Universities and colleges are currently focused on the health and safety of students, faculty and staff with thorough and frequent cleaning during the pandemic. It’s also important for these facilities to consider the interior design of campus buildings, and make adjustments that promote social distancing, learning and a sense of calm.
Using carpet to create welcoming interiors can contribute significantly to learning environments in higher education. Both functionally and stylistically, carpets can positively impact the spaces they inhabit, from libraries to dormitories to classrooms. In addition to providing appealing study spaces, meeting the new standard of cleanliness is critical for universities, and the right carpet – along with consistent and proper care – can help them achieve it.
The Benefits of A+ University Carpet Design
In ways both tangible and invisible, university carpet can affect a variety of indoor spaces on campus. Consider the following impacts:
- Visual and Physical Comfort – University carpets can be a range of shapes, sizes and colors. Creative carpet design, tailored for the space in which it sits, can help students and teachers feel comfortable and ready to be productive. For example, the carpet at James B. Hunt Library at North Carolina State University features comforting green alongside calming purple and grey. Carpet can contribute to an ideal learning environment, particularly by creating a visual and physical comfort that emanates from the floor up.
- Enhanced Style – Attractive carpets in university buildings from student centers to faculty offices can help upgrade the style and image of a college or university. One way to do this is to consider interior design with carpet in mind – in other words, consider the full context of the facility. For instance, the designers of Klarchek Information Commons at Loyola University in Chicago chose darker blue-grey carpet to avoid drawing too much attention to the floor, in a building with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan. The style of the carpet is unassuming, but it nonetheless enhances the style and image of the facility and the university by highlighting the stunning lakeside vista.
- Noise Reduction – Carpet flooring absorbs and reduces noise, a valuable trait in spaces where students need to focus, including classrooms, libraries and private study rooms. In dormitories, choosing the right carpet can even potentially help students sleep at night by curbing noise distractions from neighbors.
- Indoor Air Quality – Carpet can act as an air filter, trapping particles of dust or pollen and removing them from the air occupants breathe. In this way, it can help improve indoor air quality, which can limit the distractions of coughing and sneezing and reduce potential health effects associated with air pollution. Choosing a floor that improves indoor air quality helps support the brainstorming, studying and research that takes place in university facility across campuses.
Carpet Care in Higher Education
University carpet cannot meet its potential to improve a campus without proper carpet care, which includes carpet cleaning. In the age of COVID-19, cleaning and the perception of clean is essential. Following these four carpet care best practices can help universities use their carpet to their advantage:
- Vacuum consistently – Students and staff may spill food across campus as well as track in dirt and debris from outside. These soils can lead to stains and even damage carpet over time. Regular vacuuming removes most dry soils. Establishing and sticking to a vacuuming schedule is important to keep carpets consistently clean.
- Focus on high-traffic spaces – After vacuuming, carpets need consistent cleaning as well. Consider using a low-moisture encapsulation system that leaves no residue behind on recently cleaned carpet. These systems also have quick dry times, putting carpet back in use in less than 30 minutes. Keeping carpets in high-traffic buildings clean can provide a buffer against negative reactions from students seeing ice cream, gravy, cola or mustard smeared on the carpet.
- Tackle stains swiftly – A recent survey shows more than four in five Americans would take action in some way after seeing a dirty carpet at a college or university campus. Nearly half of those surveyed would also question a college or university’s commitment to occupant health and safety after seeing a dirty carpet. To prevent accidental spills from becoming permanent stains, use a carpet spotting kit and follow up with regular cleanings to prevent resoiling.
- Prioritize sustainability – Universities should embrace the growing public preference for sustainable operations. For carpet cleaning, some systems help schools earn Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) credits under the program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. These systems can help reduce water usage and even eliminate wastewater altogether. Finding environmentally friendly carpet care solutions can make the difference between a good and a great carpet care program.
Combine Design and Cleanliness
If universities avoid considering carpet for their indoor spaces, they risk missing the significant benefits carpet provides. Higher education facilities that take carpet design and carpet care seriously can improve campus cleanliness and their reputations.
When facility management teams care for carpet using vacuuming, stain-fighting chemistry and low-moisture equipment, universities can show they are taking steps to meet the new standard of clean. Whether students will be on campus full-time, part-time or not at all due to COVID-19, all universities can benefit from thoughtful re-evaluation of interior design carpet ideas and carpet cleaning systems.
Whittaker has the carpet care essentials you need to maintain a clean college or university, including Smart Care® TWIN and TRIO machines and CRYSTAL® Chemistry. To learn more, contact us at 800.422.7686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.