Taking a look at several projects that made use of resin-based materials in order to serve needs that are unique to healthcare facilities.
Flooring solutions for healthcare facilities have to strike a balance between hygiene, design and sustainability. The floor is a prime site for bacteria buildup and, if not correctly specified or cleaned, the risk of contamination and possible spread of disease could have devastating consequences.
As a result, seamless resin materials are increasingly being used to provide hardwearing, visually appealing and easy-to-clean surfaces. This type of material delivers a non-porous, watertight finish that inhibits microbial growth and provides a hygienic transition between the floor and wall.
In addition, resin floors can be graded to reduce the risk of slipping and can also be provided in a range of decorative options that enhance a room’s visual impact.
One of the manufacturers of resin-based floors that provide solutions as discussed above is Flowcrete South Africa, considered a leading manufacturer of resin-based floor and wall coatings, including seamless epoxy terrazzo, fast-cure MMA and hardwearing polyurethane finishes as well as cementitious subfloor screeds. They have also pioneered the development of flooring materials that are environmentally friendly, considered an increasingly important factor in modern construction.
Most recently, Flowcrete South Africa has been involved in flooring works for the privately owned Blood Disorders Hospital in Mayville, Durban.
Moving away from traditionally specified vinyl flooring, the 60-bed hospital opted for a number of specialist resin systems from Flowcrete South Africa to be installed across the footprint of the entire hospital. 2 700 m² of Flowcrete South Africa’s Peran STB (a hardwearing, epoxy resin floor coating comprising colour quartz granules sealed within a clear resin binder) was installed in a light-cream colour across all four levels of the hospital. Each level opted for a different colour demarcation, namely yellow, green, blue and red, to provide a changing but consistent aesthetic throughout.
Peran STB is described as highly decorative and is well suited for installation in both commercial and industrial workspaces, as well as both wet and dry areas where the floor is subject to heavy traffic, impact and even chemical spills.
The Peran STB floor finishes on each level were complemented with over 3 000 m² of Flowseal EPW.
In turn, 200 m² of Flowcrete’s electrostatic discharge system, Flowshield ESD SL, was specified for all operating rooms in the hospital. This system safely prevents any static charge from disrupting or even damaging the sensitive electronic equipment located in sensitive OR areas.
A further 400 m² of Flowfresh SR Ultra was used in the hospital’s kitchen.
According to Flowcrete, several hospitals and elderly care facilities have found that the company’s hygienic flooring solution, Flowfresh, is an effective way to keep floors clean. It is a particularly popular choice for hospital kitchens and laundry rooms due to its ability to minimise the risk from contaminants in these areas.
Flowfresh also delivers high levels of resistance to corrosives and traffic to prevent it from cracking, and includes the innovative antimicrobial agent, Polygiene, which inhibits bacterial growth by up to a staggering 99%. Polygiene will keep performing throughout the lifetime of the floor. Even if a floor cracks, Polygiene will still eliminate microbes from forming in the difficult-to-clean gaps.
Additives can be added to Flowfresh to tailor the solution to individual projects. For example, to avoid falls, anti-slip aggregates can be added to areas that are exposed to liquids.
The project at Mayville’s new Blood Disorders Hospital was completed with the installation of Flowcrete’s time-proven epoxy floor coating, Flowcoat SF41, in all stairwells, maintenance and back-of-house areas.
Reflecting on projects completed
Flowcrete South Africa was involved in the construction of a medical research facility at the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, located at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, South Africa.
1 000 m² of Flowcrete’s self-smoothing epoxy flooring system, Flowshield SL, a non-tainting, non-dusting system, was selected for refurbishment works across two levels of the facility – including a restricted area used to store, handle and test dangerous pathogens. Three custom colours of this material were handpicked by the selected architect, and colour matched by Flowcrete.
Turning to an international project, a more durable solution was chosen to address an existing flooring problem at the Park Ten Surgical Center in Houston, USA. The facility detected a moisture problem that caused bubbling and floor delamination. To address this, Flowfresh SLB, a seamless, self-levelling and chemical-resistant polyurethane concrete system, was installed across 7 000 square feet of hallways and surgery rooms, in a decorative flake finish.
The system was coated and sealed using Peran STC and Flowseal UV, as these low-odour products deliver a durable and robust finish, which provides chemical and abrasion resistance and a UV-stable formulation to retain colour integrity.
“All of Flowcrete’s specialist flooring materials provide healthcare facilities with a hygienic, durable platform that offers excellent resistance to slip risks, chemical exposure and, in many cases, moisture vapour transmission,” expressed Craig Blitenthall, Managing Director of Flowcrete South Africa.
Flowcrete has worked with many healthcare facilities and institutes all over the world to provide safe, durable and hygienic floor finishes along with underfloor screed systems. Medical facilities have to factor in a wide range of flooring requirements such as wheeled traffic, exposure to harmful chemicals, pathogens and bacteria, as well as cost, colour and sustainability. Flowcrete South Africa firmly believe that their comprehensive flooring range is developing a strong foundation to address these and several other challenging facility requirements.