College Planning & Management

OCT 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Page 62 of 83

are also durable enough to be used outside, allowing the design to unify interior and exterior portions of an entry. Mosaic tile patterns or custom engraved tiles can weave in the branding of the institution. Polished and stained concrete has also become a modern fl ooring material — but it isn't necessarily a less expensive option, often rivaling terrazzo in budget. Hard- wood fl ooring is another traditional fl oor material for public spaces, which provides more warmth but is less durable. Solid wood fl ooring can last for years with some maintenance, and can be completely sand- ed and refi nished fi ve to seven times over a lifetime of 50 years or more. Engineered wood fl ooring has a thinner layer of surface wood, allowing only three to four sand- ings. Engineered fl ooring has some distinct advantages over solid wood; composed of layers, it is much more stable than solid wood, which expands and contracts due to temperature and humidity to a much greater degree. Resilient fl ooring is durable but the surfaces bounce sound around; this can be balanced by wall and ceiling selections. For lounges, common rooms, and other spaces where a more intimate feeling is desired, "softer" materials such as wood or carpet are ideal, and they can also help improve a room's acoustic properties. Again, for durability, don't skimp on the carpet selection. There are three characteristics to consider when choos- ing carpet: fi ber, twist, and density. Fiber specifi cation accounts for the primary difference in cost between carpets: Wool was the original carpet fi ber, but today the three most commonly used fi bers are nylon, olefi n (polypropylene), and poly- ester. Nylon is by far the most expensive, but also especially wear-resistant, with a wide range of colors and color blends. Nylon offers the look and feel of wool, but with much less maintenance and expense. In general, the tighter the twist and the closer the tufts are to one another, density, the better the carpet will resist changes in appearance and texture with high use. In every project, the interior design for a celebratory public area must be true to the institution and resonant with a funda- mental mission. Julia McFadden, AIA, is project architect and interiors leader for Svigals + Partners, New Haven, CT (, a full-service architecture and planning fi rm specializing in educational facilities, labo- ratories, and the integration of sculpture and artwork. OCTOBER 2012 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 63

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