Bolidt’s R&D team is exploring the feasibility of developing virucidal flooring technology
Renowned as an innovative partner for interior designers, Netherlands-based company Bolidt develops innovative flooring and coating systems. Currently in the spotlight is an antimicrobial covering that was originally devised for the healthcare sector but is now being offered to cruise lines.
Having made a name for itself on land, the solution had not previously been considered for passenger ships because it was not deemed necessary, explains Jacco van Overbeek, director of Bolidt’s maritime division. “Now the pandemic has brought that into question, and we have a product ready to go that could be of great help to cruise lines,” he says.
The material employs patented technology to puncture multidrug-resistant bacteria and prevent them from reproducing. Since this is a mechanical process, the microbes cannot become immune to it, and so the material remains effective indefinitely.
On a cruise ship the covering would be applied to Bolideck 525. Generally used for indoor sports halls, crew quarters and reception areas, this durable and low-maintenance decking system can feature endless colours and patterns, allowing it to blend in seamlessly with its surroundings almost anywhere on a ship. It can also incorporate safety messaging, such as social distancing markers and illuminated arrows indicating the direction of passenger flow. Consequently, when combined with the antimicrobial cover, it can minimise the transmission of bacteria and viruses.
These characteristics have caught the eye of collaborators including YSA Design, whose senior architect Georg Piantino proposed the Hybrid Flooring concept during discussions with Bolidt. Hybrid Flooring would see carpet fitted on top of the Bolideck 525 system with antimicrobial technology. In the event of another outbreak of this kind, the carpet would be removed, revealing the bactericidal surface and any safety markings underneath.
“Certain spaces onboard a cruise vessel require plush carpeting to create that luxurious feel, but passenger ships will have to be flexible when they set sail again,” says Piantino. “With the hygiene of Bolidt’s antimicrobial technology and the elegance of a fine carpet, Hybrid Flooring is the perfect example of how vessels can prepare now for any future pandemics.”
Public appetite for cruise holidays is returning and Bolidt’s latest offering will help operators improve safety and hygiene, but the company is going one step further at the Bolidt Innovation Center. “Scientists and design experts are currently researching virucidal flooring technology to further safeguard the well-being of cruise guests and staff,” says van Overbeek.
This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
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