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Walking the walk at Meadowhall

Published 20th June, 2013 by Neil Nixon

Walking the walk at Meadowhall

Sheffield's Meadowhall is one of the largest out-of-town shopping centres in Europe, attracting over 400,000 visitors per week. Recently, the link bridge leading to the centre from the bus station has undergone a refurbishment, ensuring that the risk of slips and trips is minimised for many years to come. The entrances to the walkway are exposed to changing weather conditions with shoppers carrying in water and debris on their shoes making them particularly vulnerable to slipping on the wet surface.

To cope with the intense traffic and weather conditions, 500m2 of Altro Designer 25 safety flooring was installed. This hard-wearing safety flooring features silicon carbide and aluminium trioxide for long-term durability and has a slip resistance Slip Resistance Value (SRV) of 36.

At a thickness of 2.5mm, Altro Designer 25 provides extra durability. This gives excellent protection against point-loading damage, making it an ideal surface for a variety of footwear, including stilettos and heavy outdoor shoes, as well as for pushchairs where minimising drag is important.

Peter Cooper, facilities and operations manager at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), which managed the project, said: “One and a half million people make their way over the link bridge to Meadowhall every year and safety is of ultimate importance to us. When we were looking into the options for safety flooring we identified a number of key considerations: the flooring had to be slip resistant, sufficiently durable to withstand high volumes of traffic, cosmetically acceptable for a public area and easy to keep clean. Altro is very well-known as a good quality provider and their safety flooring products were recommended to us for the project. We're very happy with the results.”

Altro Design 25 includes decorative coloured quartz crystals in exciting base colours giving a range of design options. Available in practical dirt-hiding colours, Altro Designer 25 gives design flexibility, offering the scope to be colour-coordinated in front of house areas. It is also designed for low maintenance and features Altro Easyclean Original Technology for a lasting, attractive appearance.

To maintain hygiene standards, the flooring is impregnated with a bacteriostat, a chemical agent that prevents the reproduction of bacteria, and its impervious surface minimises the ingress of dirt for quicker and more cost effective cleaning.

Craig Darwin, owner of CD Carpets which fitted the flooring, said: “The Altro Designer 25 was really flexible and easy to fit, even up the sides of the walkway. We installed 100m2 in March to ensure that it was fit for purpose and, because the link bridge was so exposed, planned the full installation for the summer. The main challenge for us was to install the flooring in as short a time as possible. The walkway was operational during the day so we planned the fitting around the times the public needed access and installed it overnight from 10pm to 6am. We disposed of holes, prepared the surface and fitted the flooring, allowing sufficient time for the screed to dry before the walkway opened again. The whole process took about two weeks to complete. Altro products are perfect for high traffic areas like the bridge link where longevity is important. I was really impressed that Altro was able to recommend an appropriate flooring to withstand the conditions and were confident enough to guarantee its long-lasting performance for 15 years.”

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