The emerging Cannabis industry has created some challenges for those people tasked with specifying flooring, wall and ceiling finishes for production facilities.
Let’s divide the industry into two types of producers: Recreational Grade and Medical Grade production facilities.
There are few regulations currently in place other than the National Building Code, The National Farm Building Code, and local building codes. Many existing Recreational Grade Producers are seeking to secure Medical Grade licensing by upgrading their existing facilities and processes to meet the more stringent Health Canada Regulations. Recreational grade can be grown in greenhouses with earth floors.
In Canada medical grade cannabis is regulated by Health Canada. To be licensed, Producers must develop a Quality Plan that assures the regulator that stringent standards are met in all aspects of the growth, production, and quality control of the products and their derivatives. There is no list of Health Canada approved products or processes. The responsibility of gaining the approval of the Regulator rests with the applicant.
This has created a unique demand for Consultants skilled in the preparation of these comprehensive Quality Plans. This is an area where food science, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, process engineering, material science and architectural detailing cross over. If you need a consultant contact us and we can refer you.
Specific Design Considerations for Medical Grade floors.
There are two primary areas within these facilities:
- Rooms or greenhouses where the plants are grown
- Rooms and areas where the crops are processed, packaged, stored and shipped.
Some factors and considerations for flooring that Warhorse has identified are as follows.
For areas where the plants are grown, flooring must be, or ideally be:
- Easy to clean with the ability to steam clean the floor
- Chemically resistant to disinfectants
- Seamless and surface void free to eliminate mold pockets
- Slip resistant in foot traffic areas, with no potential for plucked sand pockets after wear
- Flexible enough to enable crack and joint bridging with no ability to telegraph cracks that develop in the substrate
- Compatible with a suitable control joint filler
- Light reflective to bounce light if desired
- Colour stable – Resistant to ultraviolet breakdown and discolouration
- Durable enough to withstand light or foot traffic abrasion and typical wear and tear
- Non-degradable – over the long term without producing dust or off gas
- Tolerant to long term exposure to humidity and standing water
- Tenacious bond to the substrate over the service life
- Resistant to blistering due to osmotic delamination (please see concrete 101)
- Refinishable with little disruption, fume, odour, or dust
- Zero VOC, low odour, and 100% solids to reduce impacts on crops, people, and the environment
For production areas, in addition to the above, must also be, or ideally be:
- Durable and impact resistant to wear from material handling equipment, forklifts, carts etc
- Textured to produce slip resistance for vehicle and foot traffic
- Easy to inspect by indicating wear areas well in advance of failure at the concrete interface
- Easily repairable and refinish-able without complete removal from the substrate
- Must be Cost effective over the service life of the structure Have a long service life with no requirement for periodic removal and replacement
- Must not require extensive maintenance to maintain warranty or slip resistance.
- Should be easily inspected to identify high wear areas that require attention before the concrete below is exposed
Overall Sustainability Factors
The best form of sustainability is durability. In this spirit the ability of a wear or contact surfaces to be renewed rather than demolished and replaced is a good overall strategy.
An example of a non-renewable surface would be glazed ceramic tile. When the glaze is gone so is the functionality of the floor in many respects. An example of the opposite would be a solid hardwood floor. Wood is renewable by sanding and refinishing.
Warhorse Materials Inc. offers flooring systems that are:
- Renewable in terms of aesthetics
- Refinishable in terms of restoring or maintaining functionality, chemical resistance etc.
- Repairable in terms of restoring floors damaged by alterations etc.
- Can be over coated by other flooring systems without the need for removal.
Want to know more about our systems?
Please contact us and we can help you build a system specifically designed to suit your facility that will meet Health Canada’s facility criteria. We also have access to Health Canada Engineers who can help you get to the level required to produce product.