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Flooring contractors play a key role in floor covering decisions

Flooring contractors have an important influence in the market where floorcoverings are not specified in just under half of all contract situations, delegates at a Carpet Recycling UK seminar heard.

Given that only 56% of carpet and 55% of resilient floorcoverings are specified, flooring contractors provide significant input in the selection process where there is no specification and they need to be more involved, according to Robert Palmer of Palmer Market Research.

Presenting findings from his recent Contract Floorcovering Study at Ecobuild 2013, Robert said that environmental issues appear to be becoming more important. Specifiers noted that in an around 40% of projects, environmental issues were of either the most or second most important consideration, up from 22% two years ago.

The 2012 study also showed that 85% of all specifiers use flooring contractors as a source of information when choosing a floorcovering.

"This suggests that flooring contractors have emerged as ‘trailblazers’ and can play a key role in helping to change attitudes to sustainability in specifying flooring; for example in using the latest resource-efficient products or carpet tile re-use for new and refurbishment projects," he said. "In turn, their guidance may also potentially influence positive decisions on end-of-life flooring materials too."

CRUK, the industry-backed association for waste carpet reuse and recycling, attracted more than 120 enquiries from its information-packed seminar programme and stand at the London Excel Show in March, which showcased sustainable practices in waste carpet recycling, new flooring manufacture and specification.

Current developments in carpet recycling and how carpet materials can be used as a valuable new resource for innovative products and high-end applications attracted interest from a broad cross-section of design, specification and construction professionals.

Presentations on Green Carpet Products included contributions from Michael Walsh of Anglo Recycling on emerging outlets for carpet waste, such as applications in new underlay and building products, and Brian Murphy of Greenspec who outlined specifying green flooring products and reducing wastage through efficient building design.

Bill McWhirter of BMW Associates and David Smith of Avid Advantage examined developments in resource-efficient carpet tile design; while Martin Chrzan, Quadrant Carpets explored pioneering design for long term carpet sustainability followed by Tim Cole of Forbo Flooring on using Life Cycle Assessments to understand the impacts of going ‘green’. All seminar presentations can be accessed at www.carpetrecyclinguk.com.

CRUK Director Laurance Bird commented: "From the enquiries we received, which ranged from incorporating carpet in green roofs to using boards made from recycled carpet materials in furniture, it’s clear that people are thinking more broadly about carpet as a serious raw material resource.

"CRUK members continue to drive many new technologies that are creating products made from recycled yarn or products which have been designed to reduce the frequency of refurbishment. We’re continuing to push the boundaries of how carpet waste can be recycled or reused while working towards our target of 25% diversion from landfill by 2015," added Laurance.

Carpet Recycling UK is managed by resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting and was set up by industry leaders to develop viable solutions to the 400,000 tonnes of carpet waste landfilled in the UK each year. CRUK welcomes enquiries from all types of organisations interested in finding new outlets for their waste carpet and can be contacted on 0161 440 8325 or visit www.carpetrecyclinguk.com.

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