First Project, a Conductive Resin Floor

I am currently managing a project in the beautiful surroundings of Bergen, Norway, and we have to install 1,500m2 of a self levelling resin flooring system. A relatively straightforward installation except this is not just any resin floor it is an ESD / conductive resin floor. Which got me thinking…

Why do clients install ESD / conductive resin floor systems ?

First some basics…

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is defined as the transfer of electrostatic charge between objects at different electrostatic potentials caused by direct contact or induced by an electrostatic field. Electrostatic discharge is most commonly created by the contact and separation, or friction, of two similar or dissimilar materials. Basically it is all about the balance, or imbalance, of electrons on the surface of each material. The electrons will try and reach equilibrium by transferring from one surface to the other creating an electrostatic discharge.

Insulators are materials with high resistance that restrict or prevent the flow of electrons across or through itself.

Conductors are materials with low resistance that easily allow the flow of electrons across it or through it’s material.

Concrete itself is a natural conductor and will dissipate any electrostatic charges (ESD) on the surface. However, once a resin flooring system is applied to the surface it will act as an insulator. So to get the many benefits of resin flooring, but maintain or improve the conductivity of the wearing surface calls for specialist conductive resin floor systems. OR in layman terms we have to make a flooring system that is essentially an insulator, conductive.

So going back to my original question, why do client’s install conductive resin floor systems ?

  • ESD is a significant cause of failures within the electronics industry.
  • ESD is a serious health and safety issue in industries such as munitions, pharmaceutical and chemical processing.
  • ESD control is a requirement in many areas of hospitals and in clean rooms

So it is an issue that can have an adverse affect on productivity, quality control, profitability and safety.


What are the different types of conductive resin floor systems ?

Static dissipative resin floor

Static dissipative resin flooring generally is defined as having a resistance of 10 6 – 10 9 ohms. They can drain off a 5,000 volt charge to zero in less than 0.2 seconds.

Static dissipative resin floor systems have greater resistance to electric current flow than conductive resin floor systems. At facilities where electronic components are manufactured or assembled, a static dissipative resin floor can be installed so that a static charge can be gradually transferred to ground. This will protect operatives from an electric shock while at the same time protecting sensitive electronic equipment.

Conductive resin floor

Conductive resin flooring generally is defined as having and electrical resistance of less than 1.0 x 106 Ω (I million ohms). They can drain a 5,000 volt charge to zero in 0.05 seconds.

A conductive resin floor system has a much lower electrical resistance than a static dissipative resin floor. It will carry a static charge to a grounding point quickly and efficiently and prevent the risk of accidental discharge and ignition. If the floor is too conductive, an operative on the floor could suffer electrical shock.

Conductive resin floor (Spark Proof)

The same qualities as above, but with the added benefit of being completely spark proof. So if tools or equipment are dropped on to the floor they will not cause a spark which could lead to ignition.

The floor in Norway is a static dissipative resin floor for an electronics manufacturing facility and regardless of all the usual issues that we face on resin flooring installations, the most important factor will be ensuring we fulfil the ESD performance requirements.

I’ll post some photos as we make progress with the project.

Project Management in Norway

I am undertaking my first independent project management assignment in Norway this week. An ESD / Conductive resin floor, I will post some information about it later, but for now enjoy the photo… it is proper cold out here !

A Frozen Lake in Norway

Frozen Lake

Subcontractor Payment – The Battle of the Forms

21 years ago I was writing my dissertation in Bristol as part of my Quantity Surveying degree course. The topic I chose to research was ‘Problems in Subcontractor Payment’ and despite my college Professor’s reluctance to accept it was a problem, I chose to ignore his advice and submitted my analysis of the situation at that time and my proposed solutions.This set me on a path that has seen me ignore the traditional PQS and Contractor’s QS role and I have only ever worked for Specialist Subcontractors.

Back in the early 90s contractual abuse was common place and subcontractor payment was often abused. Main Contractors would enforce Pay when Paid clauses as a matter of course and subcontracts were extremely one sided and onerous. I cut my teeth working on the boom of motorway widening and ‘lane rental’ projects that burst on to the scene around the M25 in the early 90s and drew many a red line through the badly drafted subcontracts of the notorious Civil Engineering Contractors of the time, such as Balfour Beatty, Costain, Tarmac, Amey etc

What I learnt during that period was that the most important meeting on any construction project is not the final account meeting, it is the pre-let and the most important battle is not the price, but the ‘battle of the forms’. If you can get a standard form with fair terms and conditions, then you stand a decent chance of protecting subcontractor payment and completing the project with a small profit and your reputation intact. The alternative will lead to ruin.

The commercial environment is more favourable these days post Latham Report and with the Construction Act in place, but Contractors and their Quantity Surveyors are geared up today as much as ever to take advantage of every opportunity to tip the balance in their favour, which is why they still issue non-standard forms, with  their own re-drafted clauses, particularly in respect to subcontractor payment, adjudication and notifications.

That is why as specialist subcontractors, in this economy with ever dwindling margins it is as important now as it ever has been to make sure you fully understand the contract that you are signing up to when agreeing subcontracts and subcontractor payment terms. Protect your rights, your cash flow and win the battle of the forms.


Welcome to my website and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

I am new to the blogosphere, so please be patient as I get to grips with the wonders of WordPress.

The idea is to post some interesting and helpful articles about resin flooring, subcontracting, quantity surveying and other random topics just to keep things fresh. I have asked some of my contacts in the industry to contribute occasionally and hopefully we may even get some feedback and advice from people that read the posts.

Thanks again