Corkcomfort in South Africa’s First Green Hotel

16 12 2009
Cape Town, South Africa – 

Hollow on the Square Hotel

Located in the beautiful city of Cape Town, Hollow on The Square is a 4 star city hotel designed by M&B Architects & Interiors offering 114 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, all designed for comfort and tranquility.  The newly added eco-friendly rooms were conceived using nature as inspiration and incorporate materials that reflect natural comfort.

M&B chose Wicanders Corkcomfort products as an innate fit for this project.  Over 8,600 square feet of Wicanders Cork flooring cover the guest rooms, hallways and elevators, earning praise from a number of visiting guests.  Products used include Corkcomfort HPS Identity Spice, HPS Identity Chestnut and WRT Linn Sepia.  

The elegance of these materials and others used at the Hollow on The Square, M&B House, as well as the suave colors and distinctive décor, bring in a sense of total serenity, persuading visitors to enjoy an unforgettable stay.

View more projects using Wicanders Cork Flooring by visiting our Press Room.

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Amorim Flooring partners with Architectural Systems, Inc.

8 04 2009
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Amorim Flooring North America, Inc. has appointed Architectural Systems, Inc. (ASI, www.archsystems.com) as its distributor in the commercial segment of Wicanders cork flooring.   ASI will cover the  Metro New York and New Jersey areas.

asi-a-logo-with-dotsFounded in 1990, ASI has been known from the start for its fresh, innovative solutions for commercial interiors.  Today, the company’s products are confidently specified by the foremost architecture & design firms and installed globally in major retail, entertainment, hospitality, corporate, healthcare, education and institutional projects.

ASI’s clients return again and again for ASI’s extensive product expertise, professionalism, commitment to service, and collective eye for what’s next®, and the ability to find it all in one place.  Founders nancyron3Nancy Jackson (President) and Ron Jackson (CEO) are design advocates who help their clients materialize their vision and have worked with the most prestige clientele.  ASI’s team of experts has been recognized for their involvement in every part of the contract project process from concept to installation.  Their innovative style and established relationships in the A& D community distinguish them from the rest.  Their exceptional knowledge of the industry is known globally and sets trends before anyone recognizes them as trends.

 Architectural Systems, Inc. (ASI), a family business, is acclaimed by the industry as a leading provider of architectural materials including sustainable products.

Amorim’s international flooring portfolio is known for its unique ecological properties, aesthetic design and technical attributes. 

This new strategic partnership reinforces the demand for high quality eco-efficient flooring solutions, and will strengthen Wicanders’ presence in the New York and New Jersey markets.

We welcome ASI to our family.

Team WIcanders

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Choosing the cork oak floors that are right for your green building project

26 01 2009

As you know, with Wicanders, the possibilities are nearly endless… We put Nature’s palette in your hands, combining textures and surprising colors. The originality and exotic contrasts of each pattern gives any surface a personal and distinctive touch.

But which floors are a better fit for your commercial design needs? Glue down or floating? Xtreme WRT or HPS? Read on, as today we help you determine which Wicanders floors are most suitable for your green building project…

Finding the right finish

Xtreme WRT—Wear Resistance Technology:
Ceramic is, after natural diamonds, the hardest known substance in the world. Our floating cork oak floors coated with Xtreme WRT finish with ceramic micro-bead technology, is a perfect choice if you are looking for a matte, unique, and durable finish with low maintenance.
We want you to feel assured that you are making a good, long-term investment when you choose Xtreme WRT flooring from Wicanders. Even with its hard and resistant features, Xtreme WRT gives the floor soft and natural qualities and none of the usual slippery and cold feel provided by ordinary finishes.

HPS—High Performance Surface:
The high traffic on commercial floors puts much demand on the floor and the finish. Wicanders commercial quality floors are produced with hard-wearing surface lying between the veneer and the HPS topcoat, which makes it extremely wear resistant.
Our HPS finish is based on nano beads technology. Extremely tiny beads are embedded in the top layer giving the whole surface improved properties such as scratch, slip, scuff, and stain resistance—without compromising the natural appearance, elasticity, and beauty of of our cork floors. If you are in search of flooring for high traffic areas with an extremely durable, low-sheen finish, Wicanders Cork Flooring with HPS is the choice for you. With a 15-year commercial warranty, we are confident you will love the look and feel of our HPS floors.

Glue-down versus Floating

Floating:

Wicanders Cork Oak floating floor planks are engineered with the patented CorkLoc® system on all four sides. Each edge is comprised of durable compressed cork fiberboard and Cork Protect®, a natural parafin-based all-around edge sealing system. This tightly pressed seal seamlessly vaccum locks against any and all moisture and debris, setting Wicanders CorkLoc® system apart from other floating floors.

Glue-down:
If your project calls for glue down tiles because of the area of application or the size of the job, Wicanders Series 200 and Series 2000 are the ideal products for you.

Wicanders Series 200 WRT "Natural"

Wicanders Series 200 WRT "Natural"

And for a complete guide with detailed info on dimensions, LEED qualifying points, approximate installed cost, and our best-in-the-industry warranty, please be sure to download our 2008 Commercial Flooring Guide.

We’d also like to remind you that we have just launched a new Technical Info page right here on our blog. You can visit it by clicking here. Or if you have any questions you’d like answered, our master installers are always handy, so be sure to drop us a line.

Until next time…
Team Wicanders

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Wicanders is a Building Block of Sustainable Design!

26 09 2008

The building blocks of green home design, like LEED certified products and sustainability, are important…but did you know that some projects are actually made from building blocks?

The ‘Harbinger’ is a two-story, 1700 square foot home built from reused shipping containers! These shipping containers, or “building blocks” are the foundation for this show-house that is displayed at West Coast Green, the nation’s largest green building, business and design conference.

In fact, if you are on the West Coast, you should stop in and check it out! The San Jose Convention Center will be displaying The Harbinger on the tradeshow floor September 25-27. Want more info? You can check it out here.

The interior of the home was designed by ecofabulous, and showcases over 20 eco products. We can’t say that we are surprised that they chose Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring for the bedrooms and hallways…but we sure are happy they did! Wicanders was a great choice for so many reasons, but we would like to remind you of just a few.

Wicanders’ Cork Oak Floors are a healthy alternative, because unlike tile and carpet, they don’t trap dirt and bacteria. This makes Cork Oak Floors a great option for kids’ bedrooms and kitchens. Wicanders’ flooring is also an environmentally responsible choice. Cork trees are not cut down, instead the bark is harvested. That means they absorb even more Carbon Dioxide!

Wicanders Cork Oak Floors are a great building block for your next green project or installation. Going green is a responsible choice, and Wicanders is happy to be a part of it!

Team Wicanders

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The Green Microgym. Using Human Energy Wisely.

15 09 2008

If you live in Portland, Oregon and need to burn a few calories you may want to head over to The Green Microgym. Every ounce of effort you use to exercise will not only power the batteries of the machines that you are using, but you’ll be responsible for helping to power the flat screen TVs, stereo, lights and other energy-hoggish equipment. What a great idea…using human energy to create energy!

The Green Microgym’s owner, Adam Boesel, is also concerned about reducing the gym’s carbon footprint by using EnergyStar rated items, including cork oak flooring.

Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring is perfect for gym floors

An eco-friendly gym with Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring

We salute Adam for his vision. He most likely knew about the properties of cork oak and why it is perfect for gyms in homes and businesses alike. Cork springs back from the weight of heavy equipment, it is naturally resistant to all the nasty germs, dirt, and fungus that can populate gym surfaces, and is soft, warm, and comfortable as a side benefit. Add to that cork’s structure which reduces sound between and within rooms, and you’ve got a pretty peaceful, clean, sustainable, energizing, and eco-friendly environment.

Saving the Montado cork oak forests is another reason using cork oak is a smart choice. Check out the Save Miguel campaign here and consider how you can join the green movement by designing, building, remodeling, and preserving the environment by using cork oak flooring…which is just what nature intended.

Need more green building assistance? Just ask…

Team Wicanders

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From One Great Tree to Another—A Tribute to Conservation

14 07 2008

When you are in the presence of The Angel Oak, you feel as if you are walking on hallowed ground. Everyone is strangely quiet. Whispering. In awe. Even the children realize this is not something you see everyday. They stare wide-eyed waiting for permission to approach the oldest thing—living or man-made—east of the Rockies. The Angel Oak is a live oak tree aged approximately 1,500 years, standing 65 feet high as it’s canopy shades 17,000 square feet of earth. It’s limbs—trees themselves—are so heavy some rest on the ground, go underground, then raise back up.

The Angel Oak, Johns Island, South Carolina

The Angel Oak, Johns Island, South Carolina

One of our team members recently discovered this ancient gem on a drive to John’s Island outside of Charleston, South Carolina. “The Tree” as it is reverently called in this low-country, has survived countless hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and human interference, and would have sprouted some 1000 years before Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World.

Which leads us, ever so circumspectly to Lisbon, Portugal, where Christopher Columbus reunited with his brother in 1479, and where not so far away in the town of Aguas de Moura in the Alentejo region of Portugal today stands The Whistler Tree. This great tree, the worlds oldest and largest cork oak, also magically captures our reverential respect and awe. Planted in 1783, and 225 years young, it was first harvested of its precious bark in 1820. Shorn every nine years since, it is the most productive cork oak tree on record, and is due to be harvested yet again in 2009, as anticipation and excitement grows in this vast open countryside.

The Whistler Tree, Aguas de Moura, Portugal

The Whistler Tree, Aguas de Moura, Portugal

For over 130 years and under the careful protection of Amorim, the manufacturer of Wicanders’ Cork Oak Floors, trees like The Whistler Tree are protected and allowed to grow and mature for as long as nature determines. Amorim is careful to employ their sustainability and biodiversity initiatives in the cork oak forests, as they cyclically extract and transform natural raw material from the cork oak trees without ever harming them. This practice—in respect for the economic, social, and environmental value of their livelihood—is a growing reality that other manufacturers have only now begun to emulate.

Two great trees, one in the new world, one in the old…both survivors, both magnificent, both a gift of nature. Each simultaneously benefiting mankind. We hope The Angel Oak lives on for another 1500 years, and The Whistler Tree for another 225. For Team Wicanders, it’s satisfying to know that the green building paradigm sweeping the US will save other oak trees for generations to come.

Until next time…
Team Wicanders

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Is your flooring making you sick?

26 03 2008

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According to the American Lung Association, most people spend 60% to 90% of their time indoors and 50% of all illnesses are either caused by, or aggravated by, polluted indoor air. New research gives strong evidence that the type of flooring selected can make a big difference in our indoor air quality.

Flooring has the potential to be harmful to our air quality in 2 ways: the collection of endotoxins and through toxic chemical emissions. Endotoxins are bacterial chemicals particularly found indoors.

According to Darryl C. Zeldin, M.D., Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, “the likelihood of having recent asthma symptoms is nearly 3 times greater among individuals with exposure to high levels of endotoxin in their flooring.”

One way to avoid toxic chemicals is to make sure that you choose flooring that doesn’t use formaldehyde glue or binders and that has been off-gassed in the factory (off-gassing is the name of that “new floor smell” and is a chemical by-product of the manufacturing process). Research has also shown that green buildings have employees with lower turnover rates, fewer sick days and higher productivity; children in green schools demonstrate higher test scores, lower absenteeism, and heightened academic enthusiasm among students.

Choose healthy flooring! To learn more about the health benefits of cork oak visit our website at http://us.wicanders.com.

Till next week,

Team Wicanders

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