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Specifying the Right Floors for Pharmaceutical Facilities


Designing effective infection control practises into the structure and daily operations of a pharmaceutical facility is imperative. Floor finishes are an integral part of the overall contamination control strategy and failing to install surfaces that are up to the task at hand could affect the site’s sanitary integrity and risk compromising its daily activity.


pharmaceutical facility


Flooring solutions for pharmaceutical facilities have to strike a balance between hygiene, design and sustainability. The floor is a prime site for bacteria build up and if not correctly specified or cleaned then the risk of contamination can have significant consequences.

Hard, resilient and soft floor coverings all have a role to play, however in many rooms, particular coatings will be much more effective than others. Across the reception rooms, laboratories, processing areas as well as back of house areas, it is important to analyse the levels of imperviousness, smoothness, slip-resistance, fire hazard properties and dirt control that is required within that setting to identify the ideal flooring solution.

The level of contamination can fluctuate depending on factors such as the working environment, airflow, the facility’s design and the effectiveness of the cleaning regime – but any particles that are not immediately removed from the area will settle, with the floor easily being the biggest available surface.

Right Floors for Pharmaceutical Facilities

A pharmaceutical facility’s on-site demands mean that the floors have to be able to cope with a long list of factors without failing and becoming an unsightly and unhygienic surface. Not only does every area of the site need to be optimised for hygiene but the site’s developers also need to consider the chemicals, heavy equipment, the level of foot traffic and aesthetic demands of each part of the complex to ensure that the interior consistently meets these criteria.



Thanks to its ability to meet this long list of requirements, seamless resin materials are increasingly being used to provide hard wearing, eye-catching and easy to clean surfaces in the pharmaceutical industry. This material delivers a non-porous, watertight finish that inhibits microbial growth and can provide a hygienic transition between the floor and wall – all helping to prevent the spread of bacteria and facilitate a quick and easy maintenance regime.

The ability to incorporat antimicrobial additives into a resin floor has made this type of flooring particularly popular. The polyurethane flooring system Flowfresh from Flowcrete India is able to inhibit the growth of up to 99.9% of the bacteria that it comes into contact with. This is possible due to the inclusion of Polygiene®, a thermosetting amino compound, which has been locked into the main resin matrix of the flooring material and which continuously emits powerful silver ions.

The versatility and compatibility of antimicrobial polyurethane systems for the pharmaceutical industry were exemplified at the global pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, which specified a variety of high performance floors for its Ho Chi Minh City facility in order to meet the multifaceted demands and high standards of its large-scale and complex site.



Addressing the technical details:

7,000 m2 of the antimicrobial enhanced polyurethane system Flowfresh MF was installed throughout the production area. This floor was chosen thanks to its ability to maintain a seamless, hygienic and effective finish in the face of frequent traffic from staff and wheeled equipment, regular cleaning, point loading from equipment, exposure to the chemicals used onsite and physical impacts.

To complete the floor build up, the polyurethane floor sealer Flowseal UV was then applied, creating a glossy, highly durable surface. This combination of materials ensured that Sanofi’s production area would have an easy to clean floor that would facilitate the rapid removal of contaminants from the area.

The laboratory within Sanofi’s Ho Chi Minh City facility required a specialist floor that would minimise the risk from static charge build up on the floor, which can damage sensitive electrical components. 80 m2 of the anti-static system Flowfresh MF ESD was applied within the laboratory to provide a finish that could both protect against static discharges while also maintaining a clean, aesthetically appealing surface.

A 4mm thick coating of Flowfresh SR was also applied across 143m2 of the site’s washing area. The textured finish of this system enhances traction underfoot, which is advantageous in environments where liquids may be spilled onto the floor.

As Sanofi did in its Ho Chi Minh City, it is important for pharmaceutical facilities to consider the stresses the floor will undergo so that it chooses a solution able to withstand the environment. The main factors to consider are the high foot and wheeled traffic, frequent hot water wa-shes and corrosive chemicals.



To ensure that the floor in question will maintain a high performance finish for the long term, it is important to undertake a thorough life cycle costing to understand what the floor will need to withstand and how long you can expect it to last for – both important hygiene and budgetary concerns. By installing a thick, durable system with a higher initial cost, money can be saved in the long term by avoiding complex maintenance regimes, frequent repairs and early refurbishments as well as any costs that stem from the inevitable organisational disruption of fixing a faulty finish.

Resin flooring materials can be easily tailored to specific demands encountered across a pharmaceutical site. For example, the areas of a pharmaceutical complex that is likely to constitute a slip risk because of wet surfaces or spillages can enhance traction underfoot by incorporating anti-slip aggregates into the resin floor finish.

Coving and drainage can also be added to a resin finish, which combined with the seamless and impervious nature of resin systems make the floor area exceptionally easy to clean. Coving, in particular, is an important aspect of the floor’s design as it provides a smooth transition between horizontal and vertical surfaces, without it bacteria and pathogens can accumulate in the gap between the floor and wall.

Bright, light reflective surfaces will help those moving around the site to see where they are going. This will also make any dropped contaminants easily visible, helping pedestrians to avoid stepping in them and also helping staff to identify spots in need of cleaning.

The colour and pattern of the floor should be carefully considered during the design stage, as they can provide pharmaceutical facilities with practical and aesthetic benefits. Decorative finishes need to maintain an attractive finish over long periods of time and despite the site’s intensive, complex activities. Floors that reduce staining and marking will help to retain the floor’s intended visual effect.

Colours can also be used for functional purposes, such as by designating different zones and by creating navigational signage that helps staff find their way around the building via the most efficient routes.

The same colours and patterns should not be applied across every department, for example, a multi-tonal floor with shiny flakes in the finish might work for the recep-tion, but in a laboratory the floor needs a sharp visual contrast to allow for the easy identification of small dropped items.

Specifications that needs to be taken care of Some materials, particularly textile finishes, may require early replacement due to deterioration in appearance before the end of their functional life. Compare the aesthetic potential of more robust flooring materials to determine if a similar an appearance that lasts for a longer period of time can be attained.

When going through the floor specification stage of any pharmaceutical facility, the architects and developers should consult the suppliers and manufacturers of the materials they are considering to ascertain whether or not the systems will be able to meet the stringent infection control, aesthetic and longevity demands.

An unsuccessful design or the selection of a floor that is not ‘fit for purpose’ can result in costly and disruptive replacement work that can adversely affect the site’s ability to maintain a sanitised and efficient facility.

Once the ideal solution has been chosen then the developer needs to ensure that a highly trained and licensed applicator is taken on to apply the coating, as even the most suitable material can quickly fail or disappoint if incorrectly installed.

Flowcrete has worked with many pharmaceutical facilities all over the world to supply safe, durable and hygienic floor finishes and in many cases underfloor screed systems.

Flowcrete India is a leading manufacturer of resin based floor and wall coatings including seamless epoxy terrazzo, fast-cure MMA and hardwearing polyurethane finishes as well as cementitious sub-floor screeds. It is also pioneering the development of environmentally friendly flooring materials, an increasingly important factor in modern construction.

Flowcrete India is a leading manufacturer of resin based floor and wall coatings including seamless epoxy terrazzo, fast-cure MMA and hardwearing polyurethane finishes as well as cementitious sub-floor screeds. It is also pioneering the development of environmentally friendly flooring materials, an increasingly important factor in modern construction.

With pharmaceutical facilities having to factor in a wide-range of flooring requirements including heavy foot and wheeled traffic, exposure to corrosive chemicals and frequent cleaning as well as cost, colour and sustainability criteria, Flowcrete India’s comprehensive flooring range is emerging as a new trend within these settings for its ability to simultaneously meet all these demands.

For further details:

Flowcrete India Private Limited
“Ganesh Towers”, Door no: B-1, 1st Avenue,
Ashok Nagar, Chennai – 600 083.
Tamilnadu, India.
Tel: +91 44 4017 6600.
Email: india@flowcrete.com


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