Specifying vinyl for a hospital that requires floors which can continue to perform regardless of heavy wear and tear.

Established in 1979, Blackie Swart Architects has built a solid reputation in the industry as a practice that is built on a foundation of quality service and innovative solutions to ensure each project achieves its functional and aesthetic objectives.

The practice specialises in both commercial and residential projects. In 2002, Swart and Associates, founded by Andre Swart, was established as an associate firm of Blackie Swart Architects. Today, both firms run from the same premises under the management of Blackie Swart and Andre Swart.

After gaining significant experience in healthcare facilities over several years, Blackie Swart and his firm were approached as the desired architects for the Botshilu Private Hospital in Soshanguve, which was completed in July / August 2014. Both Blackie Swart and Grietjie Joubert specified the flooring for this exciting new development, which covers roughly 10 000m² of functional spaces, from theatres and wards to corridors and office areas.

Belgotex Floors
These passionate architects had a unique approach to specifying the flooring, which was vinyl in various ranges throughout the hospital, except the office areas, where carpeting was installed. The vinyl selections were from Belgotex Floors’ Neptune range, with Soft Green, Azur, Silver and Light Smoke being the colour options chosen.

“Aesthetically, this product creates a warm look and feel and is soft underfoot,” says Blackie. “We were pleasantly surprised by the product. In addition, it minimises noise and, by making use of the various colours in a unique pattern, namely circular designs – as is the case in the waiting areas – we were able to give the hospital a bit of life and enhance the space. The combination of grey and green resulted in a beautiful finish.”

Neptune is a flexible, compacted homogeneous vinyl floorcovering. It is available in rolls, with a semi-non-directional polychrome design, and colour dyed as a raw mixture to ensure even colour throughout the thickness. It is uniquely treated with Evercare, a new patented surface treatment, providing an unrivalled level of maintenance and chemical resistance. Evercare treatment is micro-structured and cross-coat polymerised using laser technology and acts as a barrier against stains and chemical aggression. Furthermore, it replaces the application of wax or polish during the lifetime of the product. This specific range is 2mm thick and is manufactured for heavy commercial use.

What makes this flooring installation unique is the fact that the flooring goes onto the walls and no skirtings were used. “This meant that the floor didn’t need to be sealed,” adds Blackie. “It can be extremely challenging when trying to install a floor and you have several trades working within the same space, which is why this approach was ideal – above and beyond the fact that it was also cost-efficient.”

Vinyl was specified for all the restrooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, resuscitation rooms, delivery rooms, waiting rooms, passages and comfort rooms. Astral was specified for the walls in the bathrooms, restrooms, changing rooms, resuscitation rooms and delivery rooms.

Astral is a homogeneous vinyl floorcovering that delivers exceptional performance and abrasion resistance. It is available in rolls, with colouration throughout the thickness of the material. Astral undergoes a special antibacterial/fungicidal treatment that prevents moisture and growth of bacteria and it is suitable for normal to heavy traffic areas. Astral’s PU coating protects the surface during and after installation and offers a good foundation for routine maintenance. It is specified for heavy commercial use and is also 2mm thick.

Berber Point 650 in Coral was specified for all of the office areas. Its colour lasts and can withstand heavy wear and tear and is easy to clean making it an excellent flooring choice.

Berber Point 650 heralds a new era in commercial flooring performance. Delivering on the Berber Point reputation for durability and performance, Berber Point 650 is a versatile and cost-effective carpet tile solution. The fibre technology used for Berber Point 650 is Belgotex’s 100% Stainproof Miracle fibre. This not only makes Berber Point 650 carpet tiles easy to clean but also provides low moisture absorbency and high abrasion resistance. It is ideally suited to a wide range of general commercial flooring applications and is available in both modular carpet tiles and wall-to-wall carpeting.

Why Belgotex Floors?
Blackie highlights that they received excellent customer service from Belgotex’s representative, who not only provided them with all the required samples within very short time frames, but also supported them throughout the project.

“Before we specified Belgotex products, we first looked at the other products and samples available in the market, amounts of stock available, and we researched the time it would take to make the flooring installation happen,” explains Blackie. “After our thorough investigation, we decided on Belgotex Floors due to their quality and excellent service.”

Favourite Products
Blackie emphasises that they will definitely be specifying Belgotex’s vinyl range and Berber Point, which are their favourite products. “Vinyl was our first choice for this project and, with the financial constraints, it helped that this product was cost-effective too,” continues Blackie. “In terms of maintenance, it doesn’t require any chemicals or sealers but should, as with any flooring, be taken good care of. The Evercare technology, included in the Neptune range of vinyl, is simply unbelievable when it comes to performance.”

Berber Point’s options in terms of colour and patterns, along with its durability, make it ideal for several applications within the commercial sector. Busy environments rely on a floor that can maintain its looks while still exposed to heavy traffic. This is where Berber Point plays a key role in achieving a client’s expectations.

As Blackie Swart Architects continue to grow from strength to strength, it becomes clear that they do their market research and stick to what works in order to meet budget constraints and, ultimately, the needs and of the client and the project.