Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

District Wins Honors Without Hurting Bottom Line

Farbo Flooring 

Forbo flooring helped Kenton County schools save money on both lighting and floor maintenance with durable, brightly colored flooring that worked to accentuate natural light.

The two newest schools in the Kenton County (Ky.) School District are rated among America’s very best in terms of environmental sustainability. This accomplishment is topped by an even more impressive distinction: both were built for the same price as an average school building in their home state of Kentucky.

Bright colored Forbo Marmoleum floor coverings enhance the natural light that floods classroom spaces, helping to minimize lighting costs. The floors also lighten the workload of the district’s maintenance staff, who once spent countless hours on floor maintenance and now have more time to fine tune the schools’ energy systems for maximum savings.

“When I started at Kenton County, we were slaves to the floors,” recalls Rob Haney, the district’s executive director of Support Operations and a key decision maker in the Kenton County building programs. “Our staff was stripping and reapplying seven coats of wax, year in and year out. We were getting practically nothing else done all summer. We even ended up working on the floors during the winter break.” Unlike the VCT (vinyl composition tile) floors that typically occupied Kenton County hallways, the new schools’ Marmoleum flooring was ready for high traffic use the day after it was installed.

The schools’ extensive use of Marmoleum sheet and Marmoleum Composition Tile (MCT) in classrooms and hallways was initially prompted by the designers at PCA Architects. “In education, striving for the healthiest possible environment is a given,” says Andrew Piaskowy, AIA, of PCA. In addition to Marmoleum’s status as a 100 percent BioBased, completely recyclable material, PCA preferred it for its natural antimicrobial properties.

The innovations at Kenton County were successful in delivering the outcome that is every school districts’ bottom line: the satisfaction of the students, teachers and parents who use their schools.

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management November 2013 issue of Spaces4Learning.