Rubber flooring supports sustainability at LEED Gold certified science center.

When Germantown Friends School sought to accommodate a rapidly expanding interest in the sciences, they needed a facility that could support that mission. The Sustainable Urban Science Center does just that, serving as the educational science hub for the independent Quaker day school in Philadelphia. But the center needed a floor that would help achieve LEED Gold certification. That’s where nora® rubber flooring came into focus.


With visible sustainable design strategies that include above-ground cisterns that harvest rain water, vegetated roofs and solar panel arrays, the Sustainable Urban Science Center is a living model of environmentally sound practices. The durable, eco-friendly properties of nora flooring help support that model while solving other common concerns found in classroom environments.

Because science classrooms at Germantown Friends School often serve as both lecture areas and laboratory spaces, instructors needed a floor covering that would reduce the noise associated with frequent furniture and student movement. For busy chemistry labs, noraplan® mega and noraplan® environcare were chosen to improve acoustics. The flooring also meets the challenge of harsh chemical spill exposure. Janitorial staff can efficiently clean spills or effectively replace any damaged area, thanks to the floor’s reparability – two practices made much more difficult on materials such as exposed concrete floors.


“The maintenance regimen is efficient and fits in with our green approach,” says Nick Dobrowolski, director of buildings and grounds, Germantown Friends School

The floor covering’s unique design adds another layer to student learning. A design featuring two periodic tables is laser cut into the flooring for a lesson brought to life. This, in combination with the floor’s sustainable properties, delivers an eco-friendly, interactive learning experience for the academy’s 850 students.

Check out the laser cut design for yourself at the Germantown Friends School project story.