Altro resin flooring is providing the ultimate in colour, flexibility and durability on an award-winning, £10 million refurbished campus at North Hertfordshire College, in Hitchin.
Altro FlexiflowTM and Altro MultiScreedTM EP Naturals have been used within the multi-functional hub space on the new campus, which links three teaching buildings. The award-winning design for the new campus was created by international design practice Scott Brownrigg.
Associate Clark Barton explains how Altro resins played a part in his vision: “The new campus is open plan, bright, colourful, modern yet functional, and it was vital that the flooring should reflect and complement this.We specified Altro resins for the college hub because these products offer the range of colours and textures to enable us to be innovative and flexible in our design. In addition, it was imperative that the flooring was high performance and practical, and Altro’s credentials offer this.
“The entire project was very much a collaborative effort,” added Clark. “We worked closely with Altro, the main contractor, the college, and also the students, who were instrumental in choosing colours and themes.”
Altro Flexiflow resin flooring was one of the key products in the specification, as Clark explained. “We chose this flooring for the ground floor hub, and leading into each of the other three buildings, because we wanted a seamless, solid, practical surface.
“It was also paramount that the flooring in this area was flexible enough to move with the building without cracking. The hub space is multi-functional, with the furniture and layout changed on a regular basis, so the flooring needs to be able to withstand this, which Altro Flexiflow is designed to do.
Altro was able to create a special bespoke Altro Flexiflow colour for the college. “Choosing the colour for the flooring was a collaborative effort, involving all the key stakeholders, college students and staff,” said Clark. “It was important that the colour complemented the overall scheme of the hub, and after much discussion, it was decided that purple would be ideal. Altro were shown the shade the college wanted, and they were able to match it exactly. There are some great colours in the existing Altro Flexiflow palette, but from a design point of view being able to choose a bespoke colour is very appealing to clients.”
Altro Flexiflow is tough enough to handle high impact areas, yet be flexible enough to move with a building. It gives a uniform and seamless finish with uninterrupted lines, and is self-levelling, which makes installation easy. With 28 colour options it’s flexible enough to fit into any design vision.
On the upper floor of the college hub, Clark and his team chose another resin flooring — Altro MultiScreed EP Naturals, in White Yorkstone. “This flooring works very well in contrast with the smooth texture of the Altro Flexiflow. It’s also a tough, practical flooring that’s easy to clean.”
Altro Multiscreed EP Naturals is a tough surface that can handle the hardest bumps and knocks. A solvent-free epoxy resin system, it has a natural appearance with nine colours evoking tones of concrete and stone. The product has improved performance and produces a high strength floor with exceptional abrasion and chemical resistance. With a nominal thickness of 4mm, it can be coved and laid to falls.
The Altro Flexiflow and Altro Multiscreed EP Naturals resin floors were installed by Resincraft, who have worked with Altro products for 30 years. The company is run by directors Mark Brewer and Richard Mitchell.
Mark said: “As far as we’re concerned, Altro resins are the best on the market. The company is also very professional, they deliver on time, give us great back-up, and resolve any problems quickly.
“Laying the Altro resins at the college went very smoothly. Altro Flexiflow is an excellent product and easy to work with. First we prepared the new floor in the hub by diamond grinding to create a smooth surface. We then put down a layer of AltroProof SoloTM, which is a waterproof layer, so effectively a dpm.
“Then we trowel laid the resin flooring — the product is very free flowing, so it quickly finds its own level. Finally, two coats of top coat were applied. The whole process took about five days to lay 200m2.
“Laying 150m2 of Altro Multiscreed resin on the upper floor of the hub began with the same process of diamond grinding the screed,” continued Mark. “After this we applied a coat of AltroPrimeTM epoxy primer, then mixed the resin flooring and laid it with a sledge, a metal box that’s dragged along the floor to keep application even. It was then trowelled smooth, and two coats of sealant applied to finish off the process.”
Brian Sapsed, Head of Estates & Facilities for the college, commented: “This was a design-led project, and the Altro flooring has certainly made all the difference in helping us to achieve a modern and visually-appealing new campus.
“Everyone entering the building notices the Altro Flexiflow flooring. It makes a strong first impression because it’s so striking. We are so pleased that Altro was able to exactly match the colour the students wanted. But it isn’t just good to look at, it’s also very practical and hard wearing.
“The upper floor of the hub, where the Altro MultiScreed flooring is fitted, probably sees the most traffic, as that’s where students congregate. But two years after it was fitted it looks just like new, so it really is a tough product.
“Everyone — from students and staff to visitors — has been very impressed with the new campus and we have achieved exactly the look we wanted. Altro products have played a vital part in this.”