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Just three years after opening in 1977, the Huguley Memorial Medical Center's ED (emergency department) tripled its size to support the growing community in South Fort Worth, Texas. The increased level of activity also changed the maintenance demands of the space. The VCT (vinyl composition tile) installed in the public corridors, exam rooms and nurses' stations provided durable performance, but the busy 24/7 operations made it impractical to clean and polish the floors without interrupting patient care. So, when the area was due for renovation in 2006, low maintenance became a key driver in the floor covering selection process. After comparing maintenance characteristics for many products, "the decision was easy," says Patrick Worley, Huguley's Facility Manager. "Armstrong's linoleum with the new low maintenance coating sealed the deal."
The ED is located in one of several medical buildings within Huguley's health care campus. It receives its fair share of annual traffic from the tens of thousands of patients, staff and visitors living in the surrounding six counties. When the space was due for renovation, the hospital enlisted the help of REES Associates, Inc., of Dallas, an architecture and design firm that specializes in health care, to help select finishes which included new floor covering. REES Interior Designer Sinead Rundell looked at the scope of the project and considered the possibilities. She says, "First and foremost, we were looking for a very durable product that needed minimal maintenance." Worley agrees, adding, "We wanted a floor that not only had longevity, but one that could be cleaned with the least amount of disruption to facility operations as possible."
The hospital and design firm considered a few options. Worley says, "We looked at a number of product samples, but we were sold on Armstrong's linoleum with the new coating that seals the floor and reduces maintenance time and costs." The coating - NATURCote™ - creates a smooth and tight surface on the floor that resists dirt build-up and damage from scuffs and scratches. The result is a floor that looks better for a longer period of time, even under demanding conditions. The protective coating reduces the time, chemicals and labor needed for routine maintenance. This lower maintenance method also reduces the product's environmental impact because less water and fewer cleaning agent/chemicals are used and disposed of, and less energy is expended, to keep floors clean.
Performance aside, the hospital also wanted a floor that worked with the ED's existing interior design. Worley says, "We needed timeless colors that wouldn't look dated after a few years." Rundell adds, "The colors needed to coordinate with the waiting room floor's concrete overlay pattern and texture. We did look at a competitive floor, but Armstrong's MARMORETTE linoleum colors were better suited for this space." Four colors were chosen for the design: LP091 mushroom, LP096 obsidian, LP090 pumice gray, and LP089 lava. The ED corridors feature a mid-range gray field accented by triangles made from lighter and darker grays. The triangles butt together to create larger triangles strategically positioned at entrances to rooms and procedural areas. Heat-welded seams made with Armstrong™ color-coordinating linoleum weld rods provide asepsis and blend with the overall design.
Although the new coating doesn't change how Armstrong linoleum is installed, it does have the potential for eliminating a time-consuming initial maintenance step - polishing - which can increase the speed of building occupancy. Worley confirms that the floor was installed quickly, smoothly, and without any hiccups. Worley says that the floor is meeting Huguley's maintenance expectations. "Our environmental staff is very satisfied with the lack of maintenance this floor requires," he confirms. The renovation project was completed in December 2006 and the floor is expected to last for years to come.