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Floor coverings that look better from day to day despite years of extremely intensive usage in a hospital? What may seem almost unimaginable has been reality at the University Hospital Hamburg- Eppendorf in Germany for five years now. And it is rubber oor coverings from nora systems that have made this possible. Not only are they especially robust, but they are also very easy to clean. When it comes down to hospital operating costs, economical cleaning is a decisive factor. Of special signi cance is the floor: Making the right choice here can save millions of euros over the years. The Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is one of Europe‘s most modern hospitals. Around 86,000 in-patients and more than 269,000 out-patients are treated here every year. To create the ideal conditions for a tight integration of advanced medicine, research and teaching, between 2006 and 2008 the UKE invested 188 million euros in the construction of a new 742-bed hospital with 16 operating theatres designed by the Munich architects Nickl & Partner.
Klinik Service Eppendorf GmbH (KSE), a cooperative venture of the UKE, and the large traditional Hamburg service company Bog-dol were commissioned to clean the entire hospital. KSE has approximately 400 employees, who also provide some 24-hour services. In times of tight budgets in the healthcare sector, cleaning service providers obviously also have to cope with limited budgets. They consequently have a vested interest in ensuring that the properties they maintain are fitted with floor coverings that can be cleaned easily and cost-effectively.
When the time came to choose floor coverings for the new UKE, KSE conducted intensive comparative tests of several resilient floor coverings and then recommended the rubber floor coverings from nora systems to the University Hospital. „We were convinced that this is the most economical solution for the hospital in two ways,“ says Frank Muller, authorised officer at KSE. By virtue of their dense and closed surface, nora floor coverings are not only extremely hard-wearing and durable, but they are also very easy to clean. Another big bonus is that nora floor coverings, in contrast to other resilient floor coverings, do not have to be coated. This has several advantages: It obviates the need for the time-consuming and cost-intensive recoating required with other floor coverings, precluding disruptions in the hospital‘s work routines. These arise because it is necessary to shut off the affected areas for a lengthy period of time to recoat the floor coverings, which causes major difficulties in highly frequented buildings such as hospitals. Coated floor coverings also require basic cleaning at regular intervals, which involves first chemically removing the polymer layer and then applying a new one. Rubber floorings from nora, on the other hand, only need simple routine cleaning, which means that they only have to be mopped clean and can be maintained using modern cleaning machines without any problems at all. This can be done during daily working operation whenever necessary and without any restrictions for patients or staff.
The new building at UKE is fitted with 44,000 square metres of noraplan® signa as well as the electrostatically dissipative noraplan® signa ed in two different shades of blue and in terracotta. „The hospital made an outstanding choice in deciding in favour of uncoated rubber coverings,“ emphasises Müller. „We have been cleaning the nora floors for five years now and they look better from day to day.“ The dirt, moisture and even grit which patients and visitors bring into the building on their shoes in bad weather or the winter have no effect on the hard-wearing rubber floor coverings. „Even if the nora floors aren‘t sometimes wet-mopped every day during the summer months, but are just dry cleaned, that doesn‘t affect the appearance,“ says the cleaning expert. „The rubber floors are clean and always radiate warmth and comfort. That is extremely important to us, because 60 percent of patient complaints about the cleanliness in a hospital concern the floor.“ In this respect, the UKE is on the safe side with nora floorings. The savings in running costs that could be achieved at UKE by using nora pads are enormous: „We can manage between 600 and 1000 square metres an hour using a machine to clean uncoated rubber floor coverings; with coated surfaces, this figure drops to just 50 to 80 square metres due to the regular basic cleaning and recoating,“ explains KSE‘s authorised officer. The fact that one working step can be completely omitted pays dividends: „The floor is the biggest leverage factor when it comes down to cutting cleaning costs in a hospital. In recent years, we have already saved a lot of money with the rubber flooring.“
Last but not least, the health and environmental impact of the nora floor coverings also played a major role for the UKE. The rubber floor coverings contain no harmful plasticizers or halogens and have low emission levels, earning them the „Blue Angel“ eco label for many years now. They therefore make a significant contribution to ensuring good quality indoor air. The fact that no aggressive chemicals have to be used to clean the nora floor coverings is also beneficial to both the environment and the well-being of patients and staff.
|Building||University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf|
|Contruction management||KFE Klinik Facility Management Eppendorf GmbH, Hamburg www.uke.de|
|Architect||Nickl & Partner Architekten, Munich, www.nickl-partner.com|
Rubber flooring with a changing base colour consisting of three harmoniously matched colour components and characteristic granule inclusions. Available in smooth or reflectionbreaking surface.
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