Within the past decade, sustainable design has evolved from a very specific aesthetic into an industry-wide call to action. Designers and manufacturers now work hand-in-hand to push the product design envelope, aspiring to increasingly rigorous standards of ecological awareness, efficiency, and cleanliness. Products that go for the gold standard in today’s highly competitive sustainable market submit to the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge (LPC) Petal certification, a rigorous program that challenges manufacturers to create products that leave a positive impact on society and the environment.
Teknoflor’s Naturescapes HPD, which was designed and sourced by Metroflor Corporation, passed the LPC Petal certification with 16 out of the 20 imperatives complete, becoming the world’s first organic polymer resilient flooring to do so. It is made from organically derived polyurethane processed from castor oil, rendering it free of harmful materials. The design industry has seen an increasing demand for organic flooring products, making Naturescapes HPD’s debut well-timed.
The biggest challenge when developing Naturscapes HPD, says Metroflor design director Robert Langstaff, was ensuring it would be compatible with what designers currently seek from a flooring product. “Not only were we designing a new product, but new collections, as well,” explains Langstaff. “We needed to make sure that the designs and colors we selected could meet current and near future trends. In flooring, wood grains are the biggest sellers, so our design was a more contemporary take on transitional aesthetics.”
The product line offers 24 wood, concrete, and traditional vinyl looks in three distinct styles. They can be used independently or mixed together, and each comes with all the same benefits of resilient sheet vinyl: durability, easy maintenance, and versatility. According to Langstaff, Naturescapes HPD could have the biggest design impact in healthcare settings, retirement communities, educational and institutional spaces, and heavily trafficked restaurants.
“The biggest appeal of this product is the organic flooring factor,” says Langstaff. “But it also reduces the impact on the environment by offsetting its lifecycle carbon footprint and stimulates the local communities where the castor beans are grown. This is becoming a major part of what is considered when developing new products like Naturescapes HPD today.”
“Naturescapes is a big leap forward for the resilient flooring category,” says Jason F. McLennan, founder of the Living Product Challenge. “It's fantastic to see how the product is already creating a ripple effect of positive changes in the flooring industry and beyond.”