Milestone in building sustainable hospitals, Contamine sur Arvre, France
Weinheim, February 2013 – Ecological and beneficial to patients – that is the CHAL (Centre Hospitalier Alpes Léman) in Contamine-sur-Arve, near Annemasse, a new hospital in the French Alps that recently went into operation.
Usage of ecological building materials
The planners were also assisted by Professor Karine Guillot, who concerns herself with the building of environmentally compatible and healthy buildings. „Building materials should be ecologically safe and contribute to the health welfare of building users,“ emphasises Guillot. Consequently, only building materials with low emission levels and devoid of toxic or allergy inducing substances were used to construct the hospital. For the floors, the planners chose ecologically sound rubber floor coverings from nora systems. These are totally free of plasticizers (phthalates) and formaldehyde and only contain extremely small quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOC). The very first resilient floor coverings to be awarded the „Blue Angel… for low emissions“ eco-label, they guarantee clean indoor air, which is not only crucial to the patients‘ recovery process, but also contributes to creating a healthy working environment for hospital staff.
No coatings for perfect hygiene
Another focal aspect for the hospital‘s technical director, Etienne Mauget, in choosing the floor covering was this: „nora floor coverings are rubber through and through, and their extremely dense surface means that they do not require a coating.“ This has several advantages. On the one hand, in contrast to coated floor coverings there is no formation of unsightly pathways on nora floor coverings, even in highly frequented areas. What is even more crucial, however, is that the coatings of other resilient floor coverings have to be renewed at short intervals because they quickly wear out. This is not only expensive, but also
No joints required
Another point in favour of nora floor coverings was that they can be installed without joint-sealing. Since rubber floor coverings do not contain any plasticizers, the material cannot shrink as a result of gradual evaporation of the phthalates, as is the case with PVC floor coverings. Rubber floor coverings retain their dimensional stability even after decades of use. Because they obviate the need for time-consuming and cost-intensive refurbishment of the joints, which always involves disruptions to work routines in hospitals, in the long term nora floor coverings are the most economical solution for hospitals. And last, but not least, an installation without joint-sealing gives the laid floor a uniform look.
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