High-performance flooring helps Arizona university fitness center get back in shape

Arizona State University used a high-performance flooring solution during the remodel of its student fitness center to transform it into a space that fosters health, wellness, engagement, and community. Photo courtesy Ecore
Arizona State University used a high-performance flooring solution during the remodel of its student fitness center to transform it into a space that fosters health, wellness, engagement, and community.
Photo courtesy Ecore

Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, Arizona, sought a high-performance flooring solution during its 21,739-m2 (234,000-sf) student fitness center remodel. Flooring played a feature role in helping transform the fitness center into a space fostering health, wellness, engagement, and community for students and staff.

“We were unhappy with the previous flooring that was installed in our weight rooms, which consist of dumbbells, free weights, and lifting platforms,” said Dustin Soderman, ASU’s associate director for facilities and operations. “The flooring was too slick with no traction, and our weight machines would move all over the place. Also, the product did not dampen the noise well either.”

Seeking a more advanced flooring solution, Soderman and his team researched optimal athletic flooring surfaces and contacted Advanced Exercise, a fitness equipment and facility design resource provider.

“We wanted a flooring product with a long lifespan that was easy to maintain, offered strong traction, and had the ability to take a decent amount of punishment from weights dropping on it,” said Soderman.

The Advanced Exercise team recommended the installation of a flooring solution engineered to support joints, reduce impact, and return positive energy back to the body so people can do the activities they love longer. The specified flooring is durable and quiet underfoot, making it ideal for high-traffic, multi-use campus buildings.

Working with Soderman, Advanced Exercise specified two flooring products tailored for heavy conditioning. The first is a 14.5 mm (0.6 in.) vulcanized composition rubber (VCR) product. The flooring has a 2.5 mm (0.10 in.) VCR wear layer fusion bonded to a 12 mm (0.5 in.) shock-absorbing VCR base layer to achieve a dynamic force reduction of 35.4 percent. This dual durometer system is engineered to absorb the impact force related to aggressive functional training, providing an ergonomically advanced surface working in concert with the body.

The second product is ideal floor for power, strength, and functional training applications. This 14.5 mm performance floor features a 2.5 mm VCR surface fusion bonded to a 12 mm VCR base. The result is a floor designed to withstand extreme weight impacts while minimizing bar bounce. Using the two products together helped create the ideal fitness floor solution without transitions.

The flooring products are manufactured process with VCR rubber that is diverted from landfills and incineration and upcycled using a pressurized process that fusion bonds the VCR to virtually any flooring surface. This innovative technology develops and captures energy, so flooring surfaces can absorb force while returning usable energy back to the people using the surface.

The resiliency of the flooring is outstanding, and it is also great with noise abatement and acoustics as well, said Soderman. “The fitness center is such a large area that it is important to reduce noise wherever possible.”

Soderman also is a fan of the customization options the flooring offers.

“We liked that we could customize the flooring to include our school logo and colors in the design,” Soderman said. The flooring offers customizable options, like logos, colors, or even inlaid turf graphics, so we turned our student recreation flooring into a space that really showcases our school spirit.”

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