Flooring solutions for healthcare facilities have to strike a balance between hygiene, design and sustainability.
The floor is a prime site for bacteria build up and if not correctly specified or cleaned then the spread of disease and risk of contamination can have devastating consequences.
As a result, seamless resin materials are increasingly being used to provide hard wearing, eye-catching and easy to clean surfaces. This material delivers a non-porous, watertight finish that inhibits microbial growth and can provide a hygienic transition between the floor and wall – all helping prevent the spread of bacteria.
Resin floors can be graded to reduce the risk of slipping and can also be provided in a range of decorative options that enhance a room’s visual impact.
Flowcrete Group Ltd is a leading manufacturer of resin based floor and wall coatings including seamless epoxy terrazzo, fast-cure MMA and hardwearing polyurethane finishes as well as cementitious sub-floor screeds. It is also pioneering the development of environmentally friendly floor zones, an increasingly important factor in modern construction
This year Flowcrete was involved in the construction of a medical research facility at the Kwazulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, located at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
1,000 square metres of Flowcrete’s self-smoothing epoxy flooring system Flowshield SL, a non-tainting and non-dusting system, was selected for refurbishment works across two levels of the facility – including a restricted area used to store, handle and test dangerous pathogens.
The material was supplied in three custom colours which were hand-picked by the architect and colour matched by Flowcrete.
Work at the site also included the installation of Flowcrete’s water-based epoxy wall coating system, Flowseal EPW, in the same custom colour across both floors to deliver a seamless, chemical resistant and hygienic finish.
In America a more durable solution was chosen to address an existing flooring problem at the Park Ten Surgical Center in Houston, USA.
The facility detected a moisture problem that was causing bubbling and floor delamination. To address this Flowfresh SLB, a seamless, self-levelling and chemical resistant polyurethane concrete system, was installed across 7,000 square feet of hallways and surgery rooms, in a decorative flake finish.
Alan Dean, Managing Director of Flowcrete UK, said: “All of Flowcrete’s Flowfresh products contain Polygiene®, an antimicrobial additive that eliminates 99% of bacteria on the floor. In addition, Flowfresh SLB offers excellent resistance to moisture vapour transmission, which avoids the floor system delaminating.”
The system was coated and sealed using Peran STC and Flowseal UV. These low odour products deliver a durable and robust finish, which provides chemical and abrasion resistance and a UV stable formulation to retain colour integrity.
Along with resin finishes Flowcrete’s Isowarm system has provided healthcare facilities with sustainable underfloor heating that delivers uniform, controllable temperatures whilst cutting fuel bills, with possible energy savings of up to 24%.
The historic Royal Chelsea Hospital, home to the world-famous scarlet uniformed Chelsea Pensioners, installed 6,000 square metres of Isowarm as well as Flowcrete’s Isocrete K-Screed in their new infirmary as a ‘one stop flooring solution’.
Isowarm was chosen as it is a safe, efficient and economic source of heat, ideal for adhering to the modern demands for sustainability. Out of sight, it also frees up room for vital medical equipment that would otherwise be taken up with bulky radiators.
Flowcrete has worked with many healthcare facilities, including St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust and Pinderfield Hospital, to install environmentally friendly green screeds from their Isocrete range. This offering provides a sustainable choice of screed formulations that are all free from Ordinary Portland Cement.
Green screeds deliver safe, reliable and hygienic bases on which to lay a vinyl finish and its improved flexural and compressive strength reduces the need to repair or replace the floor system, providing financial rewards throughout the building’s lifetime.
With medical facilities having to factor in a wide-range of flooring requirements including heavy foot and wheeled traffic, exposure to harmful chemicals, pathogens and bacteria as well as cost, colour and sustainability, Flowcrete’s comprehensive flooring range is emerging as a new trend within these settings for its ability to remedy all ailments.