Altro’s flooring and wall cladding systems are proving their clinical capabilities in a new state-of-the-art primary healthcare facility in Maidstone, Kent, where safety and infection control are paramount.
Redeveloped from an existing building by main contractor Willmott Dixon Interiors, Albion Place Medical Centre combines a local GP practice with services provided by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership, plus an on-site pharmacy.
The three-storey medical centre – procured by specialist medical facility developer GPIC Ltd – was designed by GDM Architects, whose priorities for the selection of flooring and wall cladding were clear. “Our key drivers for the new medical centre were safety and infection control, so the flooring and wall cladding had to meet very stringent requirements,” says senior architect Ben Jugoo.
“We chose Altro’s range of products because of their suitability for clinical environments in terms of safety and hygiene. They also offer a great range of colours, tones and textures, which gives us the flexibility to create an appealing, modern, design-led environment, while keeping within strict health guidelines.
“Robustness was also a priority – our aim was to create a facility that would stand the test of time, and where the flooring and wall cladding wouldn’t need to be replaced in five years. Low maintenance was another important consideration.”
For the circulation spaces on all three floors of the medical centre, and on the staircase, Ben and his team selected Altro Wood SafetyTM safety flooring in Oak Traditions. “We have specified this product before for a medical facility and it proved very successful,” says Ben.
Altro Wood Safety creates a homely, comforting and familiar look without compromising on safety. There are 16 wood-look designs, including classic, contemporary classic and on-trend. The product works well with contemporary décor such as metal and glass areas, mood lighting, vibrant colours and monotone themes.
In the consulting rooms throughout the medical centre, GDM Architects chose Altro Zodiac SmoothTM flooring. “This product is a good choice for areas where infection control and high standards of cleaning are important. We chose Nirvana green and Oxygen blue, which complemented the colour scheme.”
Altro Zodiac Smooth provides an adaptable design that works anywhere, and hits the mark on durability. It’s ideal for large areas, from care homes to student accommodation. It comes in a range of 24 colours, chosen to reflect any mood: warm, cool, neutral or vibrant. It’s easy to maintain and can be welded to provide a hygienic surface.
Altro SupremaTM safety flooring was specified for the staff changing area, very much with design in mind. Ben explains: “Here, we wanted to use bold design, while also providing excellent slip resistance. We combined three shades of Altro Suprema– Wolf, Caspian and Platinum.”
Altro Suprema is safety flooring with a designer feel. This stunning, non-sparkle safety flooring gives complete design freedom, with 40 colours including three ‘flake’ designs, to choose from.
Altro WalkwayTM 20 SD (static dissipative) safety flooring, in the shade Fog, was chosen for the computer server room. Altro Walkway 20 is a hugely popular, hard-wearing 2mm safety flooring which provides lifelong slip and abrasion resistance. It comes in a range has 42 colours, and has a SD version to minimize risk of damage to static-sensitive equipment.
To minimise the damage from trolleys and buggies in circulation areas, GDM specified Altro FortisTM corner protection for all external corners in the building.
“Equipment banging into walls can quickly cause scuffs and worse damage, so we wanted to give corners a tough extra layer,” explains Ben. Part of the Altro Fortis system, ready-made Altro Fortis corner protection gives added protection to vulnerable corners. Constructed from a highly durable semi-rigid sheet — which is a dense, impervious material, resistant to bumps — it features a lightly textured surface, which camouflages existing scuffs and prevents further damage.
For the medical centre’s showers and hand basin splashbacks, GDM opted for Altro Whiterock ChameleonTM in Pure Innocence. Altro Whiterock has a grout-free surface, which means a vastly reduced chance of harbouring infection, and makes it easy to clean. The Altro Whiterock and Altro Fortis were installed at the medical centre by Goss Environmental Coatings. Managing director George Goss comments: “The Altro Fortis corner protection was very easy to fit, as they come in ready-cut strips of 1.22m x 75mm x 75mm, which can simply be adhered on to corners with AltroFix adhesive.
“Altro also provides colour matched silicon sealant, so that a seamless, watertight seal can be made around the corner protection / wall junctions, which looks very professional. Many other manufacturers don’t provide colour matched accessories with their products; it’s what sets Altro apart. We installed 45 corner protectors throughout the medical centre.
George Goss continues: “For the showers and hand basins, we thermoformed the Altro Whiterock to fit around corners, the joints welded, and colour matched silicon used again for a seamless finish. We were on site for two weeks with two installers. Altro’s excellent customer service and reliability helped the project to go very smoothly.”
The Altro flooring was installed in the new medical centre by Maurice Blackman Contract Floors and Walls. Contracts Manager Jamie Andrews says: “The Altro Wood Safety was flat laid, but elsewhere in the building we used a coved skirting and took the flooring up the wall by 100mm. This creates a seamless, neat solution at the junction where the floor meets the wall.
“All the Altro flooring is very easy to work with, and for us it was a straightforward project, although the treads and risers on the staircases took a little longer. Overall we installed 920m2 of Altro Wood Safety, 236m2of Altro Zodiac Smooth, 271m2 of Altro Suprema, and 19m2 of Altro Walkway SD. We were on site for about three months with two teams of two installers.”
Matt Horton, Project Surveyorfor main contractor Willmott Dixon Interiors, says: “Both Goss Environmental Coatings and Maurice Blackman carried out the installation of Altro products in a very professional and co-operative manner. They worked well alongside the other trades on site, and finished on schedule. The finished results look very good in terms of finish and over quality. Both Willmott Dixon Interiors and the client are delighted with the outcome.”
The medical centre’s Practice Manager, Sue Smith, comments: “The new practice building is a huge step up for us compared with our old premises. We now have a modern, bright, comfortable environment that’s a pleasure to be in for both staff and patients.
“The flooring and wall cladding really contribute to creating a practice that’s both functional and hygienic, yet visually appealing as well, which is so important for patient and staff comfort. The wood effect flooring, in particular, looks great — and just like real wood —but it’s also very practical and feels safe underfoot.
“The Altro Whiterock wall cladding is also very smart, fresh, clean and professional. Cleaning is easy and we have had no issues with keeping the flooring and walling throughout the practice looking like new. Overall we are thrilled with our new space.”