Scientific discoveries are central to our survival and wellbeing. As such, countries around the world invest heavily into research facilities to develop medicines and treatments that help humanity and other species to thrive.
The Science Research Facility at the University of Mpumalanga was created to challenge conventional, highly regulated scientific learning practices, to help keep the university on the cusp of pioneering breakthroughs using alternative methods of education.
Situated on the University of Mpumalanga Lower Campus, the science research facility building – a new development in 2019 – includes 10 large, specialised teaching laboratories, a number of post-graduate and research laboratories, teaching venues and staff office spaces.
Constructed on the site of a former, unused car park, the project spans several different buildings surrounded by courtyards. The fixtures and fittings within the buildings were selected to ensure the spaces remain bright and light with a carefully chosen palette of colours to match natural materials and the campus’ broader aesthetic and natural surroundings.
Ludwig Hansen Architects + Urban Designers, which designed the development, had previous experience of using Polyflor products and selected its Silentflor range for use within the facility.
A collection of heavy commercial sheet vinyl flooring with acoustic properties, Silentflor was selected in Cool Concrete and used across the entire scheme. It was chosen for its aesthetic appeal, with the shade practically mirroring the mountainous landscape surrounding the campus. The hard-wearing nature of vinyl could withstand the heavy student footfall expected within the facility, but also offered improved ease of maintenance in areas where spills were likely, compared to other materials. Additionally, Silentflor is 100% recyclable and has achieved Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold Status, making it highly sought after in educational settings which are required to demonstrate their sustainability credentials.
Ludwig Hansen, founder of the architectural practice, added: “As well as the specific properties of the flooring, it was also important to ensure the product demonstrated true value and return on cost when compared to its competitors, as we were appointed to spend public money. Silentflor was a clear choice because of this and we’re confident it’s delivered on the brief.
Blythe Scorgie, at Polyflor in South Africa, said: “As a science research facility, it was vital the designers of this project were armed with products which could provide true reliability in performance, but also soften the traditional, clinical look associated with science laboratories.
“Silentflor has all the attributes required to create a durable flooring with acoustic performance, teamed with great design to make the facility stand out for all the right reasons.”
Top benefits of Silentflor:
· Improves acoustic properties within busy commercial and public locations
· Available in 36 stunning designs
· Features a layer of polyurethane reinforcement for easy cleaning and maintenance
· Rated A+ for major use areas from BRE Global