Blantyre LIFE care facility specify Gerflor for iconic project.

Blantyre Life Flooring

When a brand-new care facility just south of Glasgow, Scotland required a complete solution for its project interiors, the Architect at South Lanarkshire Council turned to international flooring specialist Gerflor to supply a vast range of products that would future proof the clients building for many years to come. This included Gerflor’s world class Taralay, Tarasafe & Taraflex vinyl floorcoverings, as well as Cityscene Carpets and Gradus Barrier Matting & Accessories. The facility required innovative solutions from one supplier for many applications ranging from bedrooms, communal areas, offices, café, corridors, and rehab gym.

The new Blantyre facility is part of South Lanarkshire Council’s and South Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership’s commitment to ‘home for life’ has opened its doors to new residents. The purpose of the facility is to reduce the reliance on long-stay nursing and residential care. It has been named Blantyre LIFE and aims to support people over 50 years of age who need a short period of rehabilitation during a time of transition, ill health, or crisis, and who no longer require hospital care.

The new facility benefits from dedicated staff with a background of various professional disciplines who together, are committed to promoting the independence of service users so that they can return to their own homes as safely, as confidently and as quickly as possible. It combines a 20-bed intermediate care facility, a centre of excellence and 20 new technology enabled properties, all equipped with state-of-the-art telecare systems to support independent living.

A key innovation is the interactive Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Zone designed in collaboration with Glasgow Science Centre. The TEC Zone demonstrates how technology can play a crucial role in supporting people to live safely, independently, and happily at home.

Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive Officer of Glasgow Science Centre (pictured above with Professor Sengupta), said: “The team were delighted to have the opportunity to work on this ground-breaking project for housing and social care.”

“Our expertise in exhibition design, coupled with the passion and vision of colleagues at South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, allowed us to develop the new TEC Zone which showcases how technology can be used to make day to day living easier and safer by giving service-users the opportunity to learn how to navigate their way through a tech-enabled home.”

Steven Simpson, Managing Director of The Cruden Group, who built the new housing and care campus said: “This has been a fantastic collaboration to deliver exceptional, technology-enabled homes that will allow older people to live more independently.”

“The state-of-the-art homes and care campus have been built to the highest standards to be warm, comfortable and highly energy-efficient and right in the heart of the community.”

Maggie Smith, Scotland Team Leader, Gerflor commented,” Our initial conversations took place with Thomas Tallan at South Lanarkshire Council back in 2019 / 2020.

Thomas was looking to specify products throughout the entire building and came to me asking for advice for both vinyls’ initially and possibly carpets for the Community and Care facility.” Maggie Smith added, “He was familiar with Gerflor vinyl products and confident with them, however with the integration of Gerflor and Gradus, we could offer him the full package all under one roof.”

On specification Maggie Smith said, “The main request was to create a ‘homely feel’ especially in the bedrooms on the first floor to ensure the facility wasn’t too clinical. We had thought about using broadloom carpets in all the bedrooms, but Tarasafe Impression in Noma Black was selected, which created a warm, modern, and homely room with a practical vinyl finish for ease of cleaning.”

With Gradus Cityscene Carpet Tiles making a significant contribution to the project Maggie Smith further commented, “The carpet tiles chosen were installed in the breakout rooms, offices, interview rooms and corridors on the upper floors. These modern looking tiles created beautiful textures and a soft feel and are extremely practical in an office environment due to their SDN yarn.”

Maggie Smith also said, “The centre of excellence on the ground floor included a TEC Zone which the Glasgow Science Centre were involved in. We needed a hard-wearing vinyl with good acoustic ratings for this busy area. The café lent itself to Tarasafe Impression Wood and Mineral as a decorative safety floor. The rehab gym at Blantyre LIFE is used by a host of different disciplines including physiotherapists and occupational therapist patients, and we needed to offer a product which would protect the users if they fell during their rehab treatment. Using Taraflex Performance offered excellent shock absorption qualities in case of falls. The curved area would be a bit of a challenge as the vinyl floors are different thicknesses. We specified Gradus ETR Trims as a solution as they can be curved on site and without specialised equipment to create this detail which overcame the difference in thickness to create a flush floor detail.”

Thomas Tallan Architectural Officer South Lanarkshire Council said, “South Lanarkshire Council is committed to providing the best possible care and support for older people.”

Within South Lanarkshire the demographic challenges and changes in the population means there is a trend of increasing growth in our older people population, for example, 5% increase in people aged 85 years and over. There are more people living with multiple long-term conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory conditions. Through provision of short-term interventions, many individuals whilst experiencing an acute episode of ill – health can be supported to continue to live in the community. This means that any future services that are developed need to be able to effectively address the varying range of needs across our older population.

Continuing to comment on the project Thomas Tallan said, “To that end the Council committed to building a replacement care facility which offers a range of flexible services on site which will provide greater opportunities to meet changing demands, needs and expectations. Blantyre LIFE provides new opportunities including the development of an intermediate care service to support people’s recovery and rehabilitation, allowing them to return to their own home or an appropriate setting.”

On the flooring specification Thomas Tallan commented, “I have specified Gerflor and Gradus products on many projects over the years and I have they have a good offer to fit most environments and budgets, without the need to compromise on performance, durability, and aesthetics. Both Gerflor and Gradus also provide excellent specification, technical and customer service.”

The Blantyre LIFE project threw up some unique challenges with Thomas Tallan adding, “The Tec Zone, Café and Reception area is a unique space which provided a challenge in getting the correct floor types, colours and design correct to compliment the form and function of the space. There was also a wide variety of rooms requiring different floor types and colours, coordinating this to achieve the Client’s needs was also challenging.

The flooring installation at Blantyre LIFE would have to meet the exacting standards which were set by both the client and South Lanarkshire Council. The responsibility for installing the Gerflor and Gradus flooring products would fall to a local company – McGarry Flooring near Glasgow.

McGarry Flooring Ltd has been providing flooring solutions from its base in Wishaw since 1971. Founded originally as a small carpet and furniture shop the business expanded over a number of years and became a Limited Company in 2002. Currently operating from a 5000ft2 facility they have adequate storage to correctly store and stock any required materials prior to commencement on site, thus ensuring adequate supplies are available for each project.

Craig Stockman, Contracts Director at McGarry Flooring said, “The project came about through competitive tendering with the Gerflor and Gradus products being specified by the Architects at South Lanarkshire Council. On site we had four to six fitters involved in all aspects of the project including the sheltered and social housing development. We started on site in March 2022 and completed the project in September 2022.”

On the actual installation itself Craig Stockmen went on to say,” The Gerflor and Gradus products were very easy to work with and fit and are meeting and exceeding expectations for the client.”

Craig Stockman ended by saying, “We would definitely choose to work with Gerflor and Gradus products again. The design in the main area looks spectacular. Also, the site team at Cruden Buildings were excellent and contributed overall to a successful project.

Maggie Smith ended by saying, “This was an exciting project to be involved in and it was fantastic to see the building being planned out and used for the local community.”

Thomas Tallan concluded, “I am extremely pleased with the final result and would definitely specify Gerflor and Gradus products again.”

Learn more about Gerflor solutions, ask for a free sample or contact us to speak to a specialist today by calling 03332 412901, emailing, or visiting for the latest innovations.

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