Ecore Ecosurfaces rubber flooring, manufactured from recycled tyres by international commercial flooring company Ecore, has received a positive response from the South African market, says commercial floor coverings supplier Polyflor South Africa (SA).
The company, which supplies Ecore rubber flooring, completed a 700 m² flooring project using the imported product at Redhill School, in Sandton, in mid- November last year.
Polyflor SA says education premises vary and are often complex sites. Floors of any school or college have diverse needs that not only differ from area to area, but also depend on the age of the children, their expected activity and traffic levels around the school.
Redhill is a 105-year-old, coeducational, multifaith, independent school, with a strong tradition of ensuring that every child receives good care. The school caters for prepreparatory, preparatory and high school education, and is one of the top-performing independent examination board schools in South Africa, says Polyflor SA.
“Ecosurfaces Commercial Flooring comprises post-consumer tyre rubber and Colormill ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. These materials are bound together in an elastomeric network produced using a low-embodied energy manufacturing process that requires minimum water, avoids heat and reuses in-line scrap to decrease waste.
“The result is a stunning environmentally responsible and sustainable surfacing collection that passes the most stringent tests for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and indoor air quality,” says Polyflor SA marketing director Tandy Coleman-Spolander.
“Laying the Ecore floor requires special skills because the floor is different from other rubber or vinyl sheeting. You need to give the material the opportunity to rest and acclimatise to the area where it is going to be laid before it is installed.
“We also needed to use special gluing techniques, which are different from those used when installing vinyl floors. Another factor that needed to be taken into consideration was the checking of moisture levels in the floor screed before installation could begin,” she explains, noting that t
he Ecore ecological commitment goes beyond the landfill, as it controls every aspect of its operations to limit waste, cut energy use, protect natural resources and ensure product safety. Priding itself on manufacturing environ- ment-friendly products has enabled the company to produce more than two-million pounds of waste a year, but only send 1.3% of it to the landfill, says Coleman-Spolander.
Polyflor SA is the sole distributor of the Ecore range of floors in South Africa. Ecore is the largest consumer of recycled scrap tyre rubber in North America and it reuses more than 80-million pounds of material each year. This is equivalent to keeping more than 2 000 trailer loads of discarded tyres out of landfills in the US or conserving more than one-million barrels of oil. Ecore actively encourages its customers to join in in the recycling of tyres.
“Ecore floors are suited to public, institutional and commercial buildings, where ease of maintenance and long life under heavy traffic are required. “The floors are also cigarette-burn resistant, which is advantageous for public buildings,” Coleman-Spolander points out.She further highlights that, f
or several years, Polyflor’s research and development commitment to environmental matters has been significant and increases yearly. In terms of affiliations, the company has been working with Manchester University’s chemical engineering team on carbon footprint models to understand how it can decrease the environmental impact of its processes.
“We also continue to investigate alternative materials to produce the most environmentally sound and safe rubber flooring possible,” explains Coleman-Spolander.
Polyflor SA concludes that it is working to ensure the compatibility of its products with newer, solvent-free and low-VOC adhesives to decrease any environmentally negative elements, while maintaining key performance criteria.