Parkland Hospital takes steps to sustainability on rubber floors
  • Industry News
  • AAHID Admin
  • May 28, 2015

New hospital incorporates nora flooring throughout $1.3 billion facility

Salem, NH– When Parkland Hospital opens in August, the $1.3 billion facility will include more than 750,000 square feet of rubber flooring from nora systems, Inc., supporting sustainability goals that position the hospital to serve patients for years to come.

Under construction since 2010, the new Parkland Hospital will replace a 1950s structure across the street that provides healthcare services to approximately half of the 2.3 million residents of Dallas County. On any given day, this means completing nearly 1,000 radiology exams, performing more than 40 surgeries and delivering approximately 45 babies. Beginning in August, a much larger, patient-centered facility will treat this large and growing patient population with more than 860 patient rooms, 27 operating rooms, a 120-bed emergency department and 44 labor and delivery rooms.

“The hospital asked us to create a modern icon for Dallas,” said Robyn Roleofs, senior interior designer with HDR + Corgan. The goal—to make Parkland a hospital of choice, not a hospital of necessity.

Achieving this goal and positioning the hospital to take care of its large patient population for years to come encouraged the selection of technologies, building materials, finishes and furnishings that support standards for performance and sustainability. As a result, the new hospital features drought-tolerant landscaping, water-saving fixtures expected to reduce potable water use by 35 percent, a highly efficient roofing system, high-efficiency equipment in its central utility plant, low VOC-emitting materials and nora® rubber flooring in corridors, labs, pharmacies, staff areas, radiology spaces and nurseries.

“When we looked at the hospital design overall, we wanted to make sure we were creating the best center for healing,” said Gena English, senior program manager for the new Parkland Hospital. “As we considered flooring options, we knew we needed something that was going to last—something that was extremely durable, even in a busy healthcare environment.”

Following tests of floors in mock-up spaces, noraplan environcare™ emerged a clear winner, resisting potential damage caused by heavy foot traffic and common chemicals, including methylene blue, iodine and betadine. “It was really interesting to see how much better nora performed over some of the other floors,” said Roleofs. “Even looking at it with scrutiny, we couldn’t find fault with the way it was maintained and the way it looked over time.”

“Rubber is a great fit for healthcare, as it doesn’t require the same kind of maintenance that you have for some of the vinyl products; it is wax-free,” Roleofs continued. “It’s also naturally antimicrobial and is quieter than a lot of our other floors. Acoustic control and sound transmission are hugely important to help patients heal faster.”

In addition, the floor supports good ergonomics, delivering comfort underfoot to medical staff who spend 12-hour shifts on their feet.

The new Parkland Hospital combines high-performance materials, like nora flooring, along with state-of-the-art technologies and a compassionate design to create an environment that is conducive to healing and returning patients to their homes as quickly as possible.

To view a brief video about the use of rubber flooring in the hospital, visit the nora website at A written project brief describing the project in greater detail is also available on the website.