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InterfaceNZ: A Company That Keeps On Winning

May 11, 2004

For immediate release

InterfaceNZ: the little company that keeps on winning international awards

With just nine employees, InterfaceNZ has won the top prize at the prestigious international Antron Design Awards three times in the last five years, against companies hundreds of times its size.

Last week, the refurbishment of Westpac branches - with flooring by InterfaceNZ - was named Grand Prize Winner and Public Space/Retail category winner at the Asia Pacific Antron Design Awards.

InterfaceNZ's previous Supreme Award-winning projects were the ESTL corporate HQ fitout in Auckland last year, and Te Papa in 1999.

Robb Donzé, Managing Director at InterfaceNZ, says the wins are proof of the company's innovation and attention to quality.

"Our guiding principle is 'Sustainable design leadership', and we strive to deliver products which work extremely well for our clients and minimise negative impacts on the environment. These awards show that doing the right thing for the long-term future of the planet can be compatible with commercial success."

JASMAX, the architecture practice responsible for the new look at Westpac, chose InterfaceNZ carpet because they had confidence in the company's innovative approach, and the product's versatility, appearance retention and environmental preferability, says JASMAX associate Shirley Chin.

Keeping the carpet looking great in any retail space is a challenge. Part of the InterfaceNZ solution to that challenge is to use carpet tiles, rather than broadloom carpet, and to make them with a 'random' look. When the inevitable happens and a tile is stained or damaged, it can simply be lifted off the floor (the tiles are held down by an adhesive similar to that used for Post-It notes) and taken off for cleaning, repair or disposal. Each branch has a few spare tiles on hand, and the random patterning means the replacement tile won't be noticeable.

The tiles contain at least 20 per cent recycled content, and are made from nylon, for its durability and stability. Because nylon can be dyed before being extruded, there's no potentially-polluting surplus dye to get rid of, and the colour goes right through the carpet fibre - so its good looks last longer.

InterfaceNZ carpets are all designed to be 'unzippered' - that is, broken down to their various components for recycling.

Because New Zealand is too far from the recycling plant in the United States for recycling to be a truly sustainable option, the company has sponsored student research at the University of Waikato, seeking options for reuse of the discarded carpet - including filtering road run-off and insulation for cow sheds.

InterfaceNZ also offers a leasing option, whereby they will accept the carpet back at the end of its usable life and take responsibility for its recycling/disposal. And in the United States, InterfaceNZ carpets are being made of biodegradable cornstarch fibre. If it proves to be environmentally viable, cornstarch fibre carpet tiles should become available in New Zealand in the next 12 months.

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