10. April 2019 | Germany | Healthy Living

Signage: When the floor guides the way

Rubber floorings provide orientation and set design trends

Weinheim, September 2018 – Which way to the emergency room, how to get to a specialist department or to the hospital room? Who has never wished for better guidance in hospitals? In emergencies, well-functioning signage can even save lives. Visitors and new staff as well as patients should be able to navigate quickly around the building. The solution lies in the design: Signage. It allows spatial orientation, creates identity and helps people feel more comfortable and safer. In addition to features such as signs, information boards and pillars or wall signage, flooring can also make a decisive contribution. Rubber flooring by nora systems offers numerous design possibilities. The use of inlay allows information for departments or directions and warnings to be integrated, making the building more secure and orientation easier. Moreover, the wide colour range of nora floor coverings, as well as the various surface finishes open up a number of design options. The rubber flooring can be optimally combined with other trades, providing orientation and creating a positive atmosphere in this way.

Signage promotes security and identity

A successful signage concept goes far beyond adequate signage: Signage uses knowledge from psychology, colour theory and architecture to turn colours, materials and shapes into sources of information. "It is also about giving buildings a distinctive identity," says interior designer Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Petra Gunst, Chief Architect at a|sh sander.hofrichter architekten GmbH. One of the focuses of the Germany-wide company with nine locations and over 200 employees is the planning of healthcare facilities. "Most people feel somewhat uneasy in a hospital due to the unfamiliar surroundings, and for patients this is further reinforced by their health situation", continues Gunst. A clear orientation system provides security and, when properly implemented, supports the accessibility of buildings as required in DIN 18040.

Inlays in rubber flooring facilitate orientation

nora flooring inlays, which are integrated firmly into the flooring, can greatly facilitate orientation in hospitals. Symbols, signs or writing can, for example, show the route to the X-ray or emergency room, which not only helps patients, but also relieves the staff. There are no limits when it comes to inlay design: any kind of floor design is possible. Experts at the nora inlay centre produce complex logos, lettering or signs that are accurate to the millimetre using highly advanced ultrasonic cutting machines. Each order is bespoke and individually produced. A suitable installation guide is provided to ensure that the floor can be easily and quickly installed. nora rubber floorings are dimensionally stable and can be laid without joint sealing. This means that even delicate inlays have no joints or cracks which could become soiled and damage the overall appearance. This also means that nora flooring with inlays are easier and more economical to clean in the long run. "Joint-free installation is suitable even for areas in which the highest standards of hygiene are required", confirms the interior designer Gunst.

Rubber flooring supports the "path to healing"

The objective of properly functioning signage is not only to provide clarity and order, but also to stimulate the senses and create a positive atmosphere. An example of this approach is the construction of the Siloah-Oststadt-Heidehaus hospital in Hanover, which was completed in 2014. The "path to healing" lies at the core of the design: Three different medicinal plants - hibiscus, calendula and lavendula - guide people to the lifts, levels and bases. "The bright yellow, red and violet accent colours aim to facilitate the orientation of the patient while also creating a soothing atmosphere", explains Gunst. a|sh architects incorporated more than 24,000 square metres of noraplan signa at the Siloah hospital. "The rubber flooring with its matte surface and subtle, harmonious grey tones perfectly complements the bold accent colours of the walls and creates a kind of 'central theme' in the building." 

The main guiding principle in the design of the hospital in Viersen is the medlar flower, which has been the symbol of the city's coat of arms since 1450. The signage concept focuses on the plant from bud to fruit. There are, for example, ("bud") medlar recipes on the green walls of the waiting rooms on the ground floor that patients can write down or photograph. The main colour on the first floor is a bright yellow ("flower"), in the hallways and medlar fruits are displayed on the walls of patient rooms. On the fourth floor and using the colour bronze, the importance of medlar in medicine is portrayed. Around 6,000 square metres of noraplan sentica and noraplan sentica ed were used at the Viersen hospital. The light rubber floors provide a quiet, serene atmosphere in the hallways, functional areas and patient rooms.


Cross-functional design solutions

The fact that nora floorings are available in the same design but with different technical properties, such as antistatic or anti-slip, is a great advantage according to the interior designer: "There are no interruptions in the design between functional and other areas." Therefore, a|sh architects have used an increasing number of nora floors - many with special properties - in various new builds and renovations at the Tübingen University Hospital, such as in the renovation of the Crona clinic. 

In brief: A successful signage concept not only provides orientation in clinics, but improves the well-being of patients and staff at the same time. It thus makes a decisive contribution to a health-promoting environment.*


Top picture: Bronovo Ziekenhuis Den Haag (NL) (©: Imre Csany)

Pictures below: 1: AKH Viersen (©: Markus Bachmann), 2: Manchester Joint Hospitals (©: nora systems GmbH), 3: Nurmijärvi health center (©: Kai Widell), 4: Klinikum Lüdenscheid (©: nora systems GmbH), 5: Klinikum Siloah Hannover (© Wolfgang Fallier)

* The text can be freely used. Publication of images in connection with press releases of nora systems GmbH is free of charge if the source is quoted. The copyright can be found under Image Properties >> Details. The use for advertising purposes is not permitted. We ask for a specimen copy.

About nora

nora by Interface is the commercial rubber flooring brand of Interface, Inc. Produced in Germany for more than 70 years, nora premium rubber solutions help to support operations, efficiencies, health, safety and well-being with sustainable flooring that eases maintenance, reduces noise, and provides added comfort underfoot.

Interface, Inc., (NASDAQ: TILE) is a global flooring solutions enterprise with an integrated portfolio of carpet tile and resilient flooring products, where everything is third-party certified carbon neutral. With our design approach to flooring systems, we help our customers create high-performance interior spaces that have a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet. Our range includes Interface® carpet tile and LVT, nora® by Interface rubber flooring, and FLOR® premium area rugs for commercial and residential spaces.

Interface is third-party certified as a Carbon Neutral Enterprise. We neutralized our carbon impact across our entire business, including all operations and our full value chain, marking an important milestone toward our objective to become a restorative and carbon negative enterprise by 2040.

Learn more about Interface at interface.com and blog.interface.com, nora by Interface at nora.com, FLOR at FLOR.com, and our sustainability journey at interface.com/sustainability. 

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