between installation and when the floor needs to be recycled.

Strength through its life G

OVERNMENTS and institutions around the world are discussing global problems with plastic and other non- recyclable waste. Complete avoidance of the use of plastics is currently not possible, but it is surprising that in the UK there seems to be no policy that includes simple substitution of fossil fuel derived plastic floor coverings for natural sustainable materials like hardwood. Students are routinely taught about environmental issues in the classroom. However, within the same schools, head teachers and facilities managers do not appear to see the contradiction in choosing a plastic floor finish for their own sports hall, and other parts of the school.

It is not surprising perhaps that students at home and abroad have staged campaigns and strikes, often with the support of their teachers, to try to bring about change. Little, if any thought is given to the fact that synthetic/ man-made floors are ‘a kind of plastic’ – it’s not only food packaging we should be concerned about, plastic is used in so many ways, including sports flooring.

Vinyl (PVC) Sports flooring is derived from crude oil, which is a non sustainable resource. Current estimates report that, at the current rate of consumption (and this is increasing annually), our oil reserves will run out by 2053 – just over 30 years away and at a time when our current students will have children of their own.

Non-Cushion vinyl “Non-shock absorbing floors”

Climate Change

Stratospheric Ozone Depletion Human Toxicity

Photochemical Ozone Creation Kg of C02


B +63

waste is taken to landfill sites. As vinyl flooring is not biodegradable , it sits in landfill for generations. No other plastic contains or releases as many dangerous chemicals. There’s no safe way to manufacture, use or dispose of PVC products.

An environmentally sound, fully recyclable option, that offers a much longer lifespan than any other sports flooring surface, is a solid hardwood floor. Junckers’ timber comes from legal and sustainably managed sources, and the company has internationally known FSC® and PEFCTM accreditations. These allow the wood to be traced from the forest to the final delivery of the finished floor in schemes which are externally audited and rigidly enforced. At the Junckers factory in Denmark wood waste is used to power the entire site. This produces more electricity than the company needs so the surplus is sold to the local grid. This means that Junckers is a “Carbon Positive” company. The reasons why solid wood floor systems have such good environmental credentials are many:

It’s better to use large sections of solid wood

By using large sections of solid wood, Junckers does not slice the logs into multiple layers or chip them into smaller pieces in order to bind them with resins to make composite “engineered” boards. This results in less waste, lower energy consumption,

Foam cushion vinyl, point,

mixed and combi elastic floors categories P1, P2 & P3


C +64 Junckers Solid Hardwood

area elastic floors category A3 and A4

A+ A+ A+

A+ -61 (carbon positive)

The BRE (Building Research Establishment), in its Green Guide has the following ratings for vinyl and solid hardwood floors. An A+ rating being the highest. Note that most vinyl floors that comply with EN 14904, for use in multi-purpose sports halls, will have a foam cushion backing.

The manufacture of vinyl flooring creates dioxins, which are carcinogenic bioaccumulative toxins. These substances pose a health risk to anyone who is exposed to them. The dioxins persist from manufacture to disposal. While attempts are being made to recycle vinyl flooring, currently in the UK, the recycling process can only take “virgin” vinyl. This comprises offcuts and end of production rolls. Old vinyl floors that have been lifted cannot be reused or recycled and most of the

minimal use of adhesives, long life span and ease of recycling because the wood is not contaminated by anything else.

Long Life Span- Energy and Resource- Efficient

A Junckers solid hardwood floor may be sanded between eight and ten times during its life. Life spans in excess of 50 years are easily achievable and this means lower demands upon natural materials and a long time-span

Unit A, 1 Wheaton Road, Witham, Essex CM8 3UJ Tel: 01376 534 700

A solid wood floor from Junckers retains its strength exceptionally well through tits life. Independent testing shows that a Junckers sports floor, after two sandings has more strength than an “equivalent” engineered floor that has never been sanded. Unlike an engineered board, a solid board has no core structure to break down, and the central dovetail in a Junckers board can be sanded without loss of strength. This is why an engineered sports floor will have a life span of about ten years , and a Junckers solid hardwood floor will last for 50 years or more.

Recycling- Reclaim- Re-purpose Solid hardwood boards can be reclaimed if they have useful life remaining. Floating or nailed floors are eminently re-useable and when sanded and sealed can look like a brand new floor. Solid wood waste is easily recycled and is usually uncontaminated. Other floors e.g. synthetic finishes are often difficult to recycle and even more so if contaminated by adhesive and screed residues.

No reliance on plastics and oil-based materials

Whilst plastics, resins and adhesives can be chemically engineered to do amazing things, they still fall short of the technical properties, longevity and environmental credentials of a solid hardwood floor. Humans have an inbuilt empathy with natural materials such as wood, and this often makes using the building a richer experience than if man-made materials are used.


Junckers solid hardwood floor boards comply with the BRE Global Green Guide specification for hard floor finishes, with a summary rating of A+. BREEAM considers, among other things, the environmental impact of the product in terms of its life cycle, effect upon climate change, water and air pollution, toxicity, use of fossil fuel and dependence upon mineral resources. In short, there are many, many ways in which we can reduce our impact on the environment to safeguard the planet for the future – sports flooring in schools is as good a starting point as any.

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