Originally published in Interiors & Sources

10/25/2012

High-Tech Textiles

Thanks to some smart innovations, a new crop of safer, more sustainable and more attractive textiles are turning up in healthcare settings everywhere.

By Kylie Wroblaski

 
  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/1112/I_1112_Web_Trends_1.jpg

    Advances in textile technologies have allowed designers to create more comforting healthcare spaces. Here, the Highpointe on Michigan skilled nursing facility, designed by Cannon Design, houses patients in a more residential setting. Photo Credit: Tim Wilkes Photography View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/1112/I_1112_Web_Trends_2.jpg

    The Big Sur Collection from CF Stinson is made from Sunbrella Contract with Defiance, which uses a single antimicrobial component to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and mildew. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/1112/I_1112_Web_Trends_3.jpg

    The Tailored Collection from Bursch Fabrics features Crypton to provide stain, moisture, microbial and odor resistance. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/1112/I_1112_Web_Trends_4.jpg

    The colorful Quark Collection from Mayer Fabrics features Microban Zinc to protect against bacteria. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/1112/I_1112_Web_Trends_5.jpg

    Manufacturers are now offering a variety of options to suit every healthcare environment. Mayer Fabrics’ Spring Breeze privacy curtains are made with 100 percent antimony-free polyester, while the company’s Enliven line of curtains features an antimicrobial finish. View larger

eco-friendly enhancements
“Other [advancements] have to do with improved sustainability of finishes,” says Molly Alspaugh, interior designer for ESa. “Manufacturers are making changes to make their products more sustainable, have a longer life-cycle, be better on maintenance, and get away from chemicals and products that are being shown to be harmful to human health.”

This marriage of high-performance and sustainability is a recent one, according to Ronan, and is being driven by growing market demand.

“Historically those things were antithetical—if you wanted high performance you couldn’t have a low environmental impact, and if you wanted a low environmental impact, it couldn’t be high performance,” he says. “The market is basically now saying, ‘That’s not good enough, we want it all.’ That is challenging us here at CF Stinson, and the industry as a whole, to get more creative, more innovative, and try to deliver solutions that maintain and even increase the level of performance, but do so at the lowest level of environmental impact that we can possibly achieve.”

Part of reducing that impact has been the removal of harmful chemicals and elements like antimony (a toxic finish ingredient that has been used in bromine-containing fire retardants), perfluorinated compounds (used in stain and water repellants) and heavy metals, such as cadmium and hexavalent chromium (used in pigment processes). But the use of recycled material has also become more common as the availability of 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester fibers and yarns has increased.

“As recently as 4-5 years ago, those types of fibers and yarns had very limited availability, and now they’re pretty widely available,” explains Ronan. “We can use that platform for a lot of these high-performance fabrics, and we can apply a lot of the types of treatments and features to that so that right off the bat we have a lower environmental impact than we would if we were working with virgin fibers.”

The good news is that as the healthcare industry continues to raise its expectations, textile manufacturers will continue to push the bounds of science and technology to meet those needs. That’s a win for patients, staff and designers alike.

“We’re looking for ways to make the fabric softer, for ways to make the fabric more resistant to staining and more cleanable, and for ways to increase the UV performance and fade-resistant performance of the fabrics. All the while, we’re looking for ways to continuously reduce the environmental impact of the product,” Ronan says.

“Certainly any of us would love to come up with the next revolutionary innovation,” he adds. ”I think all of us in the contract textiles arena are working very hard to deliver products that more strongly meet these requirements.”

 

Kylie Wroblaski is a former editor for BUILDINGS magazine, and has written previously about architecture and facilities management.

 


Pages: 1  2  View All  
 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
comments powered by Disqus