Lockdown office transformation for leading UK contruction firm

Redesigning and installing flooring in a new office during a global pandemic is no easy task. However, this was the challenge presented to sustainable flooring manufacturer Interface, and contractor, Excel Business Environments Ltd (EBE), when refurbishing Bouygues Energies & Services Contracting, offices in Manchester.

Bouygues Energies & Services is one of the country’s leading design and build companies delivering award-winning engineering solutions, from conception to completion for projects within critical environments such as data centres, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices. So, when redeveloping its 900m2 hub in the Manchester suburb of Didsbury, EBE worked closely with Interface’s Concept Design team to create a fresh, vibrant space which promotes its heritage, while also meeting the firm’s environmental requirements.

Rachel Wylde, Interface account manager, commented: ‘The team was really up against it on this project. The site was put into lockdown after the first day of installation, so everyone had to put down their tools and leave. The project timeframe had to be stretched out over several months, but we worked closely with Excel Business Environments to transform the space and finish the project as efficiently and safely as possible. Using our easy-to-install and sustainable products has served as a great example of how a beautiful, colourful design can be achieved efficiently and on budget. We’ve been able to create an inspiring space for the team to collaborate and work.’

The removal and disposal of the previous carpet was a key part of the project. Bouygues Energies & Services, a company with a strong focus on sustainable operations, wanted to keep the old flooring away from landfill, so chose to take part in Interface’s ReEntry scheme. The programme allows Interface to take back carpet tile products from customers and reuse, repurpose or recycle the materials, diverting the material from landfill. In the last year alone, Interface has recovered over 5,500 tonnes worldwide of post-consumer carpet brought back through customers choosing the ReEntry service.

Andy Chorley, contracts director, Excel Business Environments said: ‘We have a longstanding working relationship with Interface and have worked with them on many projects. It’s always an added bonus for the client that we’re able to remove the old flooring and make sure that it’s not just going into an incinerator or landfill which is why Interface’s ReEntry programme works so well.

‘Interface flooring is also easy to fit. All products, whether hard or soft flooring, are designed to be installed adjacent to one another without the need for any transition strips. This not only simplified the installation process, but meant that there was no impact on the design and eliminated potential trip hazards for the end-user. Despite COVID-19, we managed to work together with Bouygues Energies & Services and Interface to get the project completed in time for the office reopening.’

Donna Dent, Interface concept designer, said: ‘When it came to the design, Bouygues Energies & Services were really keen to push the boundaries with colour so they could better reflect their brand’s vibrant look and feel. It’s always great to have the freedom to explore these more striking colours on a project. We were able to introduce uplifting colour palettes including oranges, greens and blues, to create a rainbow effect across the space. We also introduced more neutral tones throughout to provide contrast. The differing textures act as a perfect transition from one side of the office to the other, and helps to break the space into different zones.’

As the welcoming point for teams and visitors, the reception area was a key focus for Bouygues Energies & Services.  It needed to stand out design-wise, while also being as inviting as possible. The Concept Design team opted for the nature inspired LVT Level Set collection, alongside its urban inspired carpet tile range, Works. The meeting point between the two products creates a striking, warm and defined impact at the building’s entrance.

To create a natural aesthetic throughout the design, Interface’s Level Set LVT, Textured Stones and Textured Woodgrains was also incorporated into high traffic areas such as the hallways and kitchen. This was seamlessly installed with the Works and Employ carpet tile collections without the need for connectors, to create a smooth finish.

The Works collection takes inspiration from the architectural perspectives of tall city skyscrapers, bringing an industrial and urban theme that reflects the company’s heritage working in the built environment. The Employ products allow for creative design options, linking the brighter, bolder flooring to more neutral areas effortlessly.

Sam Cattermole, finance and administration manager at Bouygues E&S Contracting UK commented: ‘In terms of the design itself, Interface met our brief completely and have helped us to create a colourful and inspiring flooring plan, which is also sustainable, for our team to work with. We were also extremely pleased that we were able to keep the old carpet out of landfill. Not only have we elevated our own sustainability credentials through ReEntry, but by using Interface products which are carbon neutral through their third-party verified Carbon Neutral Floors programme, we’re able to further our commitment to operate the business in a more environmentally responsible way.’

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