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Nora Systems, Bodenbelag, Den Haag

The floor as part of the colour concept for a mother-child centre in The Hague

For the clients and the architects of the Amsterdam office Koldeweij en S & D Ontwerpers, the floor covering was an important part of the design concept for the children's and infants' ward in Bronovo Hospital in The Hague. This was realised with the product Noraplan Signa, rubber flooring that is particularly suitable for the health care sector and for high-frequency zones. In the hospital, which is one of the largest in the catchment area of the Dutch port city, the elastic floor covering was laid in four different colours and partially with colourful inlay elements on around 1300m2. The atmosphere in the corridors and patient rooms is dominated by different warm brown and beige tones, while colour stripes add colourful touches to the corridors and contribute to a cheerful ambience. The design of the walls, too, picks up on the colours of the inlays.

Health-promoting properties of the floor covering
Higher demands are placed on the fixtures and fittings of the room environment, especially for the patient group of infants and sick children whose immune systems are not yet fully developed or are more vulnerable to infection. Since rubber floor coverings contain no plasticizers or halogens, they ensure pollutant-free indoor air. This factor was also decisive for the choice of materials in the children's and infants' ward at the hospital in The Hague. As far back as 2006, the rubber floor coverings were the first elastic floor coverings to be awarded the "Blue Angel" eco-label for their low-emission properties. According to the manufacturer, the dense surface is particularly resistant and should enable easy cleaning. Due to their high and permanent elasticity, the installed floors should retain their properties even over a long period of time.
 
Additional design scope with rubber floor coverings
In the meantime, manufacturer Nora, which since the beginning of 2019 has been part of the Interface Group, has announced new developments for its products already established on the market. The focus is on the system concept, in which all the elements are coordinated, including the ungrouted floor laid as a sheet, the tile, the joint compound and the skirting board. The Noraplan Signa product line, which is mainly used in the healthcare sector but also in schools, universities, industrial plants, public buildings and rail vehicles, now includes 48 standard colours. A version with higher impact sound insulation is also part of the range, as is a version with a particularly slip-resistant surface. Finally, the granule design was also revised so that the granule distribution is now matched to the respective base colour. 

Signage possibilities
The manufacturer offers customised solutions with regard to colours, surfaces, inlays and formats. Floors, for example, can be produced in corporate design colours and company logos, letterings and symbols can be integrated into the flooring as inlays. In the so-called Nora Inlay Center, cutting systems are available to this end for precision cutting. In addition, a milling machine installed in 2018 allows the inlays to be merely superficially milled into the floor covering. This keeps the bottom layer of the covering closed and watertight. This can be particularly advantageous for high-frequency zones, where more moisture is carried from the outside to the inside. Like all other floors in the series, the floors with inlays are laid without joints. The manufacturer also supplies a suitable installation plan. For hospitals and health care facilities, the elements with inlays can form part of a signage system or complement a functional room design with a colourful, lively component, as the example of the children's ward in The Hague shows.

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