Impact on Learning

Minnesota Autism Center

Project Snapshot

PROJECT: MAC High School Building B
INSTITUTION: Minnesota Autism Center
LOCATION: Eagan, Minn.
COMPANY NAME: J+J Flooring Group/Kinetex
WEBSITE: www.jjflooringgroup.com

Minnesota Autism Center

Giving students floors that perform and provide improved acoustics is essential in creating a great learning environment. Less vocal strain and improved recognition are two of the benefits Minnesota Autism Center High School has experienced since installing Flash and Pop.

THE CHALLENGE

When it came time to select the floor covering for the new MAC Building B, the first priority became finding a durable product that would stand up to the wear and tear of 100 high school students and support staff. Previous flooring options, including vinyl composite tile, had proven ineffective. As with any educational environment, acoustics was another important consideration. Third, the flooring needed to be bright and serve as the centerpiece for all other design considerations, including the furniture, paint and fixtures.

THE SOLUTION

MAC determined that two corresponding products from J+J Flooring Group’s innovative Kinetex brand would meet all the requirements.

Flash and Pop are complementary 24-inch-by-24-inch modular products. As their names suggest, each product was able to easily bring the bright visual aesthetic the school desired. Flash provides a bold, yet tailored design that easily pairs with Pop’s bright colors used for borders and accents. Additionally, the design flexibility of both products enabled multiple installation configurations to create clearly distinct and separate areas for the students and the support staff.

As a Kinetex textile composite flooring, Pop and Flash inherently provide the durability of hard surface flooring, yet with the comfort and warmth of soft surface flooring. In fact, Kinetex is one of the most thoroughly tested flooring product ever introduced; it has proven to withstand more than 5 million foot traffics.

Because of its soft-surface attributes and construction, Kinetex is an excellent solution for spaces where optimal acoustics is desired. Kinetex offers one of the highest Noise Reduction Coefficients (NRC) and Impact Insulation Classifications rating of any commercial flooring product.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Minnesota Autism CenterMAC CEO Kathryn Marshall says Flash and Pop have been met with overwhelming positive response. Staff, students and parents comment on how beautiful the flooring looks and how well it works with the other furniture and fixture components of the school — a primary objective MAC had for the space.

Installed a year ago (April 2016), it is meeting all the performance and acoustic requirements too. In fact, with its high IIC rating , the improved acoustics are promoting greater voice recognition and less vocal strain between teachers and students. As an added benefit, Marshall says the flooring is comfortable to walk on and easy to maintain.

With these results, MAC students and support staff are thriving in an exciting new environment that is enhancing student performance and will stand up to the durability rigors required of a high school flooring.

Editor’s Review

According to the International Association of Color Consultants - North America (IACC-NA), a school’s physical environment has a powerful psycho-physiological impact on its students. “Appropriate color design is important in protecting eyesight, in creating surroundings that are conducive to studying, and in promoting physical and mental health.” The IACC also notes that many cases of irritability, premature fatigue, lack of interest, and behavioral problems can be attributed directly to incorrect environmental conditions involving poorly planned color and lighting. The decision makers also addressed the acoustics issues with this choice of floor covering thereby enhancing the students’ ability to learn and the teachers’ ability to teach.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of School Planning & Management.

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