by Brianna Crandall — July 6, 2018 — Mohawk Group, a global commercial flooring company with a 130-year heritage of craftsmanship known for cutting-edge flooring solutions, introduced several new products at last month’s NeoCon 2018 contract interiors show. The company showcased a suite of new Living Product Challenge Petal certified products, highly sustainable fiber, and immersive virtual technology for flooring projects. The Heathered Hues high-performance fiber won a Gold award in the Carpet: Fiber category of the prestigious Best of NeoCon Competition (see FMLink article), and the Healthy Environments flooring collection received an Innovation Award in the Healthcare Flooring category.
Through innovations in materials, manufacturing and community involvement, Mohawk Group says it is leaving a “handprint” on people and the environment. One of the five Living Products to debut at NeoCon is Nutopia. The carpet plank system is inspired by the idea of “urban fabric,” where humankind coexists with buildings, streets and other infrastructure. Created to transition across the floor or create defined areas in the built environment, installations of the collection can be subtle, or vivid and dramatic. Along with the lineup of other carbon-neutral Living Products, Nutopia is designed to give more resources back to the environment than it takes during its entire life cycle.
Another new noteworthy offering is Pivot Point Red List-free ERT, a resilient collection manufactured using alternative chemistry. The enhanced resilient tile (ERT) represents a true change in direction for sustainable resilient flooring, says Mohawk Group.
The Living Product Challenge is a program of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) that provides a framework for manufacturers to reimagine the design and construction of products to function in a similarly elegant and efficient way as anything found in the natural world. All Living Products are created to be net positive and benefit people and the environment. Additionally, Petal Certification dictates that products be free of toxins, informed by biomimicry and biophilia, and socially responsible and respectful of the rights of workers.
In addition to the Petal certified products, Mohawk Group is launching collections that span every flooring category — broadloom, carpet tile, woven and hard surface, and Heathered Hues, a sustainably sourced yarn embodying what Mohawk Group says are its most realistic wool visuals to date.
Gold winner: Heathered Hues
Best of NeoCon 2018 Gold winner Heathered Hues is Mohawk Group’s new high-performance color yarn system, available in both Duracolor and ColorStrand technologies. This highly sustainable, solution-dyed nylon fiber creates high styling and vivid color for all market segments, projects and budgets. Heathered Hues fiber is textured and blended in a desirable palette of warm and cool neutrals with vibrant color accents. The heathered yarns provide visual texture and dimension when tufted, creating a variegated, realistic wool-like appearance as Mohawk Group’s most natural-looking nylon fiber to date for warmth and sophistication in contract interiors.
Designed to do more with less, the yarn is dematerialized for a low environmental impact, and no water is used in its production. Finer Heathered Hues yarns are used for high performance at lower weights, and Mohawk Group’s direct tuft technology minimizes energy and carbon dioxide impact while also making the fiber easy to recycle. As the same yarn used in the company’s award-winning Lichen Collection, said to be the world’s first flooring product to achieve Living Product Challenge Petal Certification, Heathered Hues is also the sustainable fiber used for the Nutopia, Nutopia Matrix and Mega Art collections displayed at NeoCon 2018.
Innovation winner: Healthy Environments
The Healthy Environments carpet and hard surface collection is inspired by the alluring, soothing colors and textures of species native to the desert Southwest: desert broom plants, desert willow branches, mesquite trees, sisal, juniper trees and the natural desert floor, as well as adobe bricks. In addition to their natural beauty, the innate hardiness of these plants provides a paradigm for perseverance through difficult challenges and environments. Drawing inspiration from these plants and biophilic design, the collection was created to nurture positive connections and advance healing and productivity in healthcare interiors.
The Healthy Environments collection incorporates three coordinating carpet plank patterns influenced by nature: Baccharis, Chitalpa and Xeric. The carpet planks are manufactured using Duracolor Tricor premium nylon fiber and come standard on Red List-free EcoFlex NXT carpet tile backing.
The collection also includes four heterogeneous sheet patterns: Sisalana, Juniperus, Geomorphic and Klei Firma. The sheet patterns include a 20 mil commercial wear layer and an M-Force 1 Enhanced Urethane finish.
Mohawk Group’s Best of NeoCon 2017 Gold award-winning VIS (Visual Interactive Studio) is a fully immersive virtual experience that provides 2D floor perspectives, 3D room scenes and high-resolution renderings of designers’ unique flooring creations. Coupled with its latest enhancement, +Amplify, specifiers are transported into their spaces before they are even created, in order to help optimize flooring designs using the power of sound.
VIS +Amplify gives contract designers and specifiers the power to explore every facet of a project’s floor plan and perfect every aspect of a flooring specification, including acoustical properties, in a fully immersive virtual experience complete with various room scenarios. The VIS +Amplify process takes some of the guesswork out of choosing flooring by helping to identify and eliminate potential issues before even making a specification. Within the software, users can easily switch between flooring collections and colorways, while also sampling footfall decibel readings based on different environmental attributes.
VIS is said to be the only flooring software for specifications in the flooring industry that utilizes a gaming engine to provide the most realistic visuals in a completely immersive environment. Last year, VIS was honored with a Best of NeoCon Gold award in the Software/Application for Specifications category.
As a more sustainable customer specification solution, VIS +Amplify helps cut down on sample waste and other presentation materials by digitizing earlier stages of the flooring selection process.
Chicago smartflower unveiling and demonstration
As part of the handprinting strategy for Mohawk Group’s newest Living Products, the flooring company joined Groundswell and The Renaissance Collaborative in Chicago’s Bronzeville community to unveil a new smartflower solar system at 3757 S. Wabash Ave. Attendees experienced a demonstration and learned how the partnership will bring the benefits of solar energy and educational opportunities to the community. Ultimately, a total of 10 smartflowers will be constructed across the US.
Additional information, videos and imagery for Mohawk Group’s NeoCon highlights are available on the company’s NeoCon landing page.