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Case Study: University Expansion

University’s Sophisticated MBA Program Building Wears Vinyl Flooring Well

Situation Analysis

Georgia State University (GSU) continues to expand its physical footprint while also expanding opportunities for its students. The GSU North Annex building, which opened in August 2010, for example, is primarily used for the university’s executive MBA program. Upholding a sophisticated atmosphere, the new building with the latest technology gives University recruitment an upper hand.

During the past 10 years, GSU business school enrollment has increased by 2,000 with a total enrollment of more than 7,600 in 2014. That growth has propelled the school to the sixth-largest in the country, according to AACSB International, an accrediting body for business schools.

Application Insight

The interior design team was charged with maintaining a sophisticated, upscale look while complementing other flooring and finishes used at GSU. Because the other buildings on campus featured vinyl flooring, the University asked CGLS Architects to use a vinyl product that would coordinate with these other spaces as well as with existing porcelain tile, carpet flooring and even the color of the stain used on the wood doors. When it came time to select the flooring, CGLS searched for one that could provide superior durability and ease of maintenance along with sustainability.

Parterre’s InGrained vinyl plank flooring was the ideal match for this long list of requirements. “The luxury vinyl product we chose from Parterre matches so well with the existing buildings on campus, but with a much nicer finish,” says Frankie Ware, interior designer with CGLS Architects. “Plus, with such a variety of colors, it was easy to match the flooring to the stain and grain of the wood doors used in the building. In fact, everyone thinks the floor is made of real wood when they first see it.”

Parterre vinyl flooring warms up interior spaces with the look of weathered wood, at the same time with the practicality of vinyl. With its heavy embossing, this flooring is designed to evoke an organic, textured feel.

Vinyl Benefits

Naturally, this flooring had to offer more than just good looks; GSU also wanted a vinyl product with green attributes. Parterre met this demand with the flooring’s post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content. Plus, it is 100 percent recyclable at the end of its useful service life.

With plenty of student traffic and heavy use of a flex room in this building, the flooring also needed to wear extremely well. “We wanted a flooring that would be easy to maintain, wouldn’t scuff or show heel marks, and would be quieter than wood,” says Ware.

GSU’s planning and facilities architect, Craig Wertz, agrees, “Parterre vinyl flooring provides a durable, but distinctive appearance for a space that represents the university and its students in an above average way. The flooring must live up to the heavy traffic and wear and tear of an institutional environment – and of course, we have to live with the floors and take care of them. In addition to the durability and easy maintenance, we’ve been thrilled with the appearance of the flooring. The natural wood look truly achieved the aesthetic we wanted.”

Products Used Parterre Flooring Systems InGrained Boardroom Oak 
Project Name: Georgia State University
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Owner: Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
Date Completed: 2013
Architect: CGLS Architects
Manufacturer: Parterre

Vinyl Benifits: The vinyl flooring used in this project contains recycled content which may help to achieve LEED MR Recycled Content Credits. Parterre vinyl flooring is also highly durable, low maintenance, anti-microbial and emits minimal levels of VOCs while using no added urea-Formaldehyde resins.


Information for this study prepared through interviews and research conducted by Interline Creative Group, Inc. on behalf of The Vinyl Institute©