Creating a fun and healthy environment for small children
For her third bi-lingual daycare center in Lille, Bénédicte Delouvrié, director of Crechappy has settled on a ground floor premise in an HQE (High Environmental Quality) certified building. Open to the outside with large windows it doesn’t have access to an open air playground. This is compensated by a large 70 sqm activity room.
Ms Delouvrié has collaborated with Richard Di Giacomandera, architect for Credo Architecture to find solutions to meet very young children needs such as: aesthetics, visual stimulation, ergonomy, acoustics, comfort and, of course, hygiene.
Colourful vinyl floorings to stimulate children’s senses and development
Early childhood is a particular time in life when sensorial stimulation is the main communication and development channel. With babies that do not walk yet, the flooring is a great part of their universe and thus very important.
“During their first year of life, babies are lying down most of the time. Then, they start crawling and remain with a horizontal view of space and colour. Between 1 and 3 years old, kids start walking and seeing the world with a more vertical point of view. The choice of flooring colours and designs is very important because contrasting colours help play with those two dimensions” says Bénédicte Delouvrié “alternating colours also help identifying the different areas of the center: area for resting, for eating, for playing, etc.”
The big advantage of vinyl floors is that they come in very large array of colours, they can be cut into shapes, such as the round layout in the activity room that encourages children to sit in a circle to listen to stories.
Tapiflex Evolution Spaghetti white and blue, Tapiflex Excellence Led red associated to Playful and Pole Position vinyl floors are playing with the Crechappy colours and create a real playground.
A flooring solution that’s practical for the staff and comfortable for the children
“A daycare center is always a challenge” says Richard di Giacomandera, the architect handling the project, “it’s a double dimension project with the children’s that horizontal and fun and the staff’s that’s vertical and practical.”
Children are constantly in direct contact with the floor which needs to be clean at all times. The flooring material thus needs to be non porous and water resistant to be extremely easy to maintain. Tapiflex Evolution and Excellence are both treated with our trademarked surface treatment TopClean Xp featuring the following characteristics:
- smooth dirt doesn’t adhere to the surface
- reduces sources of contamination
- no specific cleaning protocol, just water and soft soap
While small children are not yet stable on their feet, staff are on theirs all day long. For these reasons, the flooring shouldn’t be hard or cold, which rules out a certain number of flooring materials. The choice of heterogeneous vinyl allows an improved thermal insulation, a better walking comfort and a cosier playground.
A daycare center is a very noisy environment with babies crying, toddlers shouting, toys rolling, colliding and falling. Flooring can definitely contribute to soundproofing a room. Tapiflex floors feature good noise reduction performances in terms of ambient noise and impact noise.
A healthy environment and environmentally respectful materials
Choosing environmentally respectful materials has been at the heart of our preoccupations for Crechappy. The heterogeneous vinyls Tapiflex Evolution and Tapiflex Excellence were selected for their compliance with REACH and HQE certifications: no phthalates, very low levels of emissions and perfectly recyclable.
In addition, in compliance with the French environmental law, Grenelle 2, indoor air quality monitoring is compulsory in public buildings and especially buildings welcoming children under 6 years old as their are more sensitive to indoor air pollution. All materials used for Crechappy, including floor coverings which displayed VOC emission levels way below legal requirements. We, of course, passed the tests for the greatest enjoyment of the children and satisfaction of their parents.