As energy bills soar across Europe, the cost-of-living crisis is being felt by homeowners and business owners alike. With the seemingly never-ending surge in energy prices, it appears that all industries are feeling the pinch. In the construction industry alone, we are speaking with more and more building owners, developers and installers who are looking for more efficient ways to build and renovate, to save time, money and energy.
To help with this, we have highlighted some of the flooring solutions from CPG Europe that can help your building or renovation project to be more sustainable and energy efficient, from the ground up.
Choosing sustainable flooring doesn’t start with the floor finish, although this is certainly an important aspect. It actual starts much earlier – with the preparation of the substrate.
There are many aspects to take into consideration when choosing the right screed for a flooring project. The depth and type of screed, the construction tolerances, and the provision of falls are all important design considerations for a successful installation.
From semi-dry cementitious screeds to self-levelling or flowing liquid screeds, finding the ideal solution for your space first time around will greatly decrease the likelihood of serious renovations in the future.
When specifying the type of underfloor system needed, speaking to flooring experts about damp proof membranes, or DPMs, is also worthwhile. A DPM bonds to the surface of the concrete, minimising moisture vapour transmission and therefore preventing moisture build-up beneath vinyl or other floor coverings. If your building is prone to damp conditions, something like this could save you time and money.
There is little point successfully preparing the substrate if you choose the wrong flooring solution to sit on top.
For areas that are likely to experience heavy foot or mechanical traffic, choosing a hardwearing floor finish that can withstand such treatment is necessary. The initial cost of installing a hardwearing, chemical and abrasion resistant flooring will largely outweigh the cost of having to refurbish a floor that has been specified incorrectly and in need of repair after a short while.
Incorporating the right components from the start of a build greatly reduces the chance of the floor needing to be updated or refurbished for a long period of time.
There are so many factors that go into choosing sustainable floor finishes that are invisible to the naked eye. Those working in an electronics factory may never be aware of the static dissipative and conductive properties within the floor finish to ensure that an electrostatic discharge event doesn’t take place and cause serious harm. Floor finishes in hospitals or food and beverage facilities often incorporate antimicrobial additives to avoid harmful bacteria building up on the floors’ surface – again this is unnoticeable to the eye.
Some properties can be seen and even felt but may not be noticed such as the differing textures of a floor underfoot. For example, a greater distribution of aggregates may be used in areas where water is likely to be present. The aggregates form a positive texture on the floor and therefore increase the slip resistance of the space. Less aggregates may be used in dry processing areas, as the chance of slipping due to water would be decreased.
In areas where hygiene is imperative, using a smoother, seamless floor finish is highly beneficial and can also have a positive impact on energy efficiency.
Seams or joints in flooring can collect dirt and bacteria, making it very difficult to keep clean and hygienic. Seamless flooring abolishes this, meaning that users can save time, energy and resources when cleaning the floor.
It is not just the floor finish that can help you to be more efficient – incorporating underfloor heating can also help to reduce energy consumption.
An effective and controllable way to heat large venues, circulating warm water through pipes concealed in the floor finish delivers energy savings of up to 30% compared to conventional heating methods. Many commercial venues such as high-rise residential buildings, schools, leisure and healthcare facilities have embraced this heating method as radiators can be a safety risk for those using the space.
Available for residential, commercial and industrial constructions alike, incorporating underfloor heating within the floor build can not only help a building to be more efficient, but can also provide significant space-saving benefits, as radiators and heaters take up valuable space.
To add further end user benefits into the floor area, underfloor heating can be combined with acoustic insulation to reduce sound transfer around the building.
With so many factors to consider when choosing a sustainable and highly efficient floor, speaking to experts in the field can be a big help. Here at CPG Europe, we have local sales and R&D teams on hand to help during your specification process.
Find out more and contact our team today.