Commercial spaces are being thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of the public. Whether a space is being transformed within days to serve its community during a pandemic or it’s being renovated to make the work and multifamily living space more comfortable and functional for all, flooring is enhancing these spaces in a big way.

A Temporary Field Hospital
Miami Beach Convention Center

As the number of coronavirus cases continued to rise in the U.S., national, state and local governments partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to convert 250,000 square feet of the Miami Beach Convention Center—nearly the size of five football fields—into a temporary field hospital. The $22.5 million project led by USACE, alongside RLF Architecture Engineering Interiors and construction firm Robins & Morton, involved the renovation of existing convention space into a 450-bed COVID-19 facility, freeing up hospital space across the state of Florida.

For this sizeable and urgent project, RLF selected nora by Interface premium rubber flooring due to its inherent properties well-suited for healthcare spaces including durability, seamless installation and ability to mitigate infection control issues, as well as for Interface’s commitment to delivering product within an abbreviated timeframe.

Rapid Delivery and Installation

Managing the logistics to rapidly secure products is one of the challenges in building a temporary hospital within 15 days. Interface understood the urgent need and leveraged its global distribution capabilities to deliver 50,000 square feet of noraplan environcare rubber flooring for this urgent project.

“Knowing the importance of this flooring, we ensured that the shipment was prioritized as a critical medical need for a rapid response,” said Tom Hume, Interface vice president healthcare and education in market segment sales. “We were able to deliver materials on time despite challenges in the transportation industry, which is working tirelessly to deliver essential goods across the country. This project was truly a group effort, and we are honored to be involved in the creation of a facility that will serve so many during this time of uncertainty.”

Flooring Ideal for Healthcare Facilities

The temporary hospital will support patients and healthcare professionals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project team selected nora rubber flooring because of its many advantages in healthcare facilities. The extremely dense closed surface of the product is resistant to micro-organism activity, so it does not encourage bacteria growth or propagation. This makes the product a good choice for use in high-risk areas that must be sanitized frequently, including recovery rooms, intensive care units, operating rooms, and isolation areas. 

“In our work designing high-performance environments, we often specify Interface flooring due to its design and performance, and the company’s overall commitment to sustainability, wellness, and serving the healthcare industry,” said Miriam Ganesh, director of interior design, RLF Architecture Engineering Interiors. “Building materials are essential in effectively reducing the transmission of hospital-acquired infections, and safe, hygienic solutions, such as nora rubber flooring, are critical elements of our design process. We knew immediately that nora was the best choice for this facility to provide the ideal environment for treatment and recovery.”

Time-Saving Installation Solutions
Lockwood Development
Omaha, Neb.

Lockwood Development renovated 14,000 square feet of space for a prominent investment management firm in Omaha, Neb. Floors Inc. was given four weeks to install a total of 900 square yards of nine different carpets, 900 square feet of LVT, four, 600 square feet of wood flooring in a herringbone pattern, 40 square feet of ceramic floor tile and 125 square feet of Daltile (Stone Á La Mod - Contempo White Wedge) mosaic wall tile.

The four-week window was made even more difficult due to the existing subfloor conditions. The floor was very uneven, sloping an average of 2 inches down between column lines. It was in these conditions that Floors Inc. had to remove the existing adhesives, self-levelers and thinset. Leveling the floor became paramount to successfully installing the herringbone wood flooring, which flowed through the entire space distinguishing different areas, as well as the DIRTT Walls that would be installed after the flooring.

In order to meet the deadline and manage the rising cost, Floors Inc. worked closely with the architect, DIRTT Wall contractor, Lockwood Development and a representative of the investment management firm to devise a plan that would allow them to strategically level the most critical areas. Floors Inc. then coordinated its efforts so that it was able to level and install simultaneously. Floors Inc. used a laser level to measure the elevation changes of each square created by the column lines. They also brought in concrete grinders and scarifiers to remove 1-1.5” of concrete around the most critical columns, and 1” in a 3-foot-wide path along the exterior walls. Then, depending on the amount of leveling needed, the company either pumped in Ardex V2100 or leveled by hand using Schönox products.

This was all orchestrated as to allow all trades to keep working without any kind of delays. And as a result, the project was able to move forward on schedule.

Improving Environments for Patients and Staff
Asante Three Rivers Critical Care Unit
Grants Pass, Ore.

Asante Three Rivers Critical Care Unit, established in 2001, is one of three Asante hospitals in Oregon. The facility, in Grants Pass, recently underwent a complete renovation of its third floor, which included everything from handrails to flooring. 

For this substantial project, consisting of 50 patient rooms, corresponding corridors and nurse stations, Asante selected norament satura to improve patient and staff experience, reduce maintenance costs and needs and improve flooring longevity.

Beyond just maintenance, cleaning and longevity, Asante chose nora rubber flooring because of its color offerings, using the flooring to aid physical therapists and nurses working to gauge or improve patient mobility. Using different colored circles spaced 25 feet apart, nurses can better understand how far patients are able to walk, improving documentation.

Creating Positive Spaces for Patients and Staff with nora

“I had toured hospitals in Portland and Bend and became a fan of nora,” said Dennis Hayes, real estate project manager at Asante Three Rivers. “The nora sales staff held my hand and led me around the country and showed me nice installs, the cleaning process, and that it’s a green product. As a LEED-certified professional, being able to take the chemicals out of the cleaning conversations made me start liking it. I started sharing those conversations with executive team members throughout Asante, not just Three Rivers.” 

As a frequent user of nora products, the Asante team is well-accustomed to the cleaning and maintenance benefits associated with premium rubber flooring. “We now have EVS [Environmental Services] staff in three different hospitals that just love the cleaning process, and they get it,” Hayes said.

Using a Seamless Flooring System to Improve Maintenance Efficiencies
Before selecting norament satura for the October 2019 third floor renovation, Three Rivers installed nora nTx on its first floor to address moisture concerns and improve durability.

For this most recent renovation, Three Rivers opted to utilize rubber flooring for the entirety of the project. “Having the seamless look is huge,” said Adam Mayle, environmental services operations supervisor at Asante. “And, maintenance is so much easier because you don’t have to use wax, like some surfaces. When cleaning the rooms, or mopping after a discharge, it’s not nearly as slick as the old flooring. And, it feels softer on your feet.”

Creating positive patient outcomes is always the goal of healthcare spaces. The environment should provide patients with quiet hygienic surroundings, eliminate the need for chemicals and support quick turn over needs. For Asante, these goals meant ensuring the renovations were completed before flu season. But, despite these concerns, Asante completed the project early.

“We were able to cut off almost four weeks of scheduled time for the flooring,” Mayle added. “Our big thing is flu season because when the flu really hits, we really need those rooms. Being able to cut off that time, that was a big deal.”

Improving Patient Experience and Safety with Color

Beyond just maintenance, cleaning and longevity, Asante chose nora rubber flooring because of its color offerings.

“Color selection is a big thing,” Hayes said. “Cleaning is always a challenge. We needed to find something that’s not too dark that you feel like you’re in a cave, but not so light that every little hiccup shows.”

The color use in the space goes beyond just maintenance. For those patients with dementia experiencing the associated symptoms of delirium, like reduced awareness, impaired thinking and emotional disturbances, Asante chose to ease their patient experience and increase safety by integrating wayfinding in the space. Asante used a lighter color flooring in the hallway and a contrasting color for patient rooms to help guests better identify spaces within the Three Rivers.

Asante also uses the colored flooring to aid physical therapists and nurses working to gauge or improve patient mobility.

“We marked the flooring with different colored circles to help nurses tell how many feet patients could walk to help us document better,” said Paula Tessen, director of nursing for inpatient services at Asante. “They are 25 feet apart so that physical therapists or the nurses can walk their patients and know how far they were able to walk.”

Show-Stopping Multi-family Design
Aston Apartment Homes
Wake Forest, N.C.

Show-stopping spaces and amenities are a must in the high-end multi-family segment. When Independence Realty Trust was renovating the Aston Apartment Homes clubhouse in Wake Forest, N.C., they were looking for an inviting gathering place that complemented their existing outdoor amenity space. The clubhouse needed to be impressive, welcoming and functional for both prospective and existing residents.

Designing for All with Philadelphia Commercial Solutions

Interior designer Tracey Mitchell was tasked with presenting a dynamic and multipurpose space to her clients at Independence Realty Trust. “I wanted to create an activities space that was for all people of all ages. A space that offered something for everyone. Philadelphia Commercial helped me accomplish this.”

Mitchell selected Philadelphia Commercial resilient style Revival in color Restyle due to its stunning design and durability and even built the design concept for the room around its unique pattern and color scheme. She cited the fluid movement of the product and the vibrant color choices as the reason for making the flooring the forefront of her design.

Stunning Results

Independence Realty Trust was pleased with the finished project and how the cohesive design brought the outdoors in. They were impressed by how the new space functions as an extension of their existing outdoor amenities and adds the wow-factor their residents seek.

Businesses are as unique as the people who lead them, so every design project comes with different requirements and challenges. As the largest event center in Northern California, the recently expanded Moscone Center in San Francisco offers more than 504,000 square feet of exhibition and conference space, covering more than 20 acres on three adjacent city blocks. When the building’s original footprint was ready for an update, several departments were involved as stakeholders, and each one brought an important perspective on the daily activities within the space.

A Focus on Health
Moscone Center
San Francisco

As a government property within the City of San Francisco, the Moscone Center needed to comply with the city’s strict requirements for healthy, sustainable flooring materials. Tarkett’s ethos Modular with Omnicoat Technology is one of only three carpet tile products the city has approved for its non-PVC backing, 45% total recycled content, and lack of hazardous chemicals. 

After months of strenuous research, San Francisco officials found that ethos met or exceeded all their standards for people and planet safety and their dedication to circular economy. Between 2004 and 2018, Tarkett diverted close to 23,500 tons of PVB film from 22.8 million windshields in the making of ethos Modular, and the carpet tiles are 100% recyclable at their end of life. Ethos Modular was also an easy selection for the Moscone Center as an efficient way to soften acoustics in expansive lobbies and corridors.

“The development of the city of San Francisco’s carpet purchasing regulation was a lengthy and iterative process,” said Jen Jackson, toxics reduction and healthy ecosystems program manager for the City of San Francisco. “Tarkett staff were responsive and very helpful in providing a substantial amount of information and documentation to verify environmental claims.”

In addition to installing healthy materials, the Moscone team was committed to maintaining their floors with sustainable practices. Tarkett is supporting Moscone’s staff by developing a customized maintenance program for the entire facility—including the spaces that are not finished with Tarkett flooring products.

“The Moscone maintenance program details the everyday cleaning procedures for both hard and soft surface flooring, occasional spot cleaning, and the deeper monthly regimen needed for long-term success of the space,” explained Andy Bayler, product care manager for Tarkett. “There’s a common misconception that effective maintenance routines must involve harsh chemicals. We’ve found that natural solutions do the job as well or better than traditional chemicals.”

Custom Design Collaboration

The renovation project did not include a design firm, so a collaborative team was assembled with professionals from Tarkett, flooring contractor Hoem Associates and the Moscone Center. The team knew its selection needed to coordinate with existing fabrics and furniture, look consistent in a variety of natural and artificial light, and offer a great deal of color variation for future tile replacements. 

Tarkett’s Halftone pattern from Suzanne Tick was chosen for all these reasons, but additional custom work was needed to adjust the color and pattern scale. Because convention and exhibition halls have such large volume, flooring is often the only design element in the space. Tarkett’s design director, Misty Lewis, worked closely with the local team in scaling the Halftone pattern, developing custom colorways and adjusting Tarkett’s manufacturing process to create a version that is in keeping with the volume of the space.

“We think it looks stunning, as in a bright and bold statement that doesn’t detract from the purpose of the space,” said Bob Sauter, Moscone Center’s general manager. “Grand Slam!”

Design that Works

Good design is important for both visually expressing an organization’s personality and functioning well for everyone in the space—from clients and visitors to C-suite executives and hourly employees. For the Moscone Center, Tarkett adjusted its manufacturing routine to create the Halftone tiles in a custom 36 x 36-in. size, instead of the standard 24-inch square. This allowed employees to use the modularity of the pattern as a guide for spacing tables and chairs during event setup. 

MetalEdge was also used to guide the team to certain areas of the floor. The transition strips were placed around loose-laid carpet tiles that concealed power access panels, helping employees quickly find the panel locations. The streamlined design of MetalEdge was a perfect solution as it was flush and durable enough for forklifts to pass over.

“The most rewarding design projects take into account the individual needs of everyone in the space, and then offer real solutions,” said Tarkett sales representative Tonya Sharma. “It was such an honor to work with a diverse, collaborative team on the Moscone Center project. We’re already hearing how these unique solutions are improving the daily job functions of the Moscone staff and visitor experience.”