Special considerations need to be made for flooring in multi-purpose rooms, particularly those in child care buildings, elementary schools and long-term care facilities. ASTM International Committee F06 on Resilient Floor Coverings is currently developing a proposed new standard for such flooring. WK24836, Specification for Active Area, Multipurpose Flooring, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F06.80 on Specifications.
David Smith, F06 member and director, Connor Sport Court International, notes that the proposed new standard will validate a baseline performance standard for flooring designed to reduce the chance of injury from falls by participants of indoor activities. This includes both children in day care centers and schools as well as elderly people in long-term care facilities.
“The goal of the task group in developing this proposed standard is to seek a minimum level of performance to primarily accommodate youth participants as well as the elderly in the case of long-term care facilities,” says Smith, who co-chairs the WK24836 task group with Catherine Evanetich, quality manager, Johnsonite. “This is in order to provide a more comfortable and less hazardous environment in areas where physical activity will take place without compromising the multipurpose function of the designated space.”
Smith notes that flooring in the facilities covered by the proposed standard must not only be shock absorbent to reduce the likelihood of injuries during active play, but must also be firm enough to accommodate cafeteria tables, stages, pianos and myriad other heavy items that might damage softer surfaces. “It’s important that the floor have sufficient recovery properties to prevent indentations by furniture or equipment,” says Smith.
Subcommittee F06.80 is looking for input on the proposed new standard from architects, designers, schools and the long-term care community. There will also be a need to conduct studies on various types of resilient flooring such as VCT, rubber, modular and foamed vinyl to determine which materials decrease the likelihood of injuries while providing the appropriate level of functionality.
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