Chemistry and biology work in collaboration in new center.
Embarking on an ambitious new facility for the sciences, Niagara University was tasked with finding building materials that met a unique list of criteria. The Lewistown, NY campus sought to outfit the new center’s labs and other areas of the new science building with a floor covering resistant to chemical spills and able to withstand high foot traffic. On top of this, the center needed to align with LEED® Gold certification standards, including reduced use of toxic cleaners as part of routine maintenance.
Niagara wanted to provide a new, state-of-the-art, sustainable facility for students and staff as part of the school’s integrated sciences program. “Our old facility, built in the 1950s, was less than adequate for the cross-discipline direction in which our science programs were heading,” says Chris Sheffield, executive director of planning and assessment. “The idea behind the new building was to create a functional space, where these two branches of science — chemistry and biology — could work in collaboration.”
Outfitting 99 percent of the building, including 18 laboratories, noraplan environcare™ was selected as the flooring product most resistant to possible chemical spills. “One of the reasons we selected nora® was we couldn’t find another product that would be as resistant to the chemicals used in the building,” says Bill Duquin, construction manager. The flooring system proved to be the solution for the university’s stain resistance, maintenance, sustainability and durability concerns.
As an added bonus, the adaptable nature of nora flooring was realized after the building opened. “There is a small area used for dry storage, where we have been struggling with the floor settling a bit,” says Duquin. “This space contains both VCT and nora. The VCT has completely crumbled, while nora just seems to be adapting with no problem. You’d never know. I’ve never seen anything that adapts and gives as much as the nora floor does. That’s a real highlight.”
To learn more, read our project brief about Niagara University.