The University of South Carolina is in the heart of Columbia, SC and makes up a large part of the blueprint of the capital city of South Carolina. Taking a 1970's building with little light and making it into a 21st-century building that was not only visually enticing but scientifically appropriate was a top priority for the UofSC with their 49 million Instructional Chemistry lab building renovation. The project had to include three floors of undergraduate chemistry teaching laboratories, a new entrance atrium, and student collaboration spaces.
The University tasked the architect and design team to transform the dreary building into a state-of-the-art laboratory building. Choosing the right and safe products, on budget, and resistant to what labs can weather was their top goal. The Mannington LVT fit all of the criteria and along with Bonitz, we provided a practical solution and a high-quality finished product.
Robin Zimmerman, Sr. Interior Designer at UofSC along with Watson Tate Architects brought to life the desires of the faculty and school and achieved a design that has enticed over 5000 students that come through this building every week. As Zimmerman states, "There is a lot of chemistry that goes into creating materials that are chemical resistant. Specifying appropriate materials for the facility was our top priority. By specifying Mannington we were able to implement beauty on a budget, with the emphasis on durability."
Taking their cues from the Primary colors of Chemistry; yellow, blue and red are consistently used through the space in flooring, textiles and paint selections. Not only was the Mannington LVT with their quantum guard shield the best fit for their criteria but it also accomplished the school's safety needs for their students. Going from Light, medium, and dark gray, each LVT color signifies a specific safety expectation for the students. Beginning with lab prep areas to the highest chemical labs in the building.
The Mannington 6.6 Nylon with Antron fibers gave the project the high-performance fiber that is resistant to crushing and matting, stain permeability, and heat. The patterns Mountain Fold and Merge were used in classrooms, offices, and conference rooms. Along with the performance factors it also gave the school flexibility with color, pattern, scale, and shapes.
We think the UofSC accomplished their goals and have made a home for the future scientists of South Carolina. The success is in the students and as one professor recently overheard: "This place is so nice I think I can pass organic chemistry this semester."