Long before construction on the Nationwide Children's Hospital expansion began in October 2010, project designers were drawing plans for an intricate and creative interior design that evoked the healing power of nature and daylight, and to create a look of whimsy to appeal to children.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide is one of the largest and most comprehensive pediatric hospitals and research institutes in the United States. When describing the facility's design strategy, Alisa Pinciotti, sr. interior designer for Nationwide Children's Hospital, said the goal was to create an ageless and timeless look that uses images from the natural environment. "Every aspect of the design is geared towards making the experience of the families as positive as it can be," she said.

A key component of the facility's interior design was a comprehensive and colorful flooring design of arcs and curves. Kristin Ledet, interior design manager with FKP Architects in Houston, said the complex design, developed with New York-based Ralph Applebaum Associates, required products that met the criteria of a large, clear color palette. Specifiers selectedJohnsonite's Melodiahomogeneous vinyl flooring. Currently, approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of Melodia in several colors are being installed throughout the building, as well asGranit Safe-T Flooringfor the bathrooms for its slip-resistant qualities.

Garry Ruick, president of Continental Office Environments, the project installer, said his previous experience with Johnsonite made him confident the product would meet or exceed the design and installation criteria. "The complexity of the design put a lot of demands on installers and on the product itself," he said. "The Melodia needed to be flexible enough to be cut into the many curves, shapes and designs, yet be strong enouhg to stand up to the performance demands of a major hospital."

Commercial Office Environments and construction manager Turner Construction Co. worked with Johnsonite to participate in the company'sReStart Recyling and Reclamation Program.To date, approximiately nine large containers of scrap have been returned to Johnsonite, with an estimated 17 more to arrive over the course of the project.

"ReStart allows building owners and specifiers to make environmental responsibility a practical part of the way they do business," noted Diane Martel, vp environmental planning and strategy for Tarkett.

Early feedback for the project has been positive. "I frequently tour many groups through the mock-up facility and the construction. I love sharing the work in progress to reconnect with what a wonderful, unique project the team is facilitating," Pinciotti noted.

When completed in 2012, the campus will have been expanded by more than 2.4 million sq. ft. "It's nice to know that Nationwide Children's will not only be helping future generations through medicine, but through the environment, too," noted Mark Bischoff, Johnsonite regional business manager.