Meeting the needs of the IDC
One of the most exciting and demanding projects ever undertaken by Nexus (the commercial division of Belgotex Floorcoverings) is the upgrading and redevelopment of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) offices in Fredman Drive, Sandton, where extensive use of both standard and custom designed industrial carpets has been made.
Phillip Button of Nexus said that this project created a number of challenges such as the development of a product to suit the client’s corporate identity and budget.
“Keeping the stringent budget in mind, a suitable product had to be produced that could withstand traffic yet meet the cost requirements, and that was one of the biggest challenges,” he says. “However, what made the task easier was that we worked closely with a very dedicated professional team at SNOW Consultants Incorporated who knew exactly what the project required and, with close attention to detail, made the process of the combined team work so much easier.”
As a renowned practice incorporating architectural, urban planning,interior design and project management expertise, SNOW Consultants Incorporated evolved from a successful company originally established in 1962 – since then the company has adapted its concepts, strategies and operations to impact positively on the economic, social and environmental needs of its clients. On this project, SNOW formed a key part of the consortium of consultants engaged for this major refurbishment process.
The project was primarily required to convert the IDC cellular offices into an open plan configuration involving two adjacent 3-storey buildings – the IDC Main Building which has five blocks (A to E) and the L-shaped Esterhuysen House. To date, three blocks have been completely refurbished, and the others are planned to be finished by October.
The key objective was to establish a design strategy which increased the building efficiencies and in particular its capacity with a view to providing a much improved functional, effective and sustainable office environment. However, it was necessary for the project to be carried out with minimum disruption to business, at a reasonable cost, and taking into account time constraints. The impact that the open plan initiative would have on the staff culture and comfort levels, and the provision of flexible spaces and settings to support effective teamwork, also had to be accommodated.
For the commercial carpeting required, Anton Siebrits of SNOW Consultants Incorporated worked closely with Nexus and the IDC’s marketing and brand management departments to produce the carpet designs and colour palette that best defined the corporate identity of the Corporation. This involved special carpets being made for the main open office areas to meet this requirement whilst maintaining functionality, appearance retention, and accommodating the soiling and wear challenges of a heavily trafficked area.
Anton says: “We could have used other flooring materials on this project, but the expected performance – including high regard for the acoustic requirements of these areas – made carpeting a first choice. In addition, good quality carpets such as these will last for 15 years or more if properly maintained.”
“We specified polypropylene and nylon fibre carpets from Nexus, and the large quantities made it possible for us to design special carpet for the relevant applications.
“For the atrium areas, which experience considerable traffic given that they provide secondary access to the various office blocks, we developed a carpet design that incorporates a system of ‘pathways’ to provide a visually pleasing anchor inspired by the corporate identity needs,” he continues.
“Here the cut pile carpets from the Baltimore range fitted this requirement perfectly, and a cobblestone design from Nexus was used for the pathways.” Both of these Nexus ranges are of tufted construction, manufactured from 100% Stainproof SDX (Solution Dyed Nylon) for use in Heavy Commercial applications.
The colour re-working of the standard carpets was achieved through the Nexus Custom X design service that enables clients to move beyond the standard ranges and experiment with colour, texture and pattern to match flooring with the identity they wish to create.
“These atrium areas are designed to enable staff interaction, provides relief from the normal working environment with lounge areas, and can be used for internal exhibitions and other functions,” says Anton. “In this regard, they have already proved to be an enormous success.”
Special colours were also developed for the carpet tiles providing the transition from the office areas to the atrium, to match the colour and design of the latter. For this, Custom X design provided the 500mm x 500mm Lynx tufted carpet tile that has a Nexbac backing. Carpet tiles from the Time Square Downtown tufted nylon range were also used in the passages.
Nexbac is a multi-layered, bitumen based backing system that combines superb dimensional stability with superior lay-flat characteristics, eliminating fraying, buckling and bending in tile installations, and has been used extensively in numerous corporate applications.
Anton Siebrits stated: “As this project nears completion, I would like to commend the client for the way this project was structured and handled. The open plan working committee, which included the brand management department, were of considerable value throughout the project and the leadership shown by the IDC executive is commendable. And we had an invaluable contribution from Nexus.”
The total project, including broadloom and carpet tile, amounted to around 17 000m², and the installation was carried out by Peter Bates Flooring working under the direction of the main contractor, Trencon.
Phillip concludes: “We managed to develop the right products and colours within budget that were suitable for the application. From six various product applications required, four were specially developed for this project.”
“As the largest carpet manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere – which is certified and compliant with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 – Belgotex Floorcoverings is appreciative of the trust we were given from both the professional team and the IDC to work closely with them on this project,” he says.