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Combining sustainability with aesthetics

Sustainability is no longer just an option for construction projects, it’s a necessity. With this in mind, specifiers must look for products that can contribute to more environmentally friendly builds. As one of the largest parts of any building, flooring can play a critical role in meeting this goal. Here, Mark Bauer, Environmental Specialist from Forbo Flooring Systems explains how linoleum can help.

 

Construction is responsible for up to 37% of global carbon emissions, according to a recent study released at COP27. With this in mind, there has been an increased emphasis on sustainability within the sector, with many looking to reduce the carbon footprint of their projects through considered material specification. Linoleum is one such material that has remained popular as a result of this increasing green focus.

 

Linoleum has been on the market for many years and has preserved its position as one of the most natural and sustainable floor coverings on the market. Made using natural raw materials such as linseed oil, jute, pine rosin and wood or cork flour, linoleum is inherently sustainable, with its specification providing major carbon savings for building owners.


Forbo's linoleum flooring

As well as being one of the most environmentally conscious floor coverings on the market, linoleum is tough, durable and, thanks to recent technological advancements (like Forbo’s Topshield pro surface finish), can cope with even the most extreme environments. Linoleum is also inherently bacteriostatic, which means it can meet infection control requirements, as well as being easy to clean and maintain, thus reducing the amount of cleaning chemicals needed over the lifetime of a floor covering.

 

All of this means that linoleum is designed to last for many years, often showing little to no wear and tear across its lifespan. What’s more, linoleum floor coverings can be restored and repaired easily, meaning that its already long service life can be extended further.

 

Of course, as important as functionality is, aesthetics are key too. Linoleum can once again meet these demands, with a wide range of designs available to architects and specifiers, from marble and concrete to more contemporary linear effects. This variety of colourways, combined with its natural durability and sustainability, makes linoleum floor coverings suitable for installation in a variety of different sectors. It is this versatility that has kept linoleum floor coverings at the top of many designers’ specification lists for years.

 

Linoleum also lends itself to the creation of delicate and intricate designs, thanks to the ease with which it can be cut. This enables architects and specifiers to have more freedom when it comes to creating bespoke design schemes that incorporate linoleum.

 

Forbo’s own brand of linoleum, Marmoleum for example, is available in over 300 colourways, spread across 12 different collections. From marbled designs, to natural linear effects reminiscent of wood, and even more specialist products, there is a range of solutions for architects and specifiers to pick from.


Forbo's Marmoleum

Not only is Marmoleum manufactured with 98% natural raw materials, but it is now proven to be Climate Positive, as verified by a full independent Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This means that, following improvements and investment in Forbo’s factories, the CO2 produced in the extraction, transportation and manufacturing of the floor covering is more than balanced out by the removal of CO2 during the growth process of its natural materials. As a result, the weighted average of the Marmoleum product range is certified as Climate Positive from cradle to gate without the need for offsetting – providing a carbon saving for every square metre it is used in.

 

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