June 2019

Prioritising pets

From traversing the aisles of retail outlets to sleeping soundly on the floors of local pubs and cafés, there is no denying the influx of furry, four-legged patrons in commercial environments. According to the PDSA, 49% of UK adults own a pet, which includes 8.9 million pet dogs*. As consumers, we are gravitating more towards businesses that cater to our canine companions and of course, more pets mean more vets…

Selecting the most effective flooring surface is the foundation of designing pet-friendly interiors. Sharp nails, shedding and the occasional ‘accident’ are clearly issues that can affect multiple flooring types. At the same time, the choice should offer plenty of comfort underfoot to both the human and non-human users. The following are pet-friendly priorities to consider for commercial flooring.

A window decal with the text 'what did your dog do today?' with a happy looking dog nect to it

Durability

Broken and chipped tiles can be a health hazard for pets in a number of ways. Rigid, uneven surfaces can painfully dig into feet with a single misstep, while harmful bacteria can evade cleaning, flourishing within cracked areas and get into pets’ paws. It’s important to choose flooring with proven durability that can withstand constant heavy foot traffic from shoes and paws without damage or surface erosion.

Slip resistance

Whether they are sprinting between rooms or leisurely strolling down a hall, pets needs to have the proper traction to avoid slips that could cause an accident, or injury to pet or human. Surfaces with a thick layer of wax or polish can be the equivalent of an ice rink to anything walking on four legs. Where appropriate safety floors allow both pets and owners to properly grip the ground beneath them.

Stain and moisture resistance

Accidents happen, and if your floors are susceptible to staining and moisture, the evidence can linger for years to come…Porous carpets and tile grouting can absorb moisture, trapping surface stains and compromising hygiene in the process. Flooring with any exposure to pets should be impervious to liquid penetration and resistant to surface staining. We can help with specifications so that you can select the right floor for the right area – including guidance on stain resistance.

A variety of different breeds of dog running toward the camera

Comfort

Animals can benefit from the comfort underfoot that comes with thicker flooring solutions. Solutions including Altro Orchestra and Altro Serenade can also provide sound reduction in multi-level facilities and areas with heavy foot traffic, where there is a low risk of a slip.

In areas that can’t be closed for refurbishment, Altro have floors that can be installed without adhesive, which is a benefit when adhesive smells can cause stress.

Maintenance

Low-maintenance flooring is ideal for areas subjected to shedding, spills and accidents. Tying into moisture resistance, soft surfaces are notorious for absorbing pet residue. Floors that are impervious to liquid penetration are easier to clean and prevent hair and dirt being trapped under the surface.

Walls and doors also can benefit from Altro solutions. We have a range of hygienic and durable walls, doorsets and door protection that are impact-resistant, easy to clean and come in a range of colours that fit any design scheme.

two dachshunds leaping around on Altro Cantata

Cromwell Vets: Altro durability and aesthetics for vet clinic

Pigglefairy Puppies: Altro create a relaxing environment for playful Dachshunds

Doodley Dogs: Altro Whiterock Chameleon brings fun to innovative dog centre

 

* PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report

Posted: 05/06/2019 08:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments

Mind the gap!

Our European Technical Services Manager, Roger Moore, offers some guidance on how to avoid problems with welds.

A source of frustration for customers is when floor welding comes apart, leaving a gap that’s unsightly, a trip-hazard and a haven for bacteria. So, I’m going to cover what your options are if this happens and how to avoid it being a problem in the first place.

Get into the groove

When welding flooring sections it is essential that you groove the edges out, taking off the PUR coating and making two shoulders for the weld to bond to. Just butting the sections together means the weld sits on top of the PUR layer which won’t take, making a weak join that will detach over time. It’s a bit like trying to do a good paint job on a waxy surface, it won’t work! Creating a groove allows the weld to sit within the floor sections and under the PUR, holding it firm.

Guidance at a glance

We have a series of installation videos that may help with your best practice queries. This includes how to guides on welding internal and external mitres, and how to deal with access covers.

When the worst has happened

A section of welded flooring that has come apart can spread like undoing a zip. This problem can be prevented; the right preparation can save major headaches for you and your customers in the future. If you’re in the situation where this has already happened, it is possible to repair. For a small separation, you can groove the section and re-weld. If a large gap has appeared, welding strips will be too thin and won’t take on the subfloor. The best thing to do is strapping, by cutting a larger channel, grooving out the edges and putting a new section of floor in. This isn’t ideal as you will need to match the original flooring, but our customer care centre will help you to do this where possible. Alternatively, depending on how the room is used and where the join is, you could consider using a different colour and making the strap a feature of the room.

Grooving the flooring at installation means your customers will get the safe, hygienic and durable flooring they expect and will save you time and money on future repairs.

More support

Don’t forget that we’re here to help if you have any questions about this, please contact our technical wizards on 01462 489516 or use the online chat box. We also offer floors training, find out more here.

Posted: 25/06/2019 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments

Designing for aesthetics, performance, and the individual

Delegates from Alexander Dennis, First Group, Metroline and many other top names in the UK bus industry drew together to share ideas on design inspiration, find out about upcoming design trends and hear insights from industry professionals.

The day started with a welcome from Altro’s Sales and Marketing Director, Sarah de los Rios, sharing why events such as these are so important to our company. Transforming spaces to enhance people’s emotional and physical wellbeing is Altro’s purpose, and we hope that bringing people together to discuss transport spaces will give inspiration for innovative spaces in transport.

The Bus Safety Standard roadmap

A big upcoming change in the design of London based buses will be the upcoming Bus Safety Standards from Transport for London. Jane Lupson, Senior Bus Safety Manager for Transport for London, shared her insights into the upcoming regulations and the roadmap for the proposed changes. Discussion covered the pros and cons of technology-driven safety features such as assisted braking systems and multi-view cameras and how their implementation might impact builders, operators and indeed passengers in the future.

Another point for discussion was the potential for the changing soundscape of London. As steps are being taken to make buses more audible to prevent accidents, what sound is appropriate? How can we futureproof it? When we’d like to move away from the denotation of a diesel bus, what potentially should the countrywide buses of the future sound like?

The “Purple Pound”

If there was an untapped market worth £212 billion, would you want to tap into it?

£212 billion is the estimated worth of the annual spending power of people with disabilities and their families in the UK: the “Purple Pound”. Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users UK, shared her insights into how we can design buses to make them more accessible to passengers with both visible and invisible disabilities.

Discussion centred around designing vehicles without the need for retrofitting, and Claire suggested that the best way to do this was through talking to passengers, finding out their needs, and designing your vehicles around those needs. The main concern raised with this was the cost of accessibility options – but as the demand grows, so will the supply, and the greater the supply, the cheaper the cost.

Innovation across the sector

Maria Kafel-Bentkowska, Colour, Material, and Finish Project Head for PriestmanGoode, presented case studies from rail, air and terminal applications to show how innovative design stems from responses to genuine human insight. Passenger experience is a top priority: by identifying issues and opportunities at different touchpoints, a truly ergonomic and personal travel experience is achieved. While of course, the needs of manufacturers and refurbishers, operators, and passengers are all different, a good design should encompass all of these needs. A good looking material must also be durable, easy to clean, economical and sustainable.

Examples such as the Horizon and Island Bay train seats showed how both operators’ and passengers’ needs were taken into account and met in one neat design. How can we apply ideas such as these to design in the bus industry?

Time for discussion

The day was rounded off with a workshop-style discussion with the attendees, speakers and representatives from Altro. Ideas were shared on the topics of the biggest priorities and biggest challenges in current bus design, and finally discussion on what new concerns and considerations we’ll be facing in ten years’ time.

The Altro Transport Design Forum was a truly unique opportunity to gain insight from lots of different points of view in the process of improving public transport for all. We’d like to thank all of our attendees for their thoughts and ideas, and most of all their time, and we look forward to seeing even more of you next year!

Posted: 12/06/2019 10:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments