Creating an environment that is stimulating, inspiring and welcoming is essential for schools, and flooring is an important element to consider. Good design can positively affect student learning and teacher satisfaction, and there are many ways in which carpet can benefit such environments.
Indoor air quality
The quality of the air we breathe can have a profound effect on our health. Asthma UK says 1.1 million children in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma and on average there are three children with asthma in every classroom, so the quality of air within a teaching or boarding facility is important for the health and wellbeing of students.
According to the World Health Organisation, one of the biggest risk factors for an asthma attack is the inhalation of substances and particles that may provoke the airways. Many studies suggest that walking on hard surface floors disturbs more particles causing them to become airborne, but in comparison on carpet, particles remain in the soft fibres, until vacuumed away, resulting in less dust in the breathing zone.
Carpet has a unique ability to reduce sound impact levels
Carpet has a unique ability to reduce sound impact levels and research by the American Society of Interior Designers suggests that it is 10 times more efficient in reducing noise compared to other flooring options. Background noise negatively affects learning, especially for young children who require optimal conditions for hearing and comprehension. A study carried out by Siebein 1998 suggests that if a child is sat in the fourth row back from the front of the average classroom, speech intelligibility is just 50%; and when children have issues with impaired hearing or have to engage in a secondary language this problem is worsened and can have a direct impact on academic achievements. Therefore, it’s essential to find ways of reducing sound impact and reverberation within the classroom.
Carpets can be a useful way of creating flexible learning spaces and increasing comfort for students and teachers. Teachers stand for large proportions of their time and carpet can increase underfoot comfort and reduce muscle fatigue. In a survey carried out in 2001 by Beth Schapiro & Associates, the majority of public school teachers surveyed said that they actually preferred carpet for its comfort, noise reduction and safety benefits. Carpet also offers a glare-free surface which helps to reduce reflection and eye strain.
With budgets under close scrutiny you need to be confident that carpet is a cost-effective investment. A specially manufactured carpet which is installed and maintained properly lasts up to 10 years, if not longer. However, a proper life cycle analysis is key to proving that carpet is more cost effective than other hard flooring solutions on the market. A 2002 report, Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Floor Coverings in School Facilities, prepared by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, found that carpet could be 65% less expensive to install and maintain than hard surface flooring.
The study also found that hard surface floors require two and a half times more cleaning than carpet and that hard surface cleaning supplies are around seven times more expensive than supplies for carpeted floors.
Benefits of a danfloor carpet
danfloor recommends the installation of their nylon range of carpets which includes the Evolution and Economix collections. These ranges help to achieve all the above benefits and provide the following:
● Class 33 heavy-use certification, the highest wear rating a carpet can receive
● Up to 15 years’ wear warranty
● A and A+ Environmental BRE certification
● Impervious membrane preventing spilt liquids reaching the sub floor
● Easy to clean, and soil- and stain-resistant yarn.
For more information and to order samples visit www.danfloor.co.uk.