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Design-driven flooring solution by Gerflor for high-end student housing

26 Nov 2018
Case study

Havannah House is a brand new private, student housing development in Glasgow City which offers more than just somewhere to ‘crash’ while studying. The six-storey, purpose-built building accommodates 458 students in a variety of stylish accommodation options from different sized individual and shared studio apartments with kitchen facilities to en-suite rooms, all complete with indoor and outdoor social spaces and supporting management services. 

Built by Robertson Construction and designed by architect Anderson Bell + Christie for Vastint Hospitality, it is the international real estate organisation’s first student housing development in Europe. The aim was to create student homes with quality fixtures, comfortable modern interiors and unique touches in up-beat, lifestyle surroundings to offer an alternative to traditional halls of residence or private flat or house rentals. 

It was therefore necessary to find a flooring solution for the living areas within the student apartments that would be environmentally sustainable and reflect both the aesthetic of the whole building and complement the interior design scheme. The resulting search for the right flooring option was very much a collaboration between some of the involved parties including the client, architect and flooring contractor, MacGregor Flooring. But, one of the criteria was very precise: a contemporary, distinctive design, something that would really stand out, was required.

However, the flooring product also had to have sufficient durability to withstand heavy use as there was an assumption that, where students would be sharing living areas, there was a need for a flooring material that would be both water and ‘student-use’ resistant. Acoustic and easy maintenance qualities were also essential requirements. 

Having identified these criteria, the selection team looked at a number of flooring samples that met both the specification and price points. However, top marks were awarded to international flooring specialist, Gerflor’s, Taralay Impression Comfort in Nest Black, which was specified at the end of the evaluation process by Vastint Hospitality’s in-house design team.

“The reason we chose this particular product was indeed durability but also because the overall design is rather simple with a modest colour base of white and a range of grey. We therefore wanted to introduce pattern into the floor that would give the space a bit of a twist”, said Magdalena Krzyżanowska, Architect, Vastint Hospitality.

“But from the very beginning we were looking for a pattern for the floor as a plain grey would have been boring. The linear pattern of Gerflor’s Taralay Impression Comfort’s Nest Black design is very simple but provides a ‘sexy’ look, whilst also being quite subtle and giving an architectural feature to the interior”, she added.

MacGregor flooring installed 1500m2 of the product within the open-plan living areas of the student homes. Crawford MacGregor, MacGregor Flooring, said: “We all agreed that practicality, acoustic properties and a strong design element that was far from the ordinary were important considerations when choosing the flooring. We took the view that Gerflor’s Taralay Impression Comfort in Nest Black tied in with the kitchen scheme and ticked the boxes all-round thereby meeting the client’s requirements.”

Taralay Impression Comfort is a heterogeneous, multi-layered, 19db acoustic vinyl flooring with a Very High Density (VHD) foam backing and compact interlayer for where excellent sound insulation, comfort, durability and indentation performance are needed.

Its specification qualities include high indentation properties of 0.11mm, a group T wear rating for a high level of abrasion resistance and a Protecsol® 2, UV cured surface treatment for extreme stain resistance and easy, low-cost maintenance. In fact, Protecsol® 2 requires less water and detergent than some traditional smooth flooring surfaces for routine cleaning purposes and does not require polishing for the entire lifetime of the product.

In addition, Taralay Impression Comfort’s eco credentials are uppermost: it is free from formaldehyde and heavy metals and it is REACH compliant. In order to contribute to better air quality, it also has the lowest classified (A+) VOC emissions, which after 28 days (IS0 16000-6) are below detectable levels (100 µg/m³).

However, it was an excellent mix of innovative designs and vibrant colour choices, including very modern, matte effect Nest Black, together with high specification qualities, which ensured that Taralay Impression Comfort was the flooring product of choice for Havannah House. 

For more information about Gerflor solutions, order a free sample or to speak to a specialist call 01926 622600 / email: or visit

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