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At Black & Veatch Headquarters, the Floors Continue to Make a Great Impression, Year After Year

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As the person responsible for specifying more than 30,000 square yards (270,000 square feet) of carpet in a complete renovation of the prestigious world headquarters for Black & Veatch, Ralph DeGruttola, corporate admin, environmental space planning, knew there could be no room for error.


The carpet required timeless color and pattern but the key was to withstand all the challenges of the environment. The long-lasting looks needed to stand up to crushing and matting from heavy foot traffic and chair castors during the two-year renovation. Ease of maintenance was a priority to keep it looking newer longer. DeGruttola’s ultimate goal for the project was to ensure the carpet he selected would make a great first impression every day for at least 16 years, that’s how long the previous carpet made with Antron® fiber performed.

Photo by www.mrobinsonphoto.com


With more than ten years specifying carpet and learning about carpet manufacturing, DeGruttola knew the key ingredients to include in a carpet performance specification. DeGruttola said, “I’ve learned how important it is to make an investment in carpet fiber.” “I wrote a clear and specific specification that included no exceptions to the criteria I outlined,” said DeGruttola. “The carpet choices given to me from the carpet mills had to include cushion back and be manufactured with Antron® Lumena™ solution dyed nylon. All of the carpet mills involved in the process knew I would not accept anything other than Antron® Lumena™ solution dyed nylon as the fiber.” In the end, DeGruttola awarded the project to Bentley Mills, working directly with the vice president of product development to custom design a carpet style that reflects the Black & Veatch culture. DeGruttola admits that it is easy to be enticed by lower priced products during the selection process, but he has learned that a decision based solely on price can compromise quality. His advice is simple, “Pay now or pay later. You have to decide when and where you want to spend the money.” To further validate his decision to make the investment in a quality carpet fiber up front, he calculated a life cycle analysis and determined that “it makes more sense to make an initial investment in quality.” DeGruttola adds, “I didn’t want to explain to upper management in five years why the investment failed to perform.”

Photo by www.mrobinsonphoto.com


Because the old carpet remained in good condition, Black & Veatch decided to donate the carpet to Habitat ReStore. The proceeds from the sale of the carpet will pay for one Habitat for Humanity home in the local Kansas City area. “We have a strong position on sustainability as a corporation and more specifically this renovation project,” said DeGruttola. “Every decision we made factored in environmental impacts and we looked for ways to ensure that construction materials would not end up in a landfill. Recycling and reuse of the existing carpet was clearly stated within the RFP and a requirement to secure the contract.”

Photo by www.mrobinsonphoto.com


DeGruttola stated “Since carpet is undertow, it can often be forgotten about, but I believe it is the single most important decision in commercial interiors specification.” He uses the following analogy to drive his point home. “Even if you have the best house in the neighborhood, your house doesn’t look good unless your yard looks good. The same holds true for carpet. If the carpet looks bad, the entire facility looks bad no matter what the other finishes are.”

To learn more about the features and benefits of Antron® carpet fiber, please visit www.antron.net


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posted on 8/15/2016