Speedo HQ, Nottingham

Client: Speedo
Type of works: supplied 3,000m² of Saga² acoustic vinyl tiles.

When swimwear label Speedo moved its headquarters to the prestigious ng² business park in Nottingham, it was looking to create a futuristic, state-of-the-art interior design. The choice of carpet was ruled out as a flooring solution as the company wanted a clean and contemporary look for its headquarters. Instead, the company opted for some 3,000m² of Saga² acoustic vinyl tiles from Gerflor. These have contributed to the creation of interiors which fuse transparency, opacity, and intelligent use of colour and natural light to create a modern, vibrant and inspiring working environment.

Speedo House provides a spacious workplace over three storey’s for Speedo’s 170-strong Nottingham workforce. It is the brand’s international base for visiting partners and Speedo-sponsored athletes and houses a new design studio and development workshop. With these many and varied demands, Gerflor’s Saga² tiles were ideally suited to the needs of the building which was opened by HRH The Princess Royal. Throughout the project in Nottingham, Gerflor worked with Maber Architects, the installer Pinnacle Flooring and directly with the design team at Speedo.

One feature that impressed the Speedo design team was the palette of 23 colours and patterns available in the Saga² range. These embrace highly realistic woods, minerals and textiles with beiges, fresh blue tones and grey and marble shades for contemporary style.

Crisp, clean, modern and aesthetically pleasing flooring was required at Speedo House. In order to meet these bespoke needs, Saga² Diva White was installed in the majority of the building spaces, while the café area was installed with Barma Mystery Saga² tiles.

The Diva White tile has grey flecks and these coordinate well with the accents that are used throughout the building’s furniture and other decor. In addition, the brightness and neutrality of the tile is ideal in areas where Speedo staff are assessing swimwear products and colours, as it does not distract.

A major challenge involved in the project was to ensure that raised access flooring is installed throughout the building. The use of Saga² offered easy access for the end user, as the 50 x 50 cm tiles were simply laid onto a ‘tackifier’ adhesive and could be peeled up individually or in groups as required. They could also be loose laid and are useful where re-organisation might occur within an office.

The acoustic issues that might be created through the use of large expanses of vinyl were a concern but again Saga² proved highly suitable for the application required. The tile’s PVC and cork foam backing provides 15dB acoustic comfort, ensuring the flooring is quiet and easy underfoot. In addition, the tile overcomes the difficulty of irregular subfloors and prevents indentations being transferred to the surface due to its composition.

Another benefit that Saga² offers is its unrivalled slip resistance, as it is the only tile in the market to meet the European slip resistance standard (DIN 51130) and is rated R10. Despite offering the comfort and style of an acoustic tile, Saga² is incredibly durable. With a total thickness of 4.6mm, it is in wear group T and consist of a 0.7mm thick surface layer with a decorative film, a calendered inner layer and a PVC / cork sublayer. A smooth Protecsol® (polyurethane) treated surface ensures extremely easy maintenance, optimum stain resistance and maximum hygiene while Sanosol® treatment inhibits bacterial and fungal growth.

All products used in the Speedo project needed to meet high environmental standards. Gerflor is one of less than 50% of manufacturers in Europe to have achieved ISO 14001 certification for its industrial sites. Saga² tiles have a significant percentage of recycled content and are 100% recyclable at the end of their material life. From the perspective of interior air quality, vinyl products have an advantage over carpets because they do not harbour dust so are a preferable option for allergy sufferers.

Deborah Sinclair, Speedo’s Creative Director, comments: “From a design point of view Saga² is fantastic. It’s very light, easy to install and was definitely the right choice. It’s given the interior scheme a very contemporary finish and was a nice product to work with from a design perspective. It feels good to walk on and I certainly haven’t had any negative feed back. The help we had from Gerflor was amazing and they turned the order round very, very quickly. I’d definitely use the product again for another project.”

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