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Gerflor provides Welsh college with complete flooring solution

The Nantgarw student Campus is part of Coleg y Cymoedd (College of the Valleys) in Wales. When the Nantgarw campus required a fast refurbishment of their Library, they turned to international flooring specialist Gerflor to supply Gradus Carpets for the much-used library. This successful renovation, then resulted in the specification of a vast selection of other Gerflor products for other areas of the campus. Some of which included their Olympic pedigree Taraflex sports flooring for the main sports hall, Tarasafe Safety Vinyl Flooring for changing rooms and corridors, Powershock Tiles for the gym and Gradus Barrier Matting for the reception and entrance areas.

Coleg y Cymoedd was formed in 2013, following the merger of The College Ystrad Mynach and Coleg Morgannwg. Over 10,000 learners’ study at Coleg y Cymoedd each year. The college offers a wide range of Full and Part Time courses from Entry to Degree Level in over 15 Curriculum areas. The college has invested significantly in its facilities in recent years, with standout projects including the Nantgarw Campus building (a £40 million award winning campus).

Commenting on the project Tony Thorne, Specification Manager, Gerflor, South Wales said, “Carpet Services are a well-known flooring contractor in Wales. who I visit regularly to review and discuss projects with as well as new pipeline opportunities.” Tony Thorne added, “I went to see Carpet Services and was in the right place at the right time with the discussion focusing on the library refurbishment of the Nantgarw student Campus. The client wanted to replace the flooring in the library, and required a floorcovering that would match their black and green colour scheme. The recommendation was to use Streetwise Design with Emphasis, and Stratus as a flooring solution which the client was delighted with.”

Tony Thorne also said, “Whilst the initial requirement was for approximately 300m2 flooring for the library, the end user was so pleased with the final result they chose to work with Gerflor and Carpet Services for other areas of the refurbishment programme across the entire campus.”

The Nantgarw student Campus project provided Gerflor with the perfect platform to showcase a raft of other high-quality flooring solutions ideal for the demands of the modern-day education environment. The project would amount to an immense 5300m2 of Gerflor products being specified for not only the library, but also the communal areas, changing rooms and their sports hall.

The design and specification of the Nantgarw Sports Centre of Excellence would fall to Cardiff-based architects Austin-Smith: Lord, who provide award-winning Architectural, Interior Design and Landscape Design services across multiple sectors across the UK. They have a growing portfolio of refurbishment work in the education sector, spearheaded by their growing specialist team of Interior Designers.

Jonanthan Jones, Associate at Austin- Smith: Lord commented, “We have a long-standing and successful relationship with the College, having previously designed a new campus for them in Aberdare and also helped them to re-purpose and improve much of their existing campus in Ystrad Mynach. The College were keen to explore what was possible on a prominent parcel of land to the south of the existing Nantgarw campus, with a view to creating a high quality, flagship sports facility, and engaged us and Mott MacDonald Project Management to complete a feasibility study. The study was greatly assisted by our UK-wide experience in the Further Education and Sports sectors, not least the recently completed Forge project for Coleg Sir Gar.”

On specification Jonathan Jones said, “We originally specified Gerflor for the sports hall flooring, given their proven quality and range of products to suit a variety of requirements when it comes to sports vinyl, and we have delivered several other successful projects, where we have specified Gerflor’s Taraflex indoor sports surface. The black sports flooring was selected as it complimented the overall concept, providing a striking feature in the main sports space and appeared in our very earliest Twin motion visualisations and flythroughs, which captured the enthusiasm of the client and stakeholders. With the internal colour scheme based around the college’s colours of greens, teals, greys, and blacks, we saw an opportunity to combine that and reflect the external black cladding in the sports hall floor, creating a bold contrast with the teal walls, and coloured sports line markings.”

The installation of such prestigious and large flooring project would be the responsibility of Carpet Services Flooring, Cardiff. The company is a leader in contract commercial flooring and domestic flooring, and it is a family run business, which prides itself on its delivering exceptionally high standards of service, quality products and affordable prices.

For the Sports Centre of Excellence (which is a new build), Carpet Services installed 720m2 of Taraflex Performance in ‘Black’, 90m2 of Powershock 300 Gym Tile and 400m2 of Tarasafe Ultra ‘Opal’ in corridors and changing rooms. The installation would also supply flooring for the main college building refurbishment which would include Gradus Stratus ‘Jetstream’ on multiple floors and corridors, together with classrooms, library, and office with pockets of Gradus Streetwise in ‘Green,’ ‘Orange’ and ‘Blue’ along with Gradus Emphasis Loop in the same Green, Orange and Blue on separate floors. To date the project has used approximately 4000m2 of Gradus Stratus and 300m2 of Gradus Streetwise. Other areas of the college that would benefit from Gerflor and Gradus products would be the wood-working area where 100m2 of Gerflor’s’ Tarasafe Ultra safety flooring in ‘Granite’ would be used, together with 100m2 of Gradus Boulevard Stripe matting in 1Raven1 and 100m2 of Boulevard 6000 in ‘Nightfall’.

Commenting on specification and products Ray Gallivan, Contract Manager at Carpet Services said, “We have already had ongoing work from the college and have ourselves specified and installed Gerflor for many years. They are extremely helpful and provide an excellent product portfolio of flooring products.” On the actual installation itself, Ray Gallivan further added, “We had two fitters which makes up one team which is then bolstered with extra teams as required.

The installation began at the end of May which meant that we would be ready and completed for the new term which was on the 2nd of September. All the Gerflor and Gradus flooring products that we used were extremely easy to lay as they are fantastic products to work with.”

Tony Thorne concluded by saying, “This project is so prestigious that we have entered it into the ‘Refurbishment of the Year’ award at Education Estates Magazine. Very simply, this award recognises either a school, college or university refurbishment project that has made a difference to the educational or research experience. In our opinion the Nantgarw student Campus project delivers on all the criteria that the judges will be looking for which includes the overall quality of design and manufacturing, which is extremely high, as is the client engagement and their satisfaction with the service and solution they received.”

In conclusion Ray Gallivan said, “The Gerflor flooring products that were specified for this iconic project are really meeting the high standards required for the end user. We would continue to use Gerflor on a weekly basis. The final result at the college is extremely impressive.”

On client expectations, Jonathan Jones ended by saying, “The Gerflor flooring products specified are absolutely meeting the high specifications set for the education project and client’s brief. The main circulation spaces were actually a last-minute alteration to the Gerflor products, and so to achieve the performance and appearance requirements with their alternatives in such a short space of time was absolutely vital to us. Again, the monochromatic palette is accentuated by the subtle concrete effect, providing a high-quality finish to all vinyl spaces. We would definitely specify Gerflor again. The sports hall especially looks fantastic with the diffuse light and silhouettes reflected off the black vinyl, so we are incredibly delighted with the final finish.”

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