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Chatham University


Chatham University

Chatham University’s Shadyside campus is located on a 39-acre arboretum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s historic East End. Home to 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students, the institution’s physical footprint is comprised of several modern structures, as well as a number of architecturally significant mansions constructed in the early years of the 20th century.

Woodland Hall, the University’s first residence hall built in 1909, currently serves as a residence for more than 90 students. During an update three to four years ago, a vinyl composition tile (VCT) floor was installed on the main level of the building. Unfortunately, the 840 square-foot VCT floor quickly took on a worn, dated look as tiles cracked under routine foot traffic. In addition, the VCT floor frequently required costly stripping and waxing to maintain its appearance.

Dawn Roerink, Chatham’s Manager of Housekeeping, began searching for a new floor system that could stand up to daily traffic, deliver the look of wood and significantly reduce maintenance costs. After meeting with a Karndean sales representative and visiting the Pittsburgh showroom, she selected Karndean’s Van Gogh VGW41T Merbau to replace the rapidly deteriorating VCT installation.

“The new Karndean floor has an authentic look that meshes with the historic architecture of the residence hall,” commented Roerink. “It really looks like wood, and has allowed us to cut back significantly on floor maintenance. In addition, the floor is environmentally friendly, and qualified Chatham for LEED points. Chatham is a charter signatory of the President’s Climate Commitment, so using sustainable materials is important in our product choices.”

Based on the strong performance of the new floor in Woodland Hall, Chatham is considering other locations for future installations.