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Polyflor Makes Flooring an Art

Bespoke Polyflor Expona Flow PUR patterns showcased at The University of Huddersfield’s new School of Art, Design and Architecture.

Bespoke Polyflor Expona Flow PUR patterns showcased at The University of Huddersfield’s new School of Art, Design and Architecture.

Collaboration and innovation are central themes at the new, £30m Barbara Hepworth Building at the University of Huddersfield. The faculty comprises flowing spaces set around an internal atrium, which is easily adapted to meet the varied needs of the multi-disciplinary faculty. 

Polyflor collaborated closely with AHR, Morgan Sindall and Phoenix Flooring using a variety of vinyl flooring products to create a flooring specification which properly reflects the building’s artistic and practical aspirations. 

The multi-floor central atrium is set around a feature staircase and the design team were eager for this space to be attractive and easily navigable whilst also encouraging interaction between the different disciplines housed in the building. To help support these goals, Polyflor worked with the project team to create a bespoke flooring design using Expona Flow PUR.

The vinyl sheets beautifully recreate the aesthetic of wood and concrete floors and provide excellent durability in this high traffic area. AHR and Polyflor’s technical team designed and developed a bespoke pattern for each atrium area, combining Warm Limed Ash, Steel Blue and Light Industrial Concrete colours. These patterns are both attractive and help students to intuit and navigate the surrounding open-plan spaces and adjoining rooms. 

As well as Expona Flow, several other Polyflor products were also utilised to provide a high-quality flooring finish throughout the new building. Polyflor Finesse SD was chosen for the communication and infrastructure rooms where static build-up needs to be carefully controlled and Polysafe Stone FX PUR and Wood FX PUR were also specified in areas where there was potential for water spillage. The specification was completed with the use of hardwearing Bloc PUR in Classic Black and Urban Chic. By specifying Polyflor products across the building, flooring maintenance is streamlined.

The complex site layout and atrium space posed a key challenge during the installation phase. Matt Brown, Director at Phoenix Flooring, commented: “Polyflor’s technical staff were on hand throughout the installation period to provide aftersales service by telephone and in person if required to support our supervisor and operatives on site.”

From the outset, the scheme was designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and the Polyflor products are expected to contribute towards the award of credits under this scheme. 

The sheets achieve a BRE A+ rating and are certified as ‘Excellent’ under the BES 6001 responsible sourcing standard. In addition, the products feature recycled content and are 100% recyclable at end of life through the Recofloor scheme – supporting the circular economy. 

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