Who Watches the Ground You Walk On?

Aug. 15, 2002
Lisa Wallschlaeger is responsible for the ground hospital patients, and their doctors, walk on.  She is the hospital planner at Grant/Riverside Methodist Hospitals in Columbus Ohio, and under her domain lay more than two and half million square feet of soft- and hard-surface flooring.Carpet may not be the first image that comes to mind when you think of a hospital.  But add together offices, hallways and dining areas, and suddenly about 20 percent of Grant/Riverside’s flooring, 450,000 square feet, is carpet. To help her with the numerous carpet installation and renovation projects occurring at the hospital’s 30-plus buildings, Wallschlaeger turns to DuPont Flooring Systems.“We pretty much specify Antron® type 6,6 nylon, which DuPont produces,” said Wallschlaeger.  “We have found it cleans better, it doesn’t mat and crush quickly and we can choose from 12 or 13 mills to find the right style at the right price.”In addition to the product selection, DuPont Flooring Systems has been able to meet the demands of a facility that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   “We need to make sure we schedule installations around items such as shift changes, visiting hours and low patient census,” said Wallschlaeger.  “DuPont Flooring Systems has worked very well with us.  They have installers available evenings, weekends and holidays if that is what works best for our schedule.”To minimize interference with the operation of the hospitals, installation projects at Grant/Riverside are often performed in small phases.  While this allows for sections of corridors and patient rooms to remain open, it also extends the overall length of projects.  By sending the same group of qualified service crews to complete all projects, however, DuPont Flooring Systems has ensured professional installations.“It really helps that the crews know their way around the facility,” said Wallschlaeger.  “We feel we get the best installation possible because of their experience.”Wallschlaeger doesn’t have much room for error.  She can’t shut down a patient ward multiple times because of sub-standard carpet fiber or inadequate installation.  With DuPont Flooring Systems, Grant/Riverside has had, as Wallschlaeger stated, “good luck with carpet installation.”But with such a great demand for new carpet, the old carpet at Grant/Riverside presented an issue.  About six years ago, the hospitals began an initiative to implement more recycling throughout the facilities.  This can be a daunting assignment when you are in charge of enough carpet to cover nine football fields.  But by using DuPont Flooring Systems, Wallschlaeger has been able to include reclamation as part of project specifications.   The DuPont Reclamation Specification calls for all used commercial carpets removed by DuPont Flooring Systems to be collected and shipped to the DuPont Processing Center, where the carpet is sorted and evaluated for recycling value and may be processed into raw materials for automobile parts, sod reinforcements and wood-like products.  “When DuPont came to us and said that all of their materials go back for recycling, it helped support some of the hospital’s directives in reducing what went to trash,” Wallschlaeger added.  “Plus it is less stuff going into our dumpsters that we have to pay to get rid of, and I know here in Columbus it is becoming harder and harder to get rid of carpet.”The hardest part now may be selecting the product style, and why shouldn’t it be?  You rely on a hospital to meet your needs.  Lisa Wallschlaeger has been able to rely on DuPont Flooring Systems to meet hers.

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