Refurbishments of public spaces can be major issues. They tend to be big budget, and facility managers have to look for cost effectiveness as well as good designs. This is particularly the case in flooring, where large areas have to be managed. Finding the right commercial floor covering is the answer to dealing with these often demanding situations.
Public areas- big spaces and design
One of the most difficult types of public space refurbishment is the typical situation with very large spaces to be redesigned and upgraded. The need is to achieve good long term value, as well as design values. The most effective way of approaching these issues is to use a visualisation system which can explore different flooring options.
Best practice using visualisation technology is to compare a series of design options against the public space setting to get a clear idea of the design factors. You can also compare pattern options, and get a clear idea of the overall space. The additional advantage of visualisation is that you can compare a range of design modes across a big range, allowing a wide range of choices.
Note: The great advantage of visualisation technology is that at the planning and recommendation stages it provides a clear picture of the design options. This both simplifies the description process and provides a clear audit and estimate track for the various choices.
The cost factors- Maintenance, product life and repairs
These public areas are also long term maintenance issues and often have significant budget costs. Durable flooring is a natural issue, because real cost is defined over the life of the product. Maintenance and repairs can add significantly to the cost over time.
Carpets for public spaces need to be easy to maintain. Repairs should be possible using in-house resources, rather than requiring full service for minor issues. This is a cost factor that can’t be ignored, because heavy usage and wear and tear naturally create the possibility of added costs in these areas.
Modular carpet flooring- An all round solution
Modular carpet tiles are the solution to all these issues in one package. This type of carpet is very heavy duty, designer carpet tiling with a huge range of design choices. These are the new generation sustainable carpets, which are based on a new manufacturing paradigm incorporating a full environmentally responsible product life cycle.
There are many major differences with modular carpeting:
Repair and maintenance are very easy, and tiles can be replaced in minutes if required. This drastically reduces real cost over time.
These carpet tiles have individual backing, making them much stronger than old style conventional carpeting.
Design options include a vast range of different styles, including pattern, plain, multiple colours, and variable mixes of design. (This is where you can really appreciate the visualisation process, and look properly at design possibilities.)
Modular carpeting approach has been a big success in universities, commercial flooring, hospitality, retail, health care and education, creating the public spaces of the future…
The following is an excerpt from the book, Designing the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In, by author/eco-shui design consultant, DeAnna Radaj. Enjoy!
Did you know that the air you breathe inside your house is more polluted than the air you breathe outside? In fact, the EPA considers poor air quality a top risk to human health. Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air. But DeAnna, you’re thinking, I live in a quiet suburb not near a factory, so how can my air be bad? Carpeting, paint, household cleaners, fabrics, even the candles you light for ambience are all culprits in polluting your indoor air. Many of these things were created to make your life easier, however, they also give off vapors or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause allergies (or make existing ones worse,) compromise respiratory problems, cause headaches and make life miserable for those with environmental sensitivities.
Over the last 30+ years, houses and office buildings have been constructed with energy conservation in mind. Doors fit tighter, if they open at all, and window drafts are a thing of the past! At the same time, a new wave of chemicals has been invented and injected into building materials, cleaners and household supplies. There are about 75,000 chemicals being used in everything from carpet pads to dryer sheets, window cleaners, dish soaps, hair products, air fresheners, bedding, aromatherapy products and pet supplies.
We talked previously about off gassing, but what exactly does it mean? Molecules break down and pollute the stale air inside our tightly sealed homes and offices. People often complain about “canned, dead air” inside airplanes, sick building syndrome at offices, or colds passed back and forth between family members. According to the National Institute of Health, we are “marinating in a broth of invisible toxins that cause everything from headaches to cancers.”
***The best way to get rid of “dead” air-open a window! Even in winter, opening a window or door for even a few minutes will help clear the dust and energize a space and it’s occupants. ***
What’s one of the simplest least expensive ways to clean the air in your home? Plants. In fact, one of the best ways to breathe clean air in your home is to have one plant for every 100 square feet of space. Plants clean the air by breathing in dirty air and trapping pollutants, and then expelling oxygen-rich clean air. Substances such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia (the afore-mentioned VOCs) are transformed, while keeping humidity levels steady. This in turn helps to keep allergies at bay. “If you are bothered by mold, stop it from growing by putting an inch of aquarium gravel on top of the potting soil. This will also help stop cats from digging in there as well,” states Avery Hurt in his article Freshen the Air from the March, 2006 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Although any kind of plant is beneficial, some plants do a …
Where are we going to put everything? That’s a common question when looking at buying a new home that doesn’t have adequate storage or space. People love their stuff but hate clutter. It’s a problem that is best solved at the design stage.
As the population ages and home sizes trend smaller, storage space becomes infinitely more important when designing a new home or home addition. Even if you don’t see the need personally, it’s best to keep your home’s resale value in mind.
People love to save! And over time, people’s stuff accumulates and they grow more attached. They won’t buy a home without the storage space they need.
Give a Clear Message to Your Designer or Architect
Over the years of working with people as they get their new home or home addition concept out of their minds and onto paper, I’ve learned that it’s often difficult to convey their real needs to an architect. Their desire for space and tidiness gets trumped by the “glitter” of more visible and tangible aspects of a home’s design.
You must get specific about what you want. Don’t leave storage space up to the designer without making it very clear what you want and why. Then let your designer use her creativity to bring it about.
Specific Storage Considerations
I hope you’re convinced about the value of creating ample storage! Here are several ways to solve storage problems in your home’s design.
Both the size and number of closets are critical. Walk in closets where possible are best. Hallway closets are always desirable. Consider interior closet designs as well that really maximize the storage and use capabilities of the closets.
The size isn’t as important as the value of having one. But the smaller the pantry, the greater the need for excellent design of the space. Separate rooms are desirable but cabinet pantries can also work.
The laundry is not often considered as storage space but usually ends up as a storage room! For this reason, designing the laundry with storage in mind is wise.
Cars, boats, RVs, and other recreational vehicles can really clutter up your property without providing for their storage. Great design can make these “toys” almost disappear. Also, with forethought, you can design in extra storage for other items at the same time.
ATTIC & BASEMENT:
Many newer homes and certain markets do not have basements and attics. If you’re designing a new home or addition, look for ways to utilize these as they can be very valuable for storage. And be sure to design in easy access to them.
Convenience and Resale Value
Keeping storage space high on your priority list will keep a great home design from going sour on you. If left to an afterthought, it’ll become all you think about later on. Don’t let that happen to you!…
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