EFA to Change Set Specification for PSBP2


Phase one of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), to rebuild and refurbish school buildings in the worst conditions across the UK, is well under way with the final school due to open at the end of 2017. The second phase, encompassing 277 schools, will start later this year.

An essential part of the scheme is to rebuild and refurbish the sports facilities of the identified schools. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) sets a recommended specification for rebuilds and refurbishments. For sports flooring, the EFA specified Point Elastic Floors for PBSP1, phase one of the programme. Following studies and further research, the EFA no longer uphold their specification recommendations for sports flooring and the specification will change to Area Elastic Floors, having identified Point Elastic Floors as inadequate.

Since PSB1 was launched the EFA has amended its position on which sports floors fall within their acceptable design criteria. Although solid wood sports floors have always been regarded as a high quality choice, they have previously thought to be too expensive. In the past year, Junckers’ Technical Department has worked closely with the EFA to show how a solid hardwood sports floors will provide a safe, high performing floors with unbeatable lifecycle costs that will indeed fall within, and in some areas exceed the EFA’s requirements. This has resulted in the EFA changing their design standards for PSBP2.

A Junckers solid hardwood sports floor is one of the most durable surfaces available for multi purpose sports use. All Junckers’ sports floors comply with EN 14904 with a choice of Category A3 and A4 systems. The A4 classification in fact exceeds the EFA’s minimum performance requirement. The lifecycle cost of a Junckers floor is second to none; can be sanded and re-finished eight to ten times during its life. With 12-year intervals between sandings, a typical lifespan of 60 years will comfortably be exceeded, a claim that probably no other type of sports floor can match. Compared with a typical 15-year life of a synthetic or “engineered” floor there really is no comparison in terms of life cycle cost. Taking advantage of Junckers’ Approved Contractors maintenance scheme ensures periodic inspections of the floor are made. The client will also receive regular advice on care and cleaning using Junckers’ comprehensive range of high quality, professional maintenance products. This will keep the floor in optimum condition throughout its life.

A hardwood floor is one of the most environmentally friendly sports floor finishes you could hope to find. All Junckers’ timber is from properly managed forests with FSC and PEFC chain of custody certification. Timber is harvested from old, established forest areas, which are constantly replanted. Junckers floors are BREEAM A+ rated in the BRE Green Guide and have EMAS 111 and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification. In addition, Junckers’ products have low (E1) formaldehyde emissions under EN 14342. All Junckers floors are carbon neutral and at the end of their lives they are very easy to recycle, in contrast to materials made from fossil fuels.

Having the facility to use retractable seating in a school sports hall can make a substantial difference to hosting events, competitions or using the hall as a hire facility to the wider community. Junckers’ flooring systems are perfectly suited for use with retractable seating; hundreds of examples in the UK alone are testament to this fact. Junckers floors can be strengthened in a simple way to cope perfectly with very high seating loads, whilst leaving the sprung quality of the floor unaffected. A solid hardwood floor will not be marked or damaged by the wheels, and surface “tracking” or rucking, commonly seen with synthetic surfaces, is non-existent with a Junckers floor.

A safe, high performing sports floor with the right environmental accreditations and unbeatable lifecycle costs which falls within the EFA’s guidelines and the criteria for Affordable Sports Floors set by Sport England – a Junckers sports floor is hard to beat.