments, Itec Contract Floors can provide your facility with a tailored solution that will meet the individual needs of areas in any school, college or university.’