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2005 | Salisbury, Maryland United States
How design impacts student enrollment.
According to the Association of Higher Education Facility Officers, nearly half of students entering college said they considered classrooms and residence halls to be extremely important in their school selection. At the same time, 26 percent of respondents said they’d rejected an institution because an important building was inadequate, and parents listed facilities as the top reason they’d immediately reject an institution. The leadership at Salisbury University in Maryland understands the heavy influence architecture and design have on enrollment rates. So when it was time to renovate existing residence halls and design new ones, their first step was research.
CAN CARPET PERFORM IN STUDENT HOUSING?
A student survey at Salisbury had already told the university that soft surfaces were preferred over resilient flooring in residence halls—both in individual dorm rooms and common spaces. But could carpet hold up to the wear and tear of student housing? Only a Life Cycle Costing Analysis would tell them for sure. The goal of the analysis was to determine whether or not Powerbond® by Tarkett could perform throughout residence halls—with just a single annual cleaning and the use of existing equipment. The team suspected Powerbond’s hybrid construction could provide both the comfortable surface students desired, and the longevity of a resilient flooring.
RESULTS FROM SALISBURY UNIVERSITY
Over the span of four years, the Salisbury team compared two high-rise residence halls—one that was renovated with Powerbond, and one that kept its existing resilient flooring. Every detail of the care and maintenance of the two buildings was controlled, recorded and compared, including time and cost of labor, chemical usage, equipment, student experience and staff perceptions. In the end, everyone on campus—from students to housekeeping to the office of sustainability—was in favor of installing Powerbond throughout the school’s residence halls. Since conducting its Life Cycle Costing Analysis, Salisbury University has established Powerbond as its standard specification for all on-campus student housing.
Ayers Saint Gross Architects et. al.