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Gerflor and Gradus flooring solutions transform Gloucester’s cityheart living blackfriars residence

WHEN a high-end development of a new residential student accommodation building in Gloucester city centre required more than 3,800sq m of high-quality flooring, it turned to Gerflor for a complete solution. The flooring would need to look remarkable, be highly durable and also provide the safety elements required for this iconic refurbishment.

Says Gerflor: ‘The world-class flooring installed would include Gerflor’s Tarasafe Impression and Tarasafe Standard vinyl safety flooring, Taralay Impression Comfort heterogenous flooring, together with the stunning Creation 55 LVT and Gradus Boulevard 5000 high performance Secondary Barrier Matting Tiles.’

Cityheart Living’s accommodation in Cityheart’s Blackfriars residence is new and offers high specification and secure student accommodation to the University of Gloucestershire.
The accommodation offers a great location between city centre, historic Blackfriars Priory and the ever-popular Gloucester Docks providing the benefits of city centre living to those studying at rural Hartpury University and the University of Gloucestershire.

Cityheart Living strives to ensure its accommodation is safe and secure for all students, as well as being a comfortable new home. It understands this can often be its students first long-term stay away from home and its onsite accommodation teams offer a warm welcome to help them settle in.

Midas Group, a multimillion-pound construction group with seven offices around the southwest and Wales, had been appointed by the developers Cityheart Living as main contractors but went into administration in 2022.

With the start of the 2022/23 academic year in September, and students booked, the occupation date was already set. Vitruvius which is a team of project and construction management consultants swiftly proposed a construction management approach to restart the project and was appointed to take over the project.

Set in the outskirts of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Vitruvius is a project and construction management consultancy which leads, manages, and delivers commercial construction projects. It works in partnership with clients looking to achieve business growth, supporting them from the very start of a project to ensure their property plans meet the future needs of their business. The Vitruvius team is made up of experts in creating and delivering the right built environment to enable businesses to grow, not just for the short term, but long into the future.

Andy Moore, senior project manager from Vitruvius said, ‘This was the second phase of a student accommodation project, that was completed a few years ago. Phase two added 190 flats to the building scheme.’

On specification Andy went on to say: ‘The Gerflor flooring and Gradus Barrier Matting products that were chosen for phase two had to match those that we had installed in phase one. The architect’s specification and trade contractor proposals ultimately led the decisions.

The Gerflor and Gradus products were specified for various critical reasons, including their non-slip technical performance and for their longevity thanks to their hardwearing properties.
‘The client, Cityheart Living employed Vitruvius to complete the project in a construction management capacity. By retaining some key site team members and key trade contractors, the project was able to get going again relatively quickly.’

Andy Gordon, Gerflor specification area sales manager, northeast, at the time commented: ’Getting the acoustic element right on this project was crucial. Specifying Gerflor’s vinyl solutions and also the Gradus Barrier Matting products met this challenge extremely well and head on, when it came to the design floor scheme and the required performance of products for this prestigious project.’

The actual installation of the Gerflor flooring and Gradus Barrier Matting would need to be of the highest standards, as set by the end-user and the specifying architects. The delivery of the outcome would be the responsibility of Bristol-based Gollop Contract Flooring.

Paul Watts, contracts manager of Gollop Contract Flooring said, ‘The client is extremely pleased with the final result using the specified Gerflor and Gradus products. As usual, Gerflor’s vinyl flooring and Gradus Barrier Matting went down very well and was extremely easy to lay.’

John Hughes, manager at Cityheart Living Blackfriars Residence commented: ‘The final finish is really outstanding and staff and students are enjoying the new aesthetics of the installed Gerflor and Gradus flooring.’

Paul Watts concluded: ‘We’ve specified Gerflor flooring and Gradus Barrier Matting product innovations many times before and would definitely choose them again, particularly now many of their bestsellers are stocked and readily available in the UK for a fast turnaround.’

Andy Moore ended by commenting: ‘The building interiors look really good all around. The various Gerflor floorings, as well as Gradus Barrier Matting are performing extremely well. The flooring contractor, Gollops which did the actual installation, also did a brilliant job.

Gerflor’s flooring collections and Gradus Barrier Matting products are credible and well-known in the marketplace for their high quality and competitive pricing and I’ve used them on many occasions.’

Andy Gordon finally commented: ‘The client is absolutely delighted with the final end result. It was an exceptional project to work on and I’m thrilled the new Gerflor and Gradus products installed for this refurbishment are delivering on looks and technical performance.’

John Hughes concluded: ‘We have absolutely no issues with our new Gerflor and Gradus flooring products and as it stands, I’d definitely specify Gerflor and Gradus again.’

Gradus is part of the Gerflor Group, and is a UK manufacturer of contract interior solutions, including stair-edgings, floor trims, barrier matting and wall protection. This array of interior finishing solutions and accessories reportedly ensures the student accommodation sector has a complete package for all project needs.

Says the company: ‘The combined business of Gerflor and Gradus is backed up by a strong network of experienced specification, technical, customer and design support teams.’
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