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Autumn in Calgary this year has been spectacular – sunny, warm days illuminating the changing colours of the city’s trees and shrubs. However, as lucky as we have been, Calgarians know what lies in the days ahead: cold winds, piles of snow and sloppy chinooks.
For building owners winter means salt, sand and wet boots in their buildings.
When it comes to planning and selecting materials for building lobbies in Calgary, local interior designers know best. Below are a few things building owners and managers should keep in mind to beat the battle of the fluctuating Canadian temperatures.

  • Avoid light coloured carpets in both building main lobbies and individual floor lobbies.
  • Select carpet tiles over a traditional rolled product. Individual carpet tiles can be easily, and cost effectively removed and replaced when stains become prevalent, especially from salt in winter months.
  • Avoid polished finishes on floors, such as highly polished tile. Even if your tile’s finish isn’t polished, it is important that your tile’s coefficient of friction (COF) or ‘slip resistance’ has been tested in both wet and dry conditions. Surprisingly, there are a number of semi polished tiles available that do meet the COF (Coefficient of Friction) standards and pose a risk to your tenants and visitors.
  • The flip side? A tile with a very high COF can sometimes become a maintenance issue. A tile’s rough surface can be very difficult to clean and has been known to damage some cleaning equipment. Best to consult with a professional before selecting tile.
  • Ensure any tiles in entrance vestibules or locations subject to cold temperatures are frost resistant as well.
  • Utilize epoxy grout on tile installations. Epoxy grout is impervious and will not stain. Also by using epoxy grout, you have more colour options to choose from rather than being limited to dark grout colors only.
  • Whether carpet or tile, your floor finishes should contain pattern or texture to hide surface dirt and footprints.
  • Never underestimate the value of proper walk-off mat system!
  • When it comes time to replace window treatments throughout the building consider investing in shades which can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. This has the potential to save you a substantial amount in heating and cooling costs over the life of your blinds.

There is a science to selecting the proper materials that are best for Calgary’s buildings. Be sure to consult a local and trusted design firm to ensure your building is safe and durable for the upcoming and future winters.
Contributed by BOMA member, Sizeland Evans Interior Design Inc.
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