Eco-active ceramics for safe, design-driven workspaces

When designing workspaces, the attention to safety and the to the staff’s quality of life have always been important factors, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made the importance of advanced solutions and technologies to ensure a healthy and hygienically secure working environment even more evident.

A careful choice of innovative materials in architectural and interior decoration projects results in healthy and safe places to live in everyday life, without sacrificing design.

This is also perfectly in line with the increasingly widespread trends of Corporate Social Responsibility and welfare, which are also embodied in the creation of spaces to boost well-being in the company and thus benefit productivity, efficiency and workforce motivation.

The topic of ‘organizational wellbeing’, or ‘organizational health’, meant in terms of the physical, psychological and social aspects of human resources at all levels and roles, has long been central and finds its greatest application in the most advanced and enlightened entrepreneurial experiences, such as Benefit companies and B-Corp certified companies.

In this direction, the use of high-performance eco-active ceramic surfaces for floor and wall coverings, for indoor and outdoor areas and, above all, for cladding rooms and furniture, is enjoying considerable success in the creation of workspaces.

Among these, Active Surfaces® represent 100% Italian excellence, which, offering a strong aesthetic value, along with fully satisfying the fore-mentioned needs of well-being and safety.

This is the result of ten years of research and development, carried out in collaboration between the historic IRIS Ceramica Group, a market leader, and the Chemistry Department of the University of Milan.

These internationally patented ceramics, whose distinctive features are certified to ISO standards, use the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide and silver to activate a process that eliminates bacteria, viruses, odours and pollutants.

They have also achieved important certifications in the food contact context, attesting that they can be used in direct contact with food, with maximum safety, regardless of food type and formulation.

The action of Active Surfaces® is constant, does not wear off over time and is the only industrial material in the world to perform not only under UV and sunlight, but also under LED lights, maintaining its antibacterial and antiviral effectiveness even in the dark.

We are talking about an eco-active material able to suppress the SARS-CoV-2 virus by up to 94% in just 4 hours of exposure to UV light, both natural and artificial. Furthermore, specific studies have proven its effectiveness against common bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus Aureus MRSA.

The anti-fungal and anti-mould properties are also scientifically validated and certified.

These products are, in fact, effective at degrading odorous organic molecules, eliminating bad odours and guaranteeing comfortable environments free of unpleasant sensory pollution.

In addition to the above-mentioned properties, the use of antibacterial ceramics has many other benefits over other materials commonly used in workspaces.

It is highly resistant to being used, stained and scratched, making it an excellent choice for work surfaces and desks, which often experience a high level of wear and tear.

Thanks to its photocatalytic and super-hydrophilic properties, Active Surfaces® is easy to clean and sanitise, which means that it can be maintained in a hygienic condition without using aggressive or environmentally harmful chemicals.

It can convert volatile molecules of dangerous pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds into harmless substances, with great benefits for human health in both outdoor and indoor spaces.

Lastly, antibacterial ceramic is available in a wide range of textures, colours and formats and can be easily combined with other materials such as wood, metal and glass.

All this makes it a particularly versatile, environmentally friendly and sustainable option in the creation of contemporary, pleasant, functional and safe environments, while ensuring maximum aesthetics and health protection.