Entrance Mats: An Integral Component of a Green Building

Soil is everywhere and managing it is a vital part of our everyday existence.  At the heart of every effective entrance mat program is the prevention of contaminants from entering a building. The U.S. Green Building Council has developed a rating system for new and existing buildings to encourage building owners to earn credit for meeting certain housekeeping criteria.

In a Green Building an entrance mat is the first line of defense against contaminants and particles entering the building. As such, there are four things an entrance mat should do:

  1. Stop soil and water.
    • 85% of all soil enters a building on the feet of the building occupants.
      High performance mats are more effective at stopping soil from entering buildings.
    • Stopping these contaminates reduces cleaning labor costs and reduces wear on floor surfaces
    • Entrance mats also substantially reduce the need for cleaning chemicals that might be harmful to the building occupants and the environment.
  2. Store soil and water for removal at a convenient time.
    • Storing means that a high performance mat contains soil in a place where it can be removed effectively and safely with minimum impact on the building.
    • An effective entrance mat stores the soil and water until it is removed during cleaning.
    • A building with minimized contaminants reduces the amount of cleaning chemicals required. This reduces airborne contaminants and volatile organic contaminants (VOCs) from cleaning chemicals, thereby improving a building’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
  3. Minimize tracking of stored soil and water into the building.
    • A mat with high twist, heat set nylon yarn not only effectively removes dirt from the soles of shoes, but it also filters dirt and water down to the base of the carpet to prevent it from being transferred into the building.
    • Mats with a non-heat set carpet surface will crush flat and once soil is deposited on these mats, it can reattach to the shoe of another person and be tracked further into the building.
    • A permanent bi-level construction extends the performance life of a mat reducing the need to dispose of mats frequently.
    • Lower performing floor mats must be replaced 4 to 5 times more often than bi-level mats contributing significantly more waste to our landfills.
  4. Provide a safe surface for traffic.
    • Effective entrance mats utilize a slip-resistant Nitrile rubber backing, which provides traction for the mat on the floor.
    • Entrance mats are designed to stop moisture at the door, reducing the incidences of slip/fall accidents on unprotected floor services.