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University College London Hospital
2022 | London, UK
University College London Hospital (UCLH), is one of Europe’s largest dedicated haemato-oncology hospitals that provides treatment for those with complex cancers and blood disorders. With renovations due to start on the first floor, Tarkett’s Project Consultant, Alex Keappock worked with the main contractor to contribute towards the
project goal: to improve the critical care support functions throughout the hospital.
UCLH has a long legacy of using Tarkett products. Following the recent development of pioneering technology to process post-use homogenous vinyl for closed-loop recycling and through close collaboration with the different stakeholders on the project, Tarkett were able to offer this opportunity to the client for their upcoming refurbishment.
Specification, Installation & Design
For the past 10 years, iQ Optima has offered UCLH extreme durability, superior wear and has provided exceptional life-cycle savings throughout the life of the product - even in the most demanding areas.
Preventing the need for polish or wax, simply dry buffing has been enough to maintain cleanliness for over a decade. iQ Optima has also continued to contribute positively to the well-being of patients, staff and visitors, all while being 100% recyclable post-use through Tarkett’s ReStart programme, meaning this collection works to protect both people and planet.
The proven success of iQ Optima used throughout even the most demanding areas of UCLH is why the main contractor wanted a hassle-free, like-for-like solution for the facility. Making iQ Optima the obvious choice, for the second time. Saving time on specification and providing UCLH with confidence to return to the newly renovated spaces.
In 2021, Tarkett became and remains the only manufacturer worldwide to develop an innovative cleaning technology at their plant in Ronneby, Sweden which allows for the removal of any remaining substrate and adhesive residues from the back of post-use homogenous vinyl.
This milestone paved way for the for the most sought after achievement in flooring recyclability - to take back old flooring post-use, recycle it back into the manufacturing process, and turn it into new flooring - a process which is now available for all Tarkett Homogenous flooring*, significant lowering the total carbon footprint.
Both the main contractor and flooring contactor, The Flooring Co Ltd became fully invested in the recycling opportunity presented by Tarkett. A sample of the post-use iQ Optima was swiftly sent for testing in Tarkett’s Ronneby lab and showed no phthalates, allowing the ReStart collection to go ahead, making UCLH the first project in the UK to recycle post-use Tarkett homogeneous vinyl.
The main contractor up-lifted the old iQ Optima and the flooring contractor collated the clean installation off-cuts from the newly laid floor. This material was placed in the bulk bags provided by Tarkett and prepared for collection.
* In 2009, Tarkett took the bold decision to remove phthalate plasticizers out of their vinyl products, achieving phthalate-free homogenous vinyl in 2011. To ensure Tarkett continue their phthalate-free commitment, they can only recycle material after this date.
Results of the project
Tarkett worked hard to ensure the user experience was hassle-free, from the collection of the sample to be tested, the supply of the recycling bags, the collection of the uplifted material and the clean off-cuts of the newly installed floor; to encourage all involved parties to recycle their post-use flooring in the future.
In total 2.5 tonnes of post-use and post-installation flooring waste was recovered from the site, saving an impressive 9 tonnes CO2-eq when recycled back into new Tarkett floors.
Circular Economy and Collaboration are two key pillars within Tarkett’s strategy and this project has allowed both of these to come to life. Not only collaboration between our internal teams but all of the stake holders involved to make this a reality.
Tangible action in the fight against the climate crisis is something we are seeing more of and we are proud to offer circular flooring solutions that provide carbon savings; including what we see here at UCLH that supports the recent NHS Green Plan.
With further phases coming up there will be more opportunities to recover valuable resource, save CO2 and allow our post-use recycling technology to become even more of a reality.
- Ross Dight, Technical Director at Tarkett UK & Ireland
Pioneering Post-Use Recycling: A Circular Story with UCLH