The Center for Engaged Learning (CEL), located in The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University, was designed to connect students to experiential learning opportunities, promote collaboration with faculty, provide a "third space" for students on campus, and enhance the library's mission by providing a beautiful, open space for study, conversation, and reflection.
Our choice of flooring reflects our design goal in ways. First, we choose dark blue-grey and light grey tiles to promote a sense of calm in the space. The herringbone design promotes a sense of forward motion and energy for students and provides an extra boost of texture to the space as well. Since the CEL is a high-traffic area, we knew we needed a material that could withstand events, moving furniture around, and the occasional food or drink spill, so we chose carpet tiles that could easily be swapped out.
Unique Installation Challenge Strategy
Illinois Wesleyan University has been installing hardback carpet tile as the building standard for years, but when one project went particularly wrong, we received a call from a facilities person asking our opinion. It's a story we've all heard time and time again: the manufacturer felt the failure was an installation problem and the dealer believed it was a material claim. After seeing the job asking a number of questions, it became clear that both the dealer and the manufacturer were right. The IWU campus was constructed during the time when asbestos-containing cutback adhesive was a common building material. The university had been doing the right thing by abating when it was found, but they were never warned of the issues that often arise after installing flooring over a chemically abated floor. At that time, we went into full reconnaissance mode, contacting every single flooring, adhesive, and floor prep manufacturer on the market to determine if anyone had a warranted solution for chemically abated floors, and only one company had a warranted option: Milliken. They were in the beta-test phase and IWU became a test site. The solution worked and after several successful, claim-free projects, Milliken has since become the building standard for Illinois Wesleyan University. IWU is so thankful for our bringing to light a cost-effective solution to a serious flooring issue that they didn't even know that they had, and with Milliken's added benefits as far as acoustics, performance, and comfort underfoot, there is no reason to look anywhere else.
Single Source Interior Contractor Award Strategy
The broadloom flooring in the Ames Library that had been down for a number of years had begun delaminating some time ago, so flooring replacement was in order. We had been offering flooring consulting to IWU for several years, so the team came to us for our recommendations. Since they were looking for something quick to ship and budget friendly, we easily narrowed it down to Milliken Carpet Tile.
1. The outstanding performance of a \"severe\" TARR rating product meant the product would stay looking better longer.
2. The flexibility of carpet tile was top of mind for easy change-out. If the space evolved, the flooring could easily evolve with it.
3. The acoustics and comfort offered by the attached cushion would help keep the space quiet while offering superior comfort underfoot.
4. Our team specified Milliken\'s non-reactive backing and adhesive system since the delaminating broadloom was likely to leave some residual debris on the floor and we wanted to ensure proper adhesion with minimal prep ... saving time in the schedule and cost in floor prep.
5. We knew that asbestos-containing cutback could be lurking in the library, just as it had been in a number of other areas on campus, but with Milliken\'s warranted installation solution, we were confident that - even if asbestos was found - the project would still be completed within the budget and schedule.
Our team recommended the styles for the library and the furniture dealer helped select colors that worked best with their furniture recommendations. The finished product is a fresh look in a space that provides comfort and acoustics that are perfectly suited to a library environment.