Rubber floor coverings create a more relaxed working atmosphere in hospitals
Weinheim, July 2018 - 'healing environment' is a term that has been under discussion for a long time when it comes to designing a healing-promoting environment in hospitals, retirement and nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. In the Centre: Better quality of stay – not only for patients, but also for staff. High demands are placed on employees in the healthcare sector: The pressure is on both physically as well as mentally, especially in times of skills shortages. In view of the above, an attractive working environment for doctors and nursing staff is key to making the job more comfortable for them and to retain them at the care facilities and attract new employees. The choice of building materials used in new builds or renovation projects is therefore crucial as this can make all the difference. Flooring represents a significant aspect of the 'healing architecture' concept. nora systems rubber floor coverings offer design and functional properties in the healthcare sector, which can positively influence the hospital architecture.
Aesthetic quality and a broad colour spectrum is not only 'easy on the eye'
The interior designer and owner of the interior design office 100% interior, Sylvia Leydecker (Dipl.-Ing. BDIA AKG), uses rubber in many projects. Leydecker is one of the leading German interior designers and develops future-oriented space concepts together with her team, with a focus on the healthcare sector. "The findings from evidence-based design were automatically incorporated into my drafts", emphasises the interior designer. This scientifically proven evidence on the positive effects of a healing-promoting environment applies not only to the patients; staff also benefit from an atmosphere in which they feel comfortable. Colours are a very important part of healing architecture and the corresponding concept forms an integral part of interior design. Materials and products with appealing design are necessary to create a feel-good ambience, Leydecker adds. In particular, the ground plays a central role here due to its surface. "I love noraplan sentica due to its broad, harmonious colour spectrum combined with different grey tones and its aesthetic look." The colour system of the rubber floor covering consists of 32 colours in tiered shades which are complemented by six solitary accent colours. The discreet granulate injection creates a shimmering tone. All colours in the palette can be combined horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Leydecker sees the direction-free design of the rubber floor coverings and the possibility of jointless installation as an advantage as it creates a harmonious appearance across the flooring. Thanks to the low-key design of noraplan sentica, the floor appears almost plain and the rooms are welcoming and pleasantly quiet. This leaves room for more design accents. "For us interior designers, it is very important that there are a sufficient number of shades available in the grey, beige and taupe colour spectrum since these colours harmonise perfectly with all furnishings and can also be well combined with bold colours."
Function is key to a healthy working environment
Leydecker is convinced that improving the working environment of nursing staff improves care standards. Healing architecture is much more than mere cosmetics. An attractively designed environment has a tremendous impact on staff because they identify themselves more with their work and their ward and have emotional anchor points. Finally, doctors and nurses, in contrast to the patients, spend long periods of time in care facilities most days. In addition to the visual aspects, numerous functional aspects are necessary to create an atmosphere in which staff enjoy working. A key factor is good indoor air. Here, nora rubber floor coverings can also make a contribution: It is free of plasticisers (phthalates) and halogens and, as the first resilient flooring of its kind, has been awarded the "Blue Angel" as well as numerous other international certificates such as "Indoor Air Quality Gold" since 2006. Another consideration is the permanent elasticity of the rubber floor coverings. Due to the nature of the material it relieves the back and joints which, for doctors and care staff who spend hours on their feet, is a big relief. The good acoustics of the rubber floor coverings is an added feel-good factor. They reduce walking sounds as well as the clatter of food trolleys and provide more calm in the corridors as a result. This is not only pleasant for the patients but also for doctors and nursing staff. They are able to concentrate better during visits or consultations in patients' rooms. The same is true for meetings at the care support base. Whether at the KRH Siloam hospital in Hanover, in the new building of Crailsheim hospital or in the Soteria of St. Hedwig's hospital in Berlin: In many hospitals rubber floor coverings proves that maximum functionality and stylish design need not contradict one another.
For hospitals and other healthcare facilities, healing architecture is a worthwhile investment in every way; not only for employees, but for economic success in the long term.*
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About nora systems
nora systems develops, produces and markets high-quality, elastic floor coverings as well as shoe components under the nora® brand. The company, which has its headquarters in the German town of Weinheim, was created from Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007 and, as the global market leader, has shaped the development of rubber floor coverings for many years. With its more than 1,000 employees, nora systems generated a turnover of €229.1 million in 2017. In 2018, nora systems was acquired by Interface Inc., Atlanta (USA). Interface is the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles for the commercial sector.