09 November 2020

Adapting public buildings in the wake of the pandemic

Since the emergence of COVID-19, the way we go about our daily lives has changed significantly. Some of us are having to adapt to working from home and we’re all having to get used to wearing masks inside public places, while remembering to adhere to social distancing guidelines. And unfortunately, it looks like this will be the ‘norm’ for quite some time. So, how do we adapt our public buildings to keep these spaces clean, safe and operational for end users now and in the future? Janet Lowe, Head of Marketing UK and Ireland at Forbo Flooring Systems, explains how this can be achieved through the specification of floor coverings.

The choice of flooring impacts the maintenance of facilities and therefore plays a major role in ensuring that buildings remain clean and operational. But that’s not all, in fact, since the pandemic began, the flooring can actually help people to adhere to government guidelines. For example, the UK government suggests introducing one-way systems at entry and exit points, as well as in common areas to aid wayfinding and encourage single-file circulation through buildings, which will help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. While temporary floor stickers and markers can be used, these can quickly fade or start to peel off, and so there are now more robust solutions available that allow arrows to be incorporated into new and existing floor designs to nudge people in the right direction, without being too forceful or demanding.

At Forbo, we have developed a service for our Tessera Layout and Outline carpet tile collection and our resilient sheet ranges. The service allows you to choose carpet tiles that feature directional arrows within the design, or have loose arrows cut into existing resilient installations or resilient materials.

What’s more, while COVID-19 will undoubtedly change the design and navigation of public buildings, open plan spaces may also need to be modified. Through the incorporation of zoning, floor coverings in different laying patterns and colours can be used to highlight and separate different areas, which will help to limit the number of unnecessary interactions and potential spread of viruses.

And in queues, perhaps in libraries, hospitals or even schools, the use of circle shapes on the floor can help to encourage end users to remain a safe distance apart. In fact, our Allura LVT collection is available in circle shapes, which are inlaid within a square tile format, to achieve this easily.

However, when it comes to physically reducing the transmission of viruses, there are solutions available that are naturally bacteriostatic and can inhibit the growth of bacteria, such as Forbo’s Marmoleum collection.

A result of the natural raw materials it is made of, Marmoleum offers constant protection against bacteria, including MRSA, E-coli and the development of dust mites without the use of chemical additives. Furthermore, the bacteriostatic qualities of Marmoleum are an inherent property of the product and won't diminish over time, which provides peace of mind and constant protection from the moment it is installed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new and unprecedented challenges for the UK. With the whole world having to adjust their lives to remain safe and prevent the spread of the virus, concerns and complexities now exist as a result of this. However, with the correct floor coverings and cleaning regimes, local authorities can work together with suppliers to achieve COVID-secure public buildings.

For more information about Forbo’s COVID range please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/covid

This article was sponsored by Forbo Flooring Systems

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

General Assistant

Northumberland County Council
£7,927 - £8,006
You must be a hard worker, able to work quickly and efficiently, and a good team worker. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Support Worker - Thera Trust

Essex County Council
Up to £20000 per annum
Support Worker - Thera TrustPermanent, Full and Part Time £9.50 per hourLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Waking Nights Support Worker - Achieve Together - Holland Road

Essex County Council
Up to £19760 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) are delighted to be supporting Achieve Together to recruit Support Workers for their supported living service, Holland Road England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Enablement Support Worker

City of Bradford MDC
£18,887 - £19,264
People who are driven, energetic, enthusiastic, motivated, and are committed to delivering good quality person centred care. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Home Carer - Fambridge Care LTD

Essex County Council
Up to £20000 per annum
Home Carer - Fambridge Care LTDPermanent, Full Time and Part Time £9.50 to £9.70 per hourLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.