IRL CHOSEN FOR SIKA'S STATE OF THE ART 12500 sq ft LABORATORIES

OVERVIEW
Sika’s state-of-the-art 12,500 sq ft laboratories, adjacent to the company’s headquarters in Preston Lancashire, have become a centre of excellence for new technologies and a showcase for the company’s vast product offering.

For the laboratory area, which is at the heart of Sika’s product innovations, the company were able to produce a seamless, decorative solution which extended to both floors and walls to provide a practical, hygienic and attractive flooring solution.
Thanks to Sika’s advanced floor system and the technical know-how and attention to detail of skilled specialist applicators, the ideal solution was created. Throughout this project, the team demonstrated a dedicated commitment to: 

• Careful planning
• Delivering a long-term cost effective solution
• Expert craftsmanship
• Ease of installation
• Fast, effective problem solving
• Sustainable specification
• Comprehensive technical support

REQUIREMENTS
The new innovation centre showcases some of Sika’s best and most innovative product offering in flooring. The company’s wide range of resin flooring options, sometimes described as ‘liquid applied vinyl’ because of their seamless qualities, were required throughout the new build.
For this working laboratory, the company required a highly decorative and smooth solution with low VOC. The high performance epoxy resin flooring had to be robust and durable flooring required for the high volume of usage expected at the innovation centre. Sika Decofloor, a new, unique decorative floor system met the requirements producing a 'stone like' seamless self smoother floor.
Despite this project being undertaken within a working laboratory there was still a requirement to be aesthetically pleasing. Each of the distinct areas had to be clearly differentiated by colour, which was a key consideration to provide a peaceful and pleasing environment within the rest areas.
THE PROJECT
The new £2.5 million three-storey research and development lab provides a cutting-edge research facility to help continue to push Sika’s products forwards.
Sika ComfortFloor, Decofloor and Decoflake are some examples of the high performance, seamless epoxy and polyurethane resin flooring systems specified for the centre. These flooring solutions lend themselves to a wide range of sectors and even have a ‘refreshability’ option to extend the life cycle even further.
SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
Not only was there a combination of different decorative floor systems and hygienic wall finishes, but the laboratory area contains very difficult detailing where different colours and system ‘butt up’ to each other. As such, the exceptional level of finish achieved was due in no small part to applicator skill, which was as good if not better than can be found anywhere, as to Sika’s products.
The applicators for this project were also graduates of the FeRFA apprentice scheme, which is testament to their skill level. As well as regular site visits being undertaken by a Sika Project Manager, which is standard on all Sika projects, the company also ensured that on site contractor training was given by a German Applicator specialist.
Much of Sika’s success can be attributed to the unique and comprehensive technical support provided by the expert team, from CAD design drawings to bespoke product specifications, every element of a flooring project is covered. Sika could rely on their highly effective flooring solutions to meet the needs and requirements of their innovation centre. This project featured a tight programme of works, with many trades within the floor areas as they worked towards project completion, producing conditions which aren’t always conducive to producing an aesthetic floor surface.
Co-operation was vital in making the project come together. The entire supply chain was managed by Sika’s flooring experts – ensuring a quick and effective build completion.
Sika’s resin flooring meets British Standards of trip and slip resistance, scoring R10 when tested by the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) in conjunction with the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and the British Standards Institution. This makes the laboratory floor a safe place to work.
SUSTAINABILITY
Sika is dedicated to manufacturing and supplying sustainable products throughout the company’s entire offering. Sika’s decorative flooring systems are often a much more sustainable option than traditional materials such as tiles, carpet or vinyl when Fully Life Cycle impact is taken into consideration.
As members of the UK Green Building Council, Sika is committed to providing products that contribute to a sustainable built environment.
With many of Sika’s competitors based in mainland Europe and the US, Sika’s transportation carbon footprints are far less in comparison as the company ships from their base in Preston, Lancashire, which in this case, was adjacent to the innovation centre.
SUMMARY
The careful and considered choice of products for the company’s innovation centre demonstrates how Sika can deliver high performance decorative floor systems and hygienic wall finishes with an efficient installation process. This is a unique project in terms of innovative materials, quality of finish and is a great advert for the FeRFA apprentice scheme.

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