The commercial flooring market is on the rise and there is growing demand for sustainable solutions that deliver high quality and performance. In a 2017 report by Catalina Research, carpet tile accounted for an estimated 60 percent of total commercial carpet sales. With occupant wellness and comfort critical in today’s competitive landscape, the performance, functionality and aesthetic demands placed on carpet solutions are more exacting than ever. In addition, increasing consumer awareness and concern regarding ecological sustainability has resulted in consumers seeking out carpet products that have minimal environmental impact.
Against this backdrop, designers and specifiers are demanding carpet solutions with impeccable environmental credentials that do not compromise on style and functionality. With the multitude of carpet tile solutions on the market, it is critical to compare the benefits of traditional hardback carpet tile with those of new, innovative carpet solutions to identify the ideal product for any given application. Some considerations that should be accounted for when selecting a carpet tile product include:
- Dimension Stability;
- Acoustic Performance;
- Thermal Performance;
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); and
- Environmental certifications.
Distributed by Above Left, Carpets Inter EcoSoft® is an innovative, environmentally-friendly carpet tile backing with first-class environmental credentials that delivers performance, functionality and aesthetic benefits while improving occupant comfort and well-being. The originator of 100% recyclable carpet tile backing made almost entirely from post-consumer material re-engineered from discarded drinking water bottles and 5 to 10% post-industrial recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), EcoSoft® meets the stringent performance requirements for carpet tiles, with premium aesthetics and flexible design options.
EcoSoft® carpet tiles are ideal for intensive use applications such as commercial offices, education and other public spaces. With excellent dimensional stability and enhanced resistance to pile crushing, EcoSoft® can withstand traffic in high density areas. Highly durable, EcoSoft® offers superior underfoot comfort, reducing leg fatigue and contributing to the overall comfort of occupants.
EcoSoft® also delivers enhanced acoustic performance when compared to traditional solutions. When measured against traditional hardback carpet tiles, EcoSoft® delivers almost twice the amount of sound absorption. Independent testing shows that EcoSoft® outperforms hard back tile by approximately 150%-175% in terms of sound absorption effectiveness and performs in accordance with ENISO354:2003. EcoSoft® can help a room satisfy the Green Star IEQ-10 Internal Noise Levels requirement, making it a cost-effective alternative to acoustic wall panels or other similar solutions.
In terms of thermal performance, EcoSoft® also outdoes traditional carpet tile solutions. Up to 150% more thermally efficient than hard-backed carpet tile products, EcoSoft® has superior insulation properties that can contribute to the overall energy efficiency of a building.
EcoSoft® carpet tiles contribute to healthy indoor environments by meeting strict indoor air-quality needs. This product is compliant with the Indoor Air quality requirements set out by the Carpet Institute of Australia and the Carpet and Rug Institute in the USA. As it contains a reduced amount of VOCs, EcoSoft® is safe for occupants, delivering more than just style and function, but also helping create more liveable indoor spaces.
Finally, EcoSoft®’s environmental certifications are evidence of its significant contribution to sustainability and the environment. EcoSoft® is certified to the highest Environmental Certification Scheme rating (ECS4). This rating means that it provides 100% Green Star points on the Mat-2 calculator. Free of polyvinyl chloride, bitumen and fiberglass, each square metre of EcoSoft® contains the equivalent of 50 recycled standard 550ml PET bottles. Discarded plastic bottles fill landfills and increase air pollution through incineration, but in EcoSoft® carpet tiles they are put to good, practical use rather than becoming waste.
Extending beyond product design, Above Left and Carpet Inter’s commitment to ecological sustainability includes implementing sustainable manufacturing and distribution practices across their entire business. By reducing their carbon footprint across every facet of their operation, these companies deliver products that offer substantial benefits to not only end-users but also the environment in which we live.
For more information and to learn more about EcoSoft®, visit Above Left’s website at: https://www.aboveleft.com.au/products/ecosoft