Excellence in Product Development 2014

This Award recognises the product that through its development and use has had the most positive impact in the work and social environment in which we live.

Overview

Winner: J+J Flooring Group
Sector: Flooring
Initiative: Kinetex textile composite flooring
Sponsored by: Skanska

Best practice learning points

> Product developed in line with an identified market need
> Evidence-based design relates built environment benefits with measurable outcomes
> The product has excellent sustainability credentials
> Good evidence that the product is making a positive difference in real-life scenarios
> Clear roadmap for product extension and further investment

About

Kinetex is a patented textile composite flooring product. It has been engineered in response to a long-standing need in the marketplace for a soft-surface flooring product (and the benefits that offers) that performs as well as a hard-surface floor covering. Education and healthcare sectors have a distinct need for a noise-absorbing, slip-free floor covering which is durable and easy to clean.

Kinetex is manufactured by fusing knitted polyester fabric with cushioned polyester felt backing under high heat and pressure. The result is moulded flooring with the soft textile aesthetics of carpet and the performance and durability of hard flooring. It contains more than 55% post-consumer recycled content and 16% of the total weight is made from recycled PET commonly sourced from plastic beverage containers. A floor area of 6.69m2 covered by Kinetex would use the equivalent of 144, 16 oz. drink bottles. It is therefore a highly sustainable product and according to the manufactures has lower lifecycle costs (the cost of materials, installation and maintenance) than rubber flooring, vinyl or vinyl composite.

Kinetex has a high noise reduction coefficient (NRC) and impact insulation class (IIC) which means it absorbs sound energy and attenuates impact sounds. The high NRC and IIC ratings make this product relevant for both airborne and structure borne noise control. For example a medical centre in the US used Kinetex because they had been receiving noise complaints on some of the wards. Following installation, acoustical readings fell by an average of 10dB compared to what was being achieved with a hard floor covering.

Acoustics, indoor air quality, glare and ergonomics have been shown to have a direct correlation with productivity, health, safety and workplace effectiveness. Flooring plays a pivotal role in achieving positive outcomes and this is especially true in the healthcare and education market where patients and students can be highly impacted by the chosen finishes in the way they heal or learn. According to the manufactures, from a safety perspective, the number of injuries incurred on hard surface floors is twice as high as soft floorings. The coefficient of static friction measures how slippery a floor surface is and Kinetex’s high score in this area means it is able to significantly reduce slips, trips and falls along with the associated liability.

Testing shows that Kinetex cleans most stains found in hospitals, schools and retail environments including blood, urine, hand sanitisers, oily foods, paints, red wine and copier toners. It can be sanitised with bleach solutions and has benefits such as reducing postural discomfort, leg stress and fatigue over hard floor coverings. In testing in real-life scenarios in stadia, retail, restaurants and hospitals over 5 years it has demonstrated its toughness and carries a Texture, Appearance Texture rating (TARR) – the measure for determining appropriate floor coverings for commercial use – of 4.5.

The Judges said

This product is an alternative option for the design and specification of building flooring systems. Originally developed to meet the specific needs of J+J Flooring customers in education and healthcare, Kinetex has much wider applications and is already being used in corporate office locations. What makes this a winner is not only the wider range of benefits that this product brings in maintenance, durability, welfare and environmental, but also the way that the product has been designed and extensively tested. It demonstrates how J+J Flooring understand the needs of their customers and develops products to meet their specific needs.