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people WINTER 2016

THE MAGAZINE OF SUSTAINABLE FLOORING

LINOLEUM’S SANITARY

SIDE

HEALTHCARE’S healing floors SUSTAINABLE

RUBBER

GETS ‘HEALTHY’

DESIGN IN THE

NEW YEAR

Bolingbrook IL Permit # 422 PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID

inside WINTER 2016

PEOPLE 10 MOHAWK’S

GEORGE BANDY

PRODUCTS 24 LINOLEUM A sanitary solution

18 PERSPECTIVES 4 GOPINION 16 GUEST COLUMN ARMSTRONG’S AMY COSTELLO

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32 RUBBER Promotes the healing process

one global design: global reach, personal touch PLATFORMS 28 NOVALIS’ HEALTHY FUTURE

34 MOHAWK’S LIGHT LAB

PROJECT REVIEW 22 READING HOSPITAL FEATURES 6 SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2017

12 FLOOR COVERING

PROMOTES WELLNESS IN HEALTHCARE

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GOPINION

To a happy, healthy new year

I

t’s that time again when we’re all scurrying to complete the year’s final tasks and prepare for what’s to come in 2017. We at Green Operations would like to take a brief moment to say job well done, and we’re excited to be part of the conversation again next year. Sustainability is constantly evolving and consistently gaining clout in the decision-making process of the commercial building arena. Green building has shifted from a “nice to have” to a requirement, and the discussions around this new “standard” are largely due to an increased environmental consciousness. Members of the A&D community and their clients are asking different questions today. It’s not enough to know that a product can be reclaimed and recycled at the end of its life. Rather, people are interested in the entire lifecycle of that product — from the manufacturing facility’s processes to materials used to its effect on customers and employees in a built environment. It’s these conversations that take green design to the next level. In this issue we dive into “healthy flooring.” According to Deloitte’s “2016 global healthcare sector outlook,” more than one in 10 people in the world will be over the age of 65 by 2019. Managing the impacts of an aging population is a major influence affecting the industry. It’s also one of the driving factors that have hospitals and senior living centers re-examining the effects of a built environment on patients (and staff). Throughout this issue we discuss these topics — transparency, aesthetics, comfort, safety, air and sound quality, and cleanability — and the solutions changing healthcare’s approach. Of course, this attention to wellness permeates education, government, corporate, retail and hospitality as well. On page 6 we’ve covered some areas of focus across all segments in “2017: A look ahead at sustainable design.” One theme that has resonated with us throughout 2016 — and is quite prevalent in this issue — is collaboration. For this, our hats are off to our readership, the A&D community, manufacturers and third-party organizations working together to create a healthier future. Be sure to take a look at our Designer Profile on ONE Global Design, a growing national alliance, on page 18, and Mohawk Group’s Light Lab, where design as a central hub fuels product, process and culture, on page 34. Lastly, thank you for your support and insights. We’re inspired by your innovative, collaborative spirits and wish you all a happy, healthy and green new year.

Sarah Bousquet

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editorial steven feldman publisher/editorial director [email protected] 516.404.0836 sarah bousquet editor [email protected] k.j. quinn, liz switzer, amy costello, contributing writers 516.932.7860 advertising nadia ramlakhan sales associate [email protected] 516.932.7860 art/production lisa m. ceraso-farace creative director [email protected] headquarters 550 w. old country road, suite 204 hicksville, ny 11801 tel: 516.932.7860 fax: 516.932.7639 [email protected]

Volume 07, Issue 04, Winter 2016. GO/Green Operations is published 4 times a year (quarterly) by Ro•El Productions Inc., 550 W. Old Country Rd., Suite 204, Hicksville, NY 11801. Presort-standard postage paid in Easton, Pa., and additional mailing offices. Postmaster, send address change to GO/Green Operations, Subscription Dept., 151 Fairchild Ave., Suite 2, Plainview, NY 11803. Entire contents copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Please notify us if you are receiving duplicate copies. The views expressed by our columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the staff or management of Green Operations magazine.

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GOPRINCIPLE

2017 SUSTAINABLE DESIGN A LOOK AHEAD AT

A look ahead promises to deliver technology and data trends to the built environment in 2017, balanced by a

RETAIL / HOSPITALITY

focus on health, wellness and simplicity. Architects and

A shift in the focus on green label materials from exterior to interior is moving the transparency needle in the retail and hospitality segments. It’s all about the contents of those everyday products and the design community’s new tools for better understanding them. “Declare is transforming the building materials marketplace through transparency and open communication,” said Mindi Caulley, design associate at Weber Thompson, Seattle. “Designers are looking to products with Declare labels to meet new requirements for LEED v4 and to make healthier choices for our planet. Having this information easily accessible is key to making change in the industry.” The Declare label is a program by the International Living Future Institute, often described as a “nutritionlabel for products” that provides a clear and informative method of disclosing manufacturing ingredients with an easy-to-read product label and a clearly marked hazardous ingredients list. Growing consumer interest in wellness is a trend that is carrying over noticeably in hospitality and retail as well. “It’s important to give guests an experience they can see and feel directly. Wellness areas such as green fitness studios in hotels, or juice/tea bars meditation or yoga classes in retail environments can help guests feel healthier and more engaged with the space,” said Jessica Shaw, director of interior design at the Turrett Collaborative, New York. Recycled and natural materials, while not new, continue to gain ground due to their low impact on the environment. Recycled rubber, cement tile, recycled fibers and cork are great examples of sustainable flooring that can also offer enhanced soundproofing and energy efficiency for hospitality projects.

designers from some of the nation’s most cutting-edge firms share their thoughts on how that is likely to take shape in all four commercial segments.

BY LIZ SWITZER

FROM TOP: City of Angels from Interface’s Rug Collection draws inspiration from the earliest works of iconic artist Agnes Martin (1912 – 2004), who looked to the natural elements of desert terrain for inspiration; Interface Hospitality just launched new collections designed by Kari Pei. The Bridge Collection shown here features design elements inspired by fluid, linear folds that mimic nature’s varied terrain.

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Photo: Perkins+Will

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Michael Graves Architects projects like this one design has a human focus that results in more comfortable patient experiences, a better workplace for staff and less expense in construction; Michael Graves Architects relies on more than just design skills to plan its healthcare facilities. It requires holistic thinking and empathy to solve problems that are often unstated, said principal Patrick Burke; and polished concrete is one of the most sustainable and functional choices in healthcare settings like this one in Newnan, Ga.

HEALTHCARE Health and wellness now take priority in the practice of sustainable design, particularly when it comes to the healthcare market. “Looking for design solutions that improve the wellness of both patients and caregivers has been a current focus of ours,” said architect Patrick Burke, a principal at Michael Graves Architecture and Design. “This has required more than design skills. It requires holistic thinking and empathy to solve problems that are often unstated.” In its renovation of The Center for Restorative Care at Yale New Haven Hospital, the firm recognized that failing sight in older patients contributed to accidents in monochromatic interiors. The solution: incorporate contrasting colors on different surfaces, and improve lighting and signage systems to help patients navigate rooms, bathrooms and halls. Biophilic design is gaining traction in the healthcare sector as well, buoyed by growing evidence supporting the view that nature promotes healing. The Facility Guidelines Institute, which issues guidelines for construction of healthcare facilities, now requires access to nature as a key element in at least one space accessible to all families and one space accessible to all staff. In the built environment, this is leading to a rethink in the way buildings are designed.

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“It is becoming more of a standard design approach again to introduce daylight and nature into view,” said Gail Vittori, codirector of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, a non-profit sustainable planning and design firm and former chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s board of directors and the LEED for Healthcare committee. “It’s rethinking the whole design to something that is much more human scale and much more connected.” With flooring this new approach means specifying fewer toxic materials. “Now you see vinyl flooring manufacturers coming up with alternatives and eliminating heavy metals that have been part of their supply chain and reducing the strip and wax cycle, which was very problematic in terms of maintenance,” Vittor said. “Shouldn’t healthcare buildings be our healthiest buildings?” Material transparency is one of the most significant trends in healthcare projects for Cannon Design’s clients, said principal Jocelyn Stroupe, director of Healthcare Interiors. The strongest voices in this area have come from the Healthy Hospitals Initiative where the leading systems are taking a strong position about the elimination of PVCs from materials used in their facilities, she noted.

Continued on page 8

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GOPRINCIPLE

Photo: Chris Barrett

Photo: Grant Thornton

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: HGA converted a former Ford Model T assembly plant into a modern office building in a growing part of downtown Minneapolis; interconnecting stairs encourage an activated workplace and the open seating area supports worker mobility in this Stantec project; Stantec created a centralized gathering place for collaboration and social interaction in this corporate project.

Continued from page 7

CORPORATE In the corporate space, wellness in the workplace is the focus with new standards backed by increasingly diversified research. One of those tools is The WELL Building Standards, administered by The International WELL Building Institute, a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment. “This is a unique rating system in that it includes building location criteria (ex: access to healthy food, places to exercise) and company policies/benefits (ex: wellness programs and incentives, travel policies),” said Ariane Laxo, a designer at Minneapolis-based architecture, engineering and planning firm, HGA. “Rather than the design team leading the client through the process, owner and designer work hand-inhand to design a holistic, healthy workplace.” As millennials recently surpassed Generation X in making up the largest share of the American workforce, companies are reevaluating how the modern workforce interacts with

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their office environment. “Today, a third of office workers say that the design of an office would affect their decision to work at a company,” said Chip DeGrace, chief design officer at Interface. “As employers look to recruit and retain top talent, it’s important for them to create workspaces that inspire, motivate and spur collaboration among employees.” “We work with sophisticated clients who truly understand that happy employees are productive and engaged employees, and this in turn leads to company bottom line,” said Angie Lee, a principal architect in the Workplace sector at global design firm Stantec in Chicago. With LEED v4, transparency will become an even larger topic, said HGA’s Laxo. “Health Product Declarations requiring manufacturers to fully disclose chemicals of concern that may be included in their products, and Environmental Product Declarations, a standard means to identify the environmental impact of the product, will both be demanded more by designers and consumers,” she added.

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In education and government spaces, the most discussed aspects of sustainability these days center around the innovative health and productivity benefits of sustainable design. California-based Architecture for Education (A4E) designs innovative and sustainable learning environments through a process that takes a holistic approach to both education and sustainability. For example, A4E projects exceed the requirements of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools — similar to the LEED certification but modified to better suit educational facilities — by integrating permanent learning tools into the school environment like solar system diagrams, sundials and measuring tools, said Rachel Adams, managing principal. “We embed recycled glass into exposed concrete flooring and paving as a visual accent but also for wayfinding throughout our campuses,” she said. A special feature of A4E projects is the outdoor classroom, which integrates native plantings, garden plots and seating with power/data infrastructure. Wellness in this sector translates to features like open, attractive stairs that are almost always featured and preferred over elevators, large communal break areas to encourage movement, workstations with sit/stand options to relieve tension and change posture throughout the day, and refreshing rooftop terraces, said David Sheehan, senior interior project designer, Perkins+Will. “These design options, combined with responsible construction, are becoming the standard of sustainable design,” Sheehan said. “Materials still need to be durable, like epoxy terrazzo for heavy traffic areas. Sealed or polished concrete slab as the finished surface is now a great choice as is porcelain tile for both floors and walls.” He added that wood flooring remains popular with many clients, primarily for its aesthetic.

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Photo: Perkins + Will

EDUCATION / GOVERNMENT

TOP: Terrazzo remains a great sustainable choice for heavy traffic areas like this Texas A&M installation by Perkins+Will, while Architecture for Education (A4E) designs innovative and sustainable learning environments that support education through a wide array of learning opportunities for students. BELOW: A4E takes a holistic approach toward sustainability in school construction, integrating permanent learning tools into the environment such as solar system diagrams, sundials and measuring tools. The outdoor classroom is a special feature of A4E projects to help build curriculum, history and culture.

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GOPEOPLE

5 QUESTIONS FOR…

George Bandy

vice president of sustainablility, Mohawk

2

1

HOW IS THE COMMERCIAL FLOORING SEGMENT IMPACTING SUSTAINABILITY WITHIN THE INDUSTRY AND BEYOND? The commercial flooring segment has been a leader in the industry as it relates to sustainability because it is underneath the end user and connects everything. Flooring oftentimes sets the foundation for a green project by being the catalyst to improving productivity, making people feel better inside a space and even providing directional influence — whether it be via acoustical benefits or recycled materials used. Flooring can create a platform designed to mimic nature, or even in a retail atmosphere, to make people want to be in specific space and experience certain things. We can further continue down this path with smart floors and other innovations, and have so much more we can do.

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WHAT’S THE NO. 1 QUESTION REGARDING GREEN BUILDING THAT YOU CONTINUALLY HEAR FROM THE A&D COMMUNITY? AND WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER? We’ve been hearing a lot of requests for Red List-free products, and Mohawk has responded with more than 500 products. These have been well received, but the impact of those products depends on how other people in the industry answer this request. Second, people are asking for more corresponding products that go together — both hard and soft surface — to give them what they need. People are also looking for more biophillic design, which seems to help answer enduser questions: How can you help me attract and retain millennial talent, make people more productive at work and provide an environment that people want to come spend time in?

3

HOW DO YOU BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THE SOCIAL AND BUSINESS SIDES OF SUSTAINABILITY? The gap is already bridged for us. One of the best kept secrets at Mohawk is we have nurses and doctors on site at 14 of our production facilities. We provide health and wellness for customers but also for the people who work here. That social connectivity shows we are concerned. We believe you can’t prioritize wealth and socialize the risk as a manufacturer. Our social responsibility is to our community — internally as well as the broader clients, cities and global community we share. To do this, we’re always working to create an atmosphere for collaboration and building relationships to obtain understanding. And the culture within our organization is cognizant we are all here together trying to meet those needs.

4

YOU RECENTLY JOINED MOHAWK GROUP. WHAT ARE THREE GREEN GOALS FOR THE COMPANY IN YOUR FIRST YEAR AS ITS SUSTAINABILITY LEADER? I think sustainability requires constant thoughtful disruption, and I will bring to the table a team of disrupters that challenge the norm. This group will listen and go out intently asking customers what are we doing or not doing to position ourselves with you. The goal is active engagement. I really want us to listen to the heartbeat of customers when it comes to green building solutions all for one reason: our future. We want to do our part.

5

WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO RESOURCES ON SUSTAINABILITY, AND HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY BE MORE PROACTIVE IN EDUCATING ITSELF? Wisdom times innovation yields opportunity. I have independent relationships with so many pioneers of sustainability — Rick Fedrizzi, Janine Benyus, Jason McLennon, Mahesh Ramanujam, Cheryl Durst, Bob Berkebile and John Claussen, for instance. Gathering wisdom from these leaders and then listening to young, super smart, highly enthusiastic and digitally connected folks has given me an innovative, relationship building, globalization mindset. I’m excited to see if we all are ambassadors of sustainability where these collaborative ideas merge to create an explosion of opportunity to really make a difference.

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GOCOVER STORY

healing design HOW FLOOR COVERING PROMOTES

WELLNESS IN HEALTHCARE BY K.J. QUINN

R

emember when much was written and said about how certain floor coverings contributed to “sick building syndrome” in healthcare? It took about 25 years to dispel these notions, but the industry completed a 180-degree turn as research studies indicate soft and hard surfaces actually contribute to improving wellness outcomes for patients while positively impacting the general health of medical facility staff. “Selecting appropriate materials for a facility is very important,” noted Jim Bistolas, national healthcare segment director, Gerflor USA. “A critical part of that selection process is to evaluate evidence that supports these decisions.” A mountain of evidence from research studies describes how interior finishes can influence medical outcomes, and reduce

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errors and waste within healthcare spaces. Fueling significant changes in these selections is the adoption of evidence-based design (EBD), the process of basing design decisions on the built environment and credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes. “Health and wellness, in general, is a huge trend in design now,” said Sara Cederberg, technical director, LEED, at U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC; Washington). “We are getting more evidence-based data — especially in healthcare environments — on how flooring designs can help create a more calming and relaxed environment.” PATIENT EXPERIENCE SWAYS HEALTHY DESIGN

It would be an understatement to say the impact patients have on hospitals and medical centers is growing significantly.

ABOVE: Gerflor USA’s Mipolam Symbioz, a homogeneous sheet flooring with a 100% bio-based plasticizer, is featured at the WellStar Pediatric Center in Kennesaw, Ga.

For starters, satisfaction surveys reportedly drive reimbursements and future decisions a healthcare facility may make. “Facility managers and healthcare executives are relying on designers to choose products and plans that will optimize the patient experience,” noted James Johnson, commercial segment manager, Armstrong Flooring. “These decisions help produce revenue not only through government reimbursements but also patient turnover.” An aging U.S. population is a contributing factor as nearly two-thirds receiving care in emergency departments, hospitals and outpatient settings are age 65-plus, noted Jane Rhode, principal, JSR Associates, Ellicott City, Md. “As a result, facility managers are challenged with budget constraints, reducing risk and promoting safety, as well as a higher

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awareness of the growing population that needs care.” Further driving changes in healthcare design are HCAHPS Scores, a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care. “Designers are more tuned into this than ever,” said Kathy Griffel, director of healthcare, Mannington Commercial. “And the right floor can contribute positively to these scores, particularly around the cleanliness and perceived quietness of the space.” Patients and their families are much more aware of their surroundings and take this into consideration when choosing facilities for treatment, especially for long-term care. “If healthcare doesn’t adapt to the fact they are a business with clients who chose their respective facilities, then they won’t have any patients,” said Aneetha M. McLellan, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, DLR Group, Omaha, Neb. “By improving the environments in which patient and families operate, the better the outcomes are.” To that end, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health

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Administration (VHA) follows Patient Centered Care (PCC) principles in the design of spaces throughout its medical facilities. “VHA plans and supports the overall design of the space to include more natural elements and materials — physical and visual access through materials and finishes,” said Christine Emanuelson Johnson, EPS program manager, interior design. “These elements can play a role in decreasing stress in the patient and family.” VHA reports going to a Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) design model, which means the patient is the focus of all care and spaces are designed to support VHA care-giver staff. EVALUATING FLOORING OPTIONS

The impact of flooring decisions has tremendous influence in creating healthcare facilities that are inviting, meet IAQ requirements, support ambulatory and mobility, and reduce noise levels — all of which assist in creating a healing environment. “Safety is primary,” Mannington’s Griffel pointed out. “Not just slip and fall, but also security and comfort underfoot.” Gloss level, for instance, is a key consider-

Mannington Commercial’s Realities and six colors of BioSpec MD are featured in Inova Children’s Hospital, Falls Church, Va., designed by Wilmot Sanz, an architectural firm in Montgomery Village, Md.  

ation relative to eye fatigue of employees and elderly patients. Mark Huxta, director of healthcare sales for Ecore, noted research is under way to combat this very issue — how flooring may reduce the risk of injury from patient falls. “The design community has focused a great deal of time and attention on effectively reducing the number of falls, but it is quite clear falls continue to happen,” he said. “The providers recognize this and are looking for products that can reduce the risk of injury from patient falls.” Ecore’s Galaxy rx flooring features a 2-mm vulcanized surface fusion bonded to a recycled rubber backing which not only provides foot fall reductions, but can also significantly reduce fall impact. Additionally, flooring can impact patient outcomes is by helping reduce acoustic levels inside a facility. Studies

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GOCOVER STORY Continued from page 13

Photo courtesy of E4H Architecture.

show that sleep is critical to patients, especially those struggling to get well. “Designing and building healthcare spaces to provide a soothing, quiet environment has proven to help patients heal faster,” Gerflor’s Bistolas said. “This results in better patient review scores for a facility, which directly impacts their bottom line.” Modular carpet and certain resilient flooring are considered good choices in these public spaces due to their sound control properties. Facility managers and healthcare administrators have always focused on materials that work well with their maintenance and infection control programs, as cleaning protocols can also affect patient health. For this reason, reducing chemical use is important in all areas. “When an environment doesn’t look maintained, it appears that the facility does not have good care,” DLR Group’s McLellan said. “So maintaining environments have a direct correlation to the quality of care.” For example, using no-wax products can support the healing process. “Eliminating wax on a floor helps remove harmful VOCs from the environment where immuno-compromised patients reside,” explained Lisa Bonnet, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED AP, senior interior designer, E4H Architecture, Boston. “The Healthy Hospitals Initiative promotes the use of nonwax flooring products due to the improved indoor air quality they provide.” VHA considers specifying materials that can be properly cleaned with the least amount of disruption to patients and

FROM TOP: The combination of a neutral toned and wood look luxury vinyl tile helps define the staff, circulation and patient zones of the Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital Center, Springfield, Mass., while allowing for continuity and ease of maintenance for the floor; JSR Associates selected vinyl plank flooring to provide a seamless installation with the adjacent carpet, minimizing fall risk and supporting participant mobility at The Edward N. And Della L Thome Adult Senior Care Center in Windsor Mill, Md.; and Ecore’s Forest rx product was installed in a hospital room at a medical center in Philadelphia.

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XXXXXXXXGO Tobin Parnes Design was hired to develop a new, 22-bed resident unit at the Parker Jewish Institute, New Hyde Park, N.Y. The design approach centered on a residential setting that fosters independence, encourages resident choices and provides areas for socialization, privacy and quiet. Pictured is a carpet tile by Milliken in the space and LVT from Armstrong in the corridors.

their caregivers. “Products with longer life cycle costs decrease the need for replacement,” Orest Burdiak, CFM principal interior designer, pointed out. “VHA benchmarks with similar private sector healthcare organizations when considering the master construction specifications for its facilities.” HEALING: THE SUSTAINABILITY FACTOR

While durability, maintenance and budget are still important when specifying flooring for a healthcare project, the industry is entering a new age where expectations for interior finishes are changing. “It now needs to be about people and not about product,” Ecore’s Huxta said. “It should be about how flooring can enhance the lives of patients, residents and staff.” Understanding the population whom facility managers are providing care is critical. Flooring solutions, as well as all other design decisions, must respond to the function, safety, lifestyle and values of this demographic. “In senior living residences, for example, social and programmatic areas can no longer be ‘institutional,’ but rather must reflect the needs of the residents,” noted Carol Tobin, principal, Tobin Parnes Design, New York. “Providing environments with material specifications that present a blend of color, texture, patterns and correct lighting can increase the residents’ sense of wellness.” To that end designers are reportedly fusing functionality and sustainability to create environments designed for com-

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fort, convenience and safety. “When it comes to evaluating products and materials, including flooring, we’re focusing on what’s in the product, how it’s made and the manufacturing process,” USGBC’s Cederberg said. “So we’re using tools like life cycle assessment to understand how much energy and water are used to make the product, does it emit VOCs when in use, has it gone through third-party testing, and are manufacturers transparent about the ingredients in the flooring.” The VHA Office of Construction & Facilities Management provides master construction standards which are continuously updated with new products and research. For example, “the contents of PG-18-14 are determined by best practices of both private and governmental major healthcare systems,” Burdiak said. “Consideration is given to renewable energy, least disruption to patient care, pre- and post-consumer recycled content, and life cycle costs.” NEW SOLUTIONS ELEVATE HEALTHCARE’S LOOK, FEEL

In short, industry research supports the idea that floor design contributes to the calming atmosphere of a space and promotes healing. Said USGBC’s Cederberg: “How flooring choices can relate to other materials in a space, how they help ensure safety and beauty at the same time, and how they measure those impacts on healing time, is an emerging topic and one that people are trying to understand better.”

While there are commercial floors with a proven track record in healthcare, innovations across all product types are meeting the needs of this forward-thinking healing design movement. “Vinyl, particularly of the LVT variety, has evolved to create a resilient solution that does an excellent job at mimicking natural flooring options typically found in residential and hospitality settings, at an affordable cost,” Tobin Parnes Design’s Tobin said. Indeed, many healthcare facilities are striving to create an atmosphere that’s more home-like and moving away from stark institutional looks, in part due to feedback from their HCAHPS scores. Floor coverings support this trend. “Patients prefer a comforting aesthetic and facilities are feeling the pressure to stay on the forefront of design to remain competitive in their markets,” E4H’s Bonnet said. “We see quite a few of the wood-look visuals. But, the market is being flooded with products that replicate other organic elements, such as stone or fabric as well.” While natural and organic looks are trending in patient and resident areas, a contemporary spin on design is more requested than a traditional look. “Our audience is much more equipped with a higher design sense today than in the past,” DLR Group’s McLellan explained. “Patients continually see high design environments, and expect the same from their care facilities.” The appearance of healthcare spaces can also be influenced by geography and culture of the local population. “VHA understands the unique population of our patients,” Johnson said. “Spaces are designed that respect the veterans’ values, preferences and needs.”

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GOPERSPECTIVE

Circular systems for

resource conservation

BY AMY COSTELLO, P.E., LEED-AP O+M, SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER, ARMSTRONG FLOORING

C

ircular economy and systems thinking are trending sustainability concepts, but these concepts are not new. John Muir observed more than 100 years ago: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” As an ecology student, I was taught about the connectivity of natural systems — photosynthesis, food web and the like — but systems are not limited to nature. They extend, as Muir points out, to everything. Industrial ecologists examine material and energy flows through industrial systems, while economists study production, resource allocation and dis-

“Sustainability impacts —

social, environmental and economic — occur at each phase in a product and building’s life cycle, and trying to navigate and prioritize these impacts can be a challenge.” tribution of goods and services through economic systems. What is interesting is all three are essentially studying the same thing from different lenses.

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With the rebirth of life cycle thinking and especially with the inclusion of the life cycle assessment (LCA) in green building rating systems such as LEED v4 and Green Globes, the building community is starting to realize the importance of the connection between building systems, industrial systems and ecological systems. Sustainability impacts — social, environmental and economic — occur at each phase in a product and building’s life cycle, and trying to navigate and prioritize these impacts can be a challenge. Many tools have been developed to bring transparency and clarity to these issues. LCA is a tool for understanding environmental impacts of a product or building; however, an LCA will not provide the whole picture as it does not address social or economic issues. Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) can assess the economic issues in terms of total cost of ownership for a product or building. It provides a standardized assessment approach that takes into account all the economic impacts for consideration. The end result is a robust economic comparison of alternatives over time, and an improved understanding of how periodic costs impact the total cost of ownership. However, there are factors that impact LCCA; for example, a difference in product, the application of the product (traffic, etc.) and maintenance practices will all have an affect on the overall health of the environment and budget. To best analyze your life

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cycle choices, I recommend following the guidelines identified by Stanford University Land and Buildings: • Establish clear objectives for analysis. Since LCCA is an economic analysis tool useful for the comparison of life cycle costs for product alternatives, a typical objective is to determine which alternative has the lowest cost of ownership. • Determine the criteria for evaluating alternative products. It is important for a company to discuss and document the primary metrics and variables that will be used for their decision making. Normally this would include payback thresholds, internal return rates (i.e. discount rate) and expected performance criteria (i.e. life expectancy, usage levels, etc.). • Identify base case and develop alternatives. Typically a maximum of five alternatives is sufficient to provide enough information to make a decision. In all cases the alternatives being compared need to fulfill the same basic functional requirements. • Gather cost information. For each alternative, gather and document all relevant costs associated with ownership for the assessment period. Costs that are incurred equally for each alternative (i.e. product cost) can be ignored to simplify the calculation process. • Calculate the life cycle costs for each alternative. Analyze the alternatives by calculating the net present value of each, then compare the results using the previously defined evaluation criteria. For products with similar economic performance, a second set of criteria, such as environmental impact, may be used to make the final decision. The practice of going through a Life Cycle Cost Analysis can be, admittedly, overwhelming at first blush. However, LCCA is most effective when used early in the design phase of a project as it enables decisions — based on the long-term economic analysis and not simply the first cost. A worksheet to help you calculate life cycle cost can be found at: armstrongflooring.com/commercial/en-us/resources/lifecycle.html The challenge moving forward will be how to value and compare the costs associated with the different systems. The financial costs associated with economic systems are relatively easy to calculate and compare, while the costs associated with environmental and social system are more difficult because they involve personal judgment. Regardless, being aware of systems and life cycle thinking will lead to better choices and outcomes with a more sustainable future.

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GOPROFILE

Roy Huebner

ONE O GLOBAL DESIGN

global reach with a personal touch

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NE Global Design took shape in the mid-1990s as Norm Liedtke, CEO of Philadelphia-based Meyer, and Ron Carlson, CEO of Chicago-based Partners by Design, realized their clients’ growing need for servicing their clients in multiple locations with the same attention and expertise provided locally. The solution blossomed after the two collaborated on several projects and committed to creating a national alliance. The concept turned collaborative quickly, and gained client and partner interest with its new approach: Independently owned design firms from different cities, even different countries, working collaboratively and seamlessly all in service of, and for the good of, clients and their projects. Today, ONE Global Design is a network of principal-owned and -led design firms in 18 cities from Vancouver to Mexico City, Atlanta to Los Angeles. The alliance represents more than 750 professionals and $95 million in revenue. In 2014 alone, the firms collaborated on more than 40 projects and continue to gain ground. Green Operations met with Roy Huebner, the group’s first executive director, to learn more about ONE Global’s mission, vision and industry insights.

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ONE Global Design made its flooring debut this year, partnering with Mannington Commercial on Infused LVT (left) and Intrinsic carpet tile (center and right). Infused captures the cultural diversity of the Americas, while Intrinsic was inspired by nature.

Q

How does a client’s experience with ONE Global Design differ from that with a single A&D firm relationship? ONE Global Design’s size and singular interior design focus distinguishes the client experience from others. As a network, the group is able to provide a high degree of attention to the needs of clients in a variety of cities, giving design teams direct access to the client. This means the firm has boots on the ground in both an operations and an aesthetic sense.

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ONE Global Design’s inception was incubated when Norm [Liedtke, CEO of Philadelphia-based Meyer] and Ron [Carlson, CEO of Chicago-based Partners by Design] realized the need for solutions that would maintain local clients with a national presence. They were looking to provide seamless project delivery to clients, while staying in close relationships with local clients at a global scale — there is clear value in face-to-face relationships and business partners in each market. After working together on several projects, they decided to establish a national alliance to do just that. The success is evident by the growth and stability of the organization today.

Design innately has a collaborative spirit. How does ONE Global Design strategically make this network a business model? Relationship building between firms is the key to our success. We provide a principal-led level of commitment that centers on respect and trust, so our clients know they will receive the type of service and expertise they expect for their projects.

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How did you recruit your member firms?

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How do member firms decide when/if a project is better suited for ONE Global Design?

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What are some of the solutions ONE Global Design was looking to provide upon its creation? And how successful has it been?

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We’ve been very strategic in our growth, making sure we have coverage with like-minded firms across all major metropolitan areas.

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GOPROFILE

ONE Global Design is a network of principal-owned design firms from 18 cities that collaborate to provide global reach and local expertise.

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Again, it’s about being in business with the right people. Our members always have the best interest of the client from a cost and service perspective in mind, which informs the ultimate decision.

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What are three projects that exemplify your “global reach with a personal touch?” Epsilon, Comcast and Lockton. Looking at the green building segment, how has ONE Global Design impacted sustainable, biophilic or healthy building knowledge or expansion? While we take sustainability into account, our focus on design really depends on the client direction.

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Do any of your members partner with manufacturers in product design (specifically flooring)? If yes, what flooring partnerships have you been a part of, and what was the experience? So far we’ve teamed up with Mannington Commercial — just this year — to create two collections. Infused LVT is a mosaic of five sophisticated, graphic patterns inspired by five different cultural centers. It, like ONE Global Design, captures the spirit of the Americas, from Atlanta to Chicago, Mexico City, New York and Philadelphia. The second collection, Intrinsic, offers carpet planks inspired by nature’s details.

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It was quite a unique experience from concept to launch, as 25 to 30 principal-level design professionals from different firms, cities and even countries worked seamlessly together on product design. I don’t believe there are many precedents for having senior level involvement from this many independently owned firms who are also geographically diverse. This was really collaboration and diversity at the highest level.

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What commercial flooring trends have you observed since your inception in 2011? And what trends do you see happening as we head into 2017? We’ve seen an uptick in LVT, carpet tile and manufactured surfaces, which we believe will continue trending in the coming year.

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Describe ONE Global Design in three adjectives. Personal, collaborative and effective.

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How have you seen ONE Global Design impact the A&D industry thus far, and where do you see the network in five to 10 years? We intend to stay focused and maintain high project delivery standards as a criterion for membership. The goal of the alliance is about providing exceptional service and not our ‘size.’ We are also always looking for continued improvement through stability without compromising quality.

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What’s one piece of advice for the A&D community as the industry continues to change? Always listen to the client — they know their business. And don’t impose “trends” for the sake of design.

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GOPROJECT

READING T

hree years ago, Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., embarked on a $354 million expansion project that would add 476,000 square feet to the 147-year-old hospital. The goal was to replace and relocate operating rooms spread across PROJECT: Reading Hospital, four buildings and provide 150 West Reading, Pa. new private patient rooms. OBJECTIVES: Replace and relocate Today, Seventh Street Tower, operating rooms spread across four as the new nine-story addition is buildings; provide 150 new private called, welcomes patients and patient rooms visitors to a facility that features PRODUCTS SPECIFIED: Noraplan eco privacy, flexibility and the latest with Nora nTx technology available to healthNORA’S ADVANTAGES: care professionals and their Time and cost savings patients. Running throughout Moisture resistant most of the facility — including five floors of private patient Single point of contact rooms, 24 surgical suites with six Ease of care and maintenance hybrid operating rooms, eight Low-gloss finish minor procedure rooms, recepSafety and durability tion, recovery areas and an expanded trauma space — is Noraplan eco with Nora nTx. Nora nTx is a pre-applied, solvent-free adhesive backing that minimizes prep work and eliminates drying protocols,

HOSPITAL

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saving valuable time and money. LF Driscoll Co. estimated a total time save of approximately two months using Nora products. The product is also resistant to high moisture vapor emissions and extensive pH limits, which eliminates the need for moisture testing and remediation before installation. This again significantly decreased installation time. From a maintenance perspective, Noraplan eco with Nora nTx does not require waxing, making care and patient throughput — ability to move patients throughout the hospital — and turnover faster and nearly seamless. Nora product was not only specified for its life-cycle attributes, ease of maintenance and time/cost savings, however. Aesthetics and safety played a part in the decision as well. Noraplan eco with Nora nTx features a low-gloss finish, which has been found beneficial in healthcare as glossy floor coverings can disorient patients. Further bolstering wellness, Marie Keim, director of epidemiology infection control and prevention at Reading Health System, noted the importance of flooring when it comes to safety.

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“Noraplan eco with Nora nTx offered two important advantages from a construction standpoint. The floor significantly reduced installation time, and we had one company providing all of the warranty for the flooring which is pretty much unheard of on other projects. Getting one warranty from one supplier on the project was very helpful.” JEFF HUTWELKER, PROJECT EXECUTIVE, LF DRISCOLL CO.

“Noraplan eco with Nora nTx is a lower maintenance product requiring less labor and materials… It offers as much as 20% to 30% in labor savings related to the care and maintenance of the floor. In addition, from an environmental standpoint, you can clean and maintain the floor with less caustic chemicals and cleaners as opposed to other traditional floor coverings.” TIM COLE, DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, READING HEALTH SYSTEM

She praised Noraplan eco with Nora nTx for its solid, dense, smooth qualities that give the hospital an extra barrier against residual water or bacteria, its ability to resist stains and its comfort underfoot for patients and staff. For more information and to watch a brief video about the use of rubber flooring in the hospital, visit the Nora website at nora.com/us/resources/project-library/ videos/.

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“If I was advising someone in selecting a flooring covering, I would tell them to take a very close look at product with regards to the overall cost and relative cost over time, taking into consideration both the use and the durability of the product, and the amount of time and number of people required to maintain it. When we examined this over the duration of the Reading Hospital project, we found that Nora flooring with Nora nTx is far superior than other choices.”  DAVID MAJOR, DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION, READING HEALTH SYSTEM

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GOPRODUCT

linoleum MORE THAN A

sanitary solution BY K.J. QUINN

Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev., looked to Tarkett’s Harmonium xf2 sheet products for its infectious control needs when remodeling the center’s pediatrics wing.

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H

ealthcare is among the most challenging environments for the A&D community to service, and with good reason. Interior finishes must be hygienic and provide for the health and safety of patients, visitors and staff. The flooring must be tough enough to withstand the daily, around-the-clock pounding from rolling and foot traffic and still be easy to maintain. “When designing healthcare facilities, we think of safety, function and aesthetics,” said Lyudmyla Matyushko, an interior designer at EwingCole, Philadelphia. “Sterile environments are meant to be safe

and germ/bacteria free.” Linoleum is a floor covering that meets these criteria and is no stranger to designers. Introduced more than a century ago, today’s linoleum is harkening a new generation of specifiers as a durable, all-natural alternative to resilient flooring. “The major attribute of linoleum that makes it applicable to medical centers and hospitals is its sheet production,” noted James Johnson, commercial segment manager, Armstrong Flooring. “The sheet application allows for minimal seams and, therefore, offers less opportunity for bacteria to hide in grout lines or floor seams. Additionally, this allows for

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better maintenance options than other flooring.” Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of linoleum is its ability to meet the rigorous requirements for sterile environments found in intensive care, operating and emergency rooms. Infection control is critical as nearly 100,000 people die annually from HAIs (Hospital Acquired Infections), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Given these factors, we can understand why cleanliness and sanitation are a priority for all types of healing environments,” said Cynthia Hubbel, director of healthcare strategy and development at Tarkett. “Overall, healthcare flooring must be durable to endure high traffic flow and the rigorous maintenance used to combat bacteria and secondary infections.” Properly selected flooring can not only lower the risk of HAIs, but enhance safety by reducing falls while toning down noise levels in treatment areas. And since linoleum can be flash coved and either heat or chemically welded, it allows for minimal seams and a natural antimicrobial surface healthcare facilities look for. “Seamless floors are certainly better at preventing mold and bacteria growth,” noted Angie Clarkson, LEED AP BD+C, project manager and interior designer, LWPB, Oklahoma City. “And linoleum does

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not contain any of the potentially dangerous plasticizers and heavy metals that are found in a lot of PVC or other vinyl products.” Linoleum is made from natural materials such as linseed oil, jute, cork powders and tree resins. The product is antistatic, hypoallergenic and does not emit potentially harmful VOCs, so it contributes to good indoor air quality. “Additionally, the recent trend of phthalate free has many designers changing specifications for these spaces,” Armstrong’s Johnson observed. “Armstrong linoleum offers no ortho-phthalates or heavy metals, low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and is FloorScore certified.” CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE BENEFITS

Following proper guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting is the first and best line of defense against HAIs. But the frequency of cleaning with harsh, complex chemicals to maintain a sterile status can wreak havoc on a floor’s performance. “While hospitals tend to like ‘shiny floors’ linoleum typically has a factory-finished wear layer with a matte sheen that can be maintained without waxing, cutting down on maintenance costs, chemical use and downtime,” noted Amanda Logatto, interior designer, Perkins+Will, Washington. Vendors do offer proprietary coatings that protect linoleum and make it a

Forbo’s Marmoleum Striato collection presents linear floor designs in both warm neutrals and bright colors. The organic linear pattern provides the floor with a natural, homey feel for healthcare facility interiors.

more durable material. For example, Forbo reports that its Marmoleum with TopShield2 provides an occupancyready finish that can be renewed easily and cost effectively, bringing the floor back to its original beauty after years of heavy use. “This is important to facility managers that are tasked with different cleaning and disinfecting methods needed throughout the facility, from using auto-scrubs in the corridor to microfiber in the patient rooms,” said Casey Johnson, business development manager for Forbo’s Marmoleum, North America. “Forbo works closely with our customers to listen and review cleaning and maintenance procedures with facilities and offer insight and training that meets the facility’s needs and requirements.” Life cycle costing is another major advantage for linoleum in comparison to other commercial floors as it can wear and look well for considerably longer

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GOPRODUCT

Continued from page 25 while requiring less maintenance. “Healthcare facilities are looking for flooring products that offer extended system service life, excellent cost of ownership and minimize environmental harm,” noted Forbo’s Johnson. “The Marmoleum line finds use in ERs, procedure rooms and specialized care/ treatment areas such as blood draw and oncology.”

LEFT: Armstrong’s LinoArt Granette provides style, design, performance and ease of installation and maintenance, ideal for healthcare spaces.

BELOW: Armstrong’s LinoArt Marmorette sustainable materials include rapidly renewable natural ingredients blended to create easy-toinstall linoleum flooring.

EXTENDED DESIGN CAPABILITIES

Designers use materials to support the architectural interior design of a building, so patterns and colors are all part of the big picture in the specification process. “The inspiration for pattern can come from the building, function or creating rooms using flooring as a boundary, or transitioning from one type of space to another,” noted Karen Miller, an interior designer at EwingCole. “Inspiration can come from anywhere and is not limited to the healthcare solutions, so a variety of design options is key.” Similar to other resilient floors, linoleum comes in multiple fresh hues, and the color and pattern extend through the entire thickness of the product. When specified in roll goods, linoleum allows for flowing designs and adds natural influences to otherwise harsh environments. “The beautiful marbleized patterns in linoleum are steadfast and have remained popular with the design community for the last 75 years,” Tarkett’s Hubbel pointed out. “From an installation perspective, it’s easy to create intricate shapes and patterns because the material is flexible.” Like resilient and rubber, linoleum can be waterjet cut with intricate patterns and inlays. “Borders and fields, medallions, stripes, tiles and planks offer an outstanding range of product application,”

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said Robin Guenther, principal, FAIA, LEED Fellow, Perkins+Will, New York. “We have even wrapped linoleum up the walls.” Various industry studies have shown that healthcare design has proven to impact patient care and enhance medical outcomes, in addition to meeting infection control standards. The rise of evidencebased design (EBD) is prompting many facilities to move away from stark institutional looks and create atmospheres which are more home-like. “Linoleum has a less institutional aesthetic than other sheet goods, and its color range is both bold and subtle,” Guenther noted. “We use it extensively in outpatient settings.” As facilities work to provide a space with the look and feel of hospitality, patterns that resemble natural materials are becoming more popular in public and surgical areas, observed Mary Dickinson, regional sustainable design leader, Perkins+Will, Dallas. “With the availability of tile and sheet options with the same

wood-look pattern, linoleum now has the unique ability to meet a design aesthetic without changing products.” Wayfinding also plays an important role in a designer’s decision-making process, and linoleum meets this need within the healthcare segment as well. “Linoleum is a good choice for embedding wayfinding cues in corridors to section the different zones in patient rooms and to create clean/dirty boundaries at labs or pharmacies,” Perkins+Will’s Logatto said. Regardless of project, healthcare designers concur it’s best to use a balanced choice approach when selecting flooring. While resilient and soft surfaces are proven performers when placed in the appropriate areas, linoleum’s range of colors, patterns and shapes, combined with its cost effectiveness, ease of maintenance and sustainable attributes check many of the healthcare segment’s boxes.

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GOPLATFORM

NOVALIS’

VISION

FOR A

healthier flooring, future

TOP: The Novalis facility near Shanghai, China, is one of the largest LVT manufacturing facilities in the world. RIGHT: John Wu, CEO, with father Dr. Z. L. Wu, founder of Novalis, and sister C.C. Wu, COO.

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FROM TOP: A Magnum ‘Pop-Up’ Pleasure Store installation using Novalis loose lay LVT planks, which can easily be uninstalled, transported and reused at another location or in other projects; NovaCore Rustic Jade High Performance Core installation.

BY SARAH BOUSQUET

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uxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) has literally been gaining ground as one of the fastest-growing flooring categories of the past five years. On the commercial side, LVT saw a 13.5% increase in square footage just from 2014 to 2015 — 257 million to 297.2 million. In dollars, that’s a 12.7% increase, rising from $511.25 million in 2014 to $576.4 million last year. While vinyl interest among the A&D community has not always been so prominent, one company’s foresight into the product’s potential has. Novalis Innovative Flooring was founded in 1984 by Dr. Z. L. Wu with the dream of making an allaround “better” flooring solution. Abiding

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by that mission, the company built the first LVT manufacturing facility in China in 1987, was the first Chinese factory to achieve ISO 9001 certification for quality assurance in 1988, and was one of the first LVT mills in the country to attain ISO 14001 — reaching international environmental management levels and ensuring the application of all green business requirements during the production process. Thirty-two years later, John Wu, CEO, continues in his father’s footsteps, leading the now global company — with offices and distribution partners in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa — toward a healthier floor covering and future. Green Operations sat down with John

Wu to discuss Novalis’ commitment to the environment, category innovation and future plans.

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Tell us about your father and his initial concept in founding Novalis. What was he looking to solve with a “healthy” floor, and how did he achieve that? It wasn’t so much that it was a large vision when my father started the company, but at that time vinyl flooring was mostly being manufactured in other countries for the DIY home center markets. He saw an opportunity to make vinyl more cost effective in China and put out a

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Continued from page 29 better product. China is interesting. A lot of people think we produce cheap stuff and that we don’t think about sustainability. But we are actually moving forward quite rapidly. Yes, Novalis was and still is a pioneer in China in this area, but today there are actually government initiatives for green building that all companies need to meet. We like to stay ahead of the curve.

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How has the company’s focus in sustainability and wellness evolved over the years? I always talk about green in two aspects: product (is it healthy and safe for end users) and manufacturing (facility’s carbon footprint, waste to landfill, etc.). I joined the company 15 years ago with my sister when my father was going to retire. Since that time, we have taken a much more sustainable approach to both and continue improving each year. Back in the day there was a lot of post-industrial waste no one knew how to use. Making LVT was a way to use it. Of course, the product has changed over the years, and as we’ve learned new chemistry and information we realize it’s best to use raw materials unless you know exactly what’s in the product stream. Today, we are very transparent with our product materials, and in 2014 we phased out all phthalates from our products. On the manufacturing side, we now have a closed-loop system, where no product waste goes into the landfill. We also use only natural gas — wind and solar power are not popular in China yet — and have a steam reclamation center within our facility to heat the workshop. We have a 100% water recycling system, and no gray water goes back into streams.

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Talk more about your stance on transparency and what actions Novalis has taken to be more candid. Novalis really decided to become a leader in transparency in the past few years. To us it’s all about knowing what’s in our product, sharing that with people and

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working to make our products healthier every day. We currently have HPD, EPD and Declare labels, even though we do use PVC in our products which is a Red List material. At some point our vision is to replace PVC in our LVT, but for now it is the most versatile and cost-efficient solution for us, and LVT can be recycled. We want to share that with our consumers and partners. To us, nothing is a secret. Everything is knowledge, and we all need to know where we are today so we can get better tomorrow.

as floating floors. We know we are going to start seeing a lot of product removed in the next five years, and we need to find a way to take back these floors. We’re even talking to friendly competitors to try and follow the carpet industry in finding a system to take back each other’s products.

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You’re in the process of rewriting your sustainability story. What does that look like, and what can we expect in the coming year? One of our goals is to add more biocontent to our products — replace chemicals with more renewable materials. For example, we have a patent now to add cork to our product, which will make it lighter, easier to transport and improve acoustic ratings. It’s also softer and safer underfoot and has a natural resilience, which makes it great for the healthcare and education segments. We are also working on an initiative to find the best reclamation system for LVT, especially when a lot of today’s LVT is being installed

The Novalis booth installation at Guangzhou Design Week.

What are three things the commercial A&D community should know about Novalis? We don’t want people to think “made in China” versus “made in U.S.” when they hear Novalis. It’s important to think of us as a flooring company that just happens to have a factory in China. We will likely have a U.S. facility in the next few years, but for now it’s where we can make the most efficient product. Novalis is also not a new LVT company, but we are one of the only LVT manufacturers in China that brands its own product globally. We are not an importer, but an actual manufacturer so we better feel the needs of the market and can adjust more quickly.

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GOPRODUCT

RUBBER MILLS PROMOTE

‘healthy’ flooring solutions for healthcare

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very sector of the commercial industry has its own unique set of requirements when it comes to flooring solutions. While sustainability and green building have truly gone from buzzwords to transparent, environmentally conscious products and practices, one segment’s focus on “healthy floors” is pushing that envelope further. Healthcare’s business is wellness, so it should be no surprise that along with budget, maintenance and aesthetic concerns, today’s hospitals are looking to floor coverings that actually promote healing and prevent injury. Rubber, in many cases, is being specified as just that solution.

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BY SARAH BOUSQUET FLOORING’S ROLE IN WELLNESS

“People need rest and a quiet environment to heal, and rubber flooring lends itself to this,” explained Mark Tickle, marketing director for American Biltrite, who attributed rubber’s rise within healthcare to its additional wellness attributes. “On top of its ability to be recycled, durability, long life cycle, ease of maintenance and cost savings, rubber is on the increase within healthcare for its low VOCs, enhanced comfort factor, antimicrobial attributes and imperviousness to liquids.” Tim Cole, vice president of marketing at Nora Systems, also noted as the trend

toward sustainable practices, policies and products grows, rubber flooring will continue to offer a solution that supports the specific goals of hospitals as well as other commercial institutions. “From contents and manufacturing processes to distribution and installation practices, rubber flooring provides a sustainable floor covering with a long life cycle that appeals to administrators looking for a product with a simple, environmentally friendly maintenance regimen, durability, stain and slip resistance, good acoustic properties, resilience and the ability to contribute to a safe, healing environment,” he said. “Additionally, hospitals are continually challenged to maintain a clean environ-

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OPPOSITE PAGE: American Biltrite’s AB Pure collection offers a 10-year colorfast guarantee. ABOVE: Nora touts rubber’s cleanability simply by using water or steam. LEFT: Tarkett’s Minerality provides natural stone and wood looks with all the benefits of rubber.

ment that enhances healing and patient comfort. Because of this, they look for products that are easy to maintain, support a hygienic environment and minimize disruption to patients. Many are turning to rubber to meet these challenges.” Taking the wellness initiative a step further, Diane Martel, vice president of environmental planning and strategy for Tarkett, pointed to rubber’s positive impact on staff. “Patient wellness increases at a more rapid rate when the environment is safe, aesthetically pleasing and motivating. These attributes also benefit healthcare workers, which tend to provide better care when occupying enhanced environments.” ATTRIBUTES MEET THE HEALTHY MARK

As the healthcare industry evolves, so do its challenges. Meeting these needs, rubber mills have refocused on their products’ innate abilities to create safe, healthy environments that lower costs and increase efficiency. Some of these characteristics include: Slip resistance: Rubber helps prevent accidental falls and injuries, which helps patients recover more quickly and strengthens a facility’s safety. New aesthetics: Design innovations in rubber have elevated the product’s look

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and feel. Today, floors range from happy, vibrant colors to relaxing neutrals and even emulate natural stone and wood looks. The low-luster finish of rubber flooring has also been proven to strengthen wayfinding and help reduce confusion in elderly patients. Increased comfort: Rubber is softer underfoot, providing more comfort for patients and staff, while increasing noise absorption. It also contributes to improved indoor air quality because floors are free of PVC plastics, phthalates or halogens. Cleanability: Not only are rubber floors stain resistant, but they are antimicrobial and can be simply cleaned — often with just water. This cuts time and costs associated with maintenance, but also helps secure a more hygienic environment. Long lifecycle: Rubber floors tend to have a longer — 20-plus years — life span than other floor coverings, and can be recycled back into flooring or other products at the end of its life. RUBBER’S NEXT STEP

As more people and companies make sustainability a higher priority, opportunities for rubber flooring applications will further increase. “Sustainability benefits and life cycle costs will be important

points to highlight as differentiators in the market,” Nora’s Cole said. He pointed to the recent expansion of Reading Hospital where Noraplan eco with Nora nTx helped earn the building a spot as one of the 50 greenest hospitals in the country, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. American Biltrite’s Tickle agreed rubber products will continue to be specified in healthcare as a “healthy” flooring option, as long as it also meets the aesthetic needs of projects. “Rubber will continue to grow as manufacturers continue to make it more appealing to designers, offering more coloring and styling capabilities.” The mill’s new AB Pure product line offers a revolutionary colorfast product in a wide range of profiles, sizes and colors. Also expanding rubber’s application options, Tarkett’s Minerality emulates the look of stone and feel of wood with all the benefits of rubber tiles. “Rubber flooring continues to serve the healthcare segment really well from a performance, maintenance and hygienic perspective,” said Chad Bittner, director of product management and marketing - healthcare and education. “Many proprietary projects, technology investigations and innovative application trials are under way right now to better serve our healthcare customers.”

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GOPLATFORM

MOHAWK

SETS NEW DESIGN, BUSINESS STANDARDS Mill’s Light Lab and Pilot Plant increase collaboration, efficiency and sustainable building initiatives BY SARAH BOUSQUET

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As the importance of environmental stewardship strengthens, more mills continue to innovate not only the sustainability of their products and processes, but also their own building practices. Case in point, Mohawk Group’s recent design studio renovation dubbed the Light Lab — which was awarded Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI’s) Living Building Challenge 2.1. Mohawk recently celebrated the facility’s grand opening on site in Dalton, Ga., with several of its project partners, including ILFI, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Makervillage and Elm

Street Elementary, Teknion (furniture) and Ecos (paint). “We had a vision three years ago to see this group gathered to welcome us into our new space,” said Jackie Dettmar, vice president of product development and design for Mohawk Group, and Light Lab project lead. “Being here today with all of you speaks to what we want Light Lab to be used for — a collaborative space to share with partners, clients, students and other industry leaders to better understand sustainability and what our future communities can look like.” Michel Vermette, president, Mohawk Commercial, seconded the company’s

Light Lab’s 360-degree views of natural landscapes enhance its use of biophilic design.

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mission in Light Lab has always been to advance its own commitment to a sustainable, healthy future, but also to continue learning and educating others on green building opportunities. “Not many people in this industry are doing these types of projects themselves,” he said. “We all provide green products, but we wanted to actually walk in the footsteps of our customers. We learned a lot and are excited to be the first in the state of Georgia, as well as the first building product manufacturer, to receive Petal Certification.” LIGHT LAB BUILT TO COLLABORATE

The 33,000-square-foot Light Lab is a midcentury modern building that features 360 degree views of landscape and natural vistas. Built in the early 1960s as the headquarters for World Carpet, the building has been used most recently as a showroom space for Mohawk Flooring North America residential products. Today the building is home to all of Mohawk Group’s commercial and hospitality product design teams. Students from SCAD provided the conceptual design of

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Light Lab’s shape and open-air layout — from workspaces to the café to more casual meeting spots — put collaboration and design at the center of Mohawk Group’s culture.

the interior renovation, positioning the space as: “A prismatic laboratory of creation where reflection ignites experimentation, where imagination drives innovation and where collaboration is inherent, to inspire the greatest flooring products in the world.” SCAD graduate and project manager, Bradley Odom, said, “The building’s shape was the perfect opportunity for design to be a central hub for everyone to engage. My thoughts were this purposeful collaborative feeling would influence company culture.” Features ranging from the use of biophilic design to open-air concept tables and mobile project boards completed that vision, while satisfying the Living Building Challenge requirements for site, health, materials, equity and beauty Petals. “It’s amazing to see commitment manifest itself in bricks and mortar on a project like this,” said Jason McLennan, founder of ILFI. “Mohawk has been a great partner and we are delighted the company is walking the walk with its products, but now also in its facilities as well. We are very proud of what this entire group has done and are thrilled to have been a part of it.” Amanda Sturgeon, chief executive officer, ILFI, also praised Mohawk Group and partners for their achievement, noting how difficult a task Petal Certification actually is. “We all knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but Mohawk has been a huge supporter of transparency and had its eyes

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wide open to what that takes on the product side for some time. We’re happy to say this was a learning curve for everyone, and today we celebrate Light Lab as a benchmark for other renovation projects.” DESIGN CAPABILITIES EXPAND

Light Lab is not the only new facility taking Mohawk Group to new heights. In spring of 2015, the company decided to expand its design and sample capabilities by creating a Pilot Plant in an unused section of its mill in Dalton. Today, the “sample mill” functions as a one-stop-shop, housing everything on the commercial and hospitality sides. “Mohawk is not afraid to invest in new technology,” said Tim Hiner, director of product development operations. “With this, our Pilot Plant allows us to have

everything under one roof, which makes business sense but also cuts down on waste and increases our efficiencies.” The plant provides time and cost savings, but is also a more sustainable approach. New sample technology used within the plant provides precise raw material inputs for sampling and mitigating waste, while also increasing the speed of production. The sample mill also recycles all yarn waste and cardboard. Aside from making sampling simpler and more sustainable, the Pilot Plant offers huge opportunity for new product design and custom projects. “We can now fully collaborate with customers and partners on site,” Hiner explained. “We now design at the Light Lab and create real-time sample outputs here. The design of it all naturally expands on ideas and breeds collaboration and evolution.”

WINTER

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