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FORBO Helps Realise University’s Technicolour Vision

Forbo Flooring Systems' unique in-house design service has brought to life a striking new refurbishment project at Loughborough Univesity in Leicestershire, where a wide range of Forbo's textile and resilient products have been specified as part of an exciting integrated flooring solution.

“The aim was to provide a stimulating and modern study area, that was attractive and engaging to students, enhancing the overall image of the University,” comments Sarah Gorey, Furnishing & Design Manager at the University, who specified the products.

Whilst looking for fresh and exciting new designs, Sarah Gorey discovered the new Tessera Alignment range from Forbo. Alignment is a sophisticated and cleverly textured cut and loop carpet tile designed to complement the most contemporary of interiors. Thrilled by the bright colours and striking linear effect, Blaze, in vivid red and Sphere, in electric lime, were selected as the main palette, and the basis on which a brand new mezzanine level in the James France Building exhibition area would be designed.

Forbo’s in-house design service worked on a detailed floor plan to supply the university with a variety of options revolving around the striking linear theme and incorporated a variety of different products from their portfolio. Intended to be used as a more relaxed study area than the formal library space on-site, lively shades of orange glow, hot lipstick pink and pistachio were also specified from Forbo’s Sheerpoint tonal twist cut pile carpet tile range. The subtle texture of the tile provides a particularly effective broadloom appearance and has light refracting and soil hiding properties, particularly ideal for busy areas.

With three large main areas being refurbished, key considerations aside from the aesthetics were the durability and maintenance of the floorcoverings. The James France building forms a major teaching hub for the university and the space is also used by students for individual and group work. As part of the project, a new informal learning space was created overlooking the exhibition area, while the Martin Hall Foyer is a communal zone used by staff, students and visitors. All three areas are subjected to a heavy and frequent footfall.

Therefore, Nuway Tuftiguard and Coral integrated entrance systems were installed as part of the refurbishment by flooring contractors W. Blackburn of Syston, to scrape off the worst of the soil tracked in on the soles of shoes or wheeled vehicles, in heavy traffic areas. The robust Nuway systems reliably tackle intense high point loads, while the Coral lines effectively remove footborne moisture for optimum safety, as well as providing a smart entrance area. The Nuway and Coral products were colour co-ordinated with the rest of the design, to maintain the overall flow.

In addition, Surestep Wood safety flooring separates the work stations from the seating areas, offering slip resistance coupled with excellent maintenance properties and high durability, due to the inclusion of aluminium oxide particles in the wear layer. Surestep can be installed in all general purpose areas requiring an R10 slip resistance and can also be easily maintained due to its unique PUR Pearl™ finish.

Peter Raiment, Managing Director at W. Blackburn of Syston said: “We installed over 2,000m2 of flooring across two buildings, so the service and delivery from Forbo was key to fit in to the demanding time schedule. We were very impressed with the ease of installation, reasonable price and professionalism from Forbo.”

Sarah Gorey explains: “The overall effect is fantastic - a striking mixture of bright colours and eye-catching textures in a completely contemporary fashion, which has definitely fulfilled the original vision.”

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