by Debra Longin, Associate Gray Puksand
In late January 2023, Gray Puksand, reached out to Signature Floors inquiring about the possibility of utilising old sample stock and discontinued carpet tiles for the Launch Housing project. Launch Housing, an organisation dedicated to providing emergency shelter, crisis accommodation, and support to those experiencing homelessness in Melbourne, partnered with Gray Puksand to design their Collingwood hub office to create an inspiring space to connect their clients, values and culture.
Debra Longin, Lead Designer, Associate at Gray Puksand “I had often wondered what happened to all those full sized samples in our industry. I contacted Sharon at Signature Floors to see if these left over samples were available somehow and if we could repurpose this surplus with an inventive design-led approach to sustainable design”. Sharon at Signature Floors commented “we were really excited to meet the challenge, it’s not something we had tried before in this way”.
The designers were particularly interested in exploring an entire floor layout utilising second hand, discontinued tiles and other repurposed materials to create this energetic and colourful design for Launch Housing. This inquiry coincided with Signature’s ongoing Circul8 program, which focuses on sustainability and repurposing flooring materials. Remarkably, Signature had recently presented their Circul8 programme to ANZ’s Design Director Duncan Sinclair, who expressed interest in partnering with Signature to repurpose surplus carpet tiles from their Dorcas Street location. The timing aligned perfectly with the sustainability goals of both organisations, preventing waste from going to landfill and extending the product life cycle.
Duncan added “diverting materials from landfill aligns with ANZ’s, target to reduce their environmental footprint. We were delighted to participate in an initiative that supports our environmental targets while also contributing to positive social impacts more broadly.”
The Signature team, collaborating with Gray Puksand, evaluated Signature’s short-end stock, comprising a mixture of 110 product SKUs. These products were categorised based on colour blends to align with Gray Puksand’s finishes schedule and design intent. During the material order process, Signature meticulously organised and palletised the short ends, surplus, and carpet tile seconds into the respective carpet code categories, streamlining the installation process for on-site flooring contractors.
Sharon Morton shared, “There was initial pushback from the flooring contractors as they grappled with how to provide a competitive install rate, given there were so many product SKUs, a mix of carpet tiles and planks, and no firm floor layout plan. They were concerned with the difficulties in trying to pull off a random lay pattern like this successfully and that the installation time would blow out.” “As the cost to do a dry lay with the tiles and planks was out of the budget, we had to work closely with Progrind to ensure they understood the randomness of the design intent. We are truly pleased that it has all come together the way it has, showcasing the successful collaboration and dedication of everyone involved in bringing this unique flooring concept to life.”
The Launch Housing Head Office Collingwood project became a testament to sustainable design and resourcefulness. The “patchwork quilt effect” created from the mix of Signature Floors’ short ends and discontinued lines, along with repurposed and surplus tiles from ANZ, not only met sustainability objectives but also lent an energetic and colourful ambiance to different work and activity zones within the office space.
The designs striking and playful design outcome challenges the misconception that sustainable design is inherently more expensive. Good sustainable design doesn’t need to “cost the earth”. Launch Housing’s workplace showcases the project teams dedication to eco-friendly design and cost-effective sustainability. – Debra Longin, Associate Gray Puksand
“The design really hits the mark”
“The carpet looks and feels like us! The feedback has been positive, and our teams enjoy working from our new office hub. The design really hits the mark.” – Launch Housing ”The outcome shows that designing with purpose is a way to encourage people to choose to come to a place for work. When there is meaning for the people, culture really flourishes.” – Debra Longin, Associate Gray Puksand
Product Stewardship Excellence Awards 2023
Signature Floors proudly celebrates its recent success in winning the Highly Commended Award at the Product Stewardship Excellence Awards. This accolade highlights our commitment to sustainable and innovative design solutions. In our award submission, we emphasised our impactful work on the Launch Housing Head Office Collingwood project, showcasing how creative partnerships and sustainable design practices can yield remarkable and cost-effective solutions. Having received the Highly Commended Award, we are now considering entering further awards in the future, eager to continue contributing to excellence in sustainable design.
Circul8 is Signature Floors’ local carpet tile recycling initiative in Australia, reaffirming their ongoing commitment to closing the loop and creating a circular economy. Signature’s carpet tiles are designed with longevity and performance in mind. However, when it comes time to say goodbye to your flooring, carpet tiles can be returned as part of their product stewardship. Returned tiles are first assessed and ultimately reused or recycled through a process of rejuvenation and yarn regeneration.