Supplement Feature - October 2015
Find a printable version here

What's Under Foot?

The Basics of Indoor Sports, Fitness & Recreation Flooring

By Joe Bush


What if you do have the budget for a wood floor? Can they satisfy your sustainability concerns? Brandi Connolly, senior director of marketing and communications for one of the world's leading wood-floor sports surface companies, said there are wood floor options that can ease the environmentalist in you.

The company is a zero-waste company, meaning less than 1 percent of its waste is sent to landfills. Also, it has received an Underwriter Laboratory Environmental Product Declaration, certifying its full life-cycle assessment—an analysis on harvesting, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance and product removal—which can give buildings a bonus credit under a new LEED certification. Finally, it is a charter member of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association and the first member of that group to be certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

That ethic has to be balanced with clients getting what they pay for.

"The use of sustainable, recycled and recyclable materials in sports surfaces continues to be a primary consideration for owners," Connolly said. "As we look to the future we see an increasing interest in limiting the use of raw materials when recycled and recyclable materials cannot be used. While a preference for using less resources is not new, like anything, the goal would be to do so without compromising structural integrity or athlete performance."