One of the primary program requirements of the Clubhouse at Palouse Ridge Golf Club was to incorporate sustainable features into the building. Polished concrete floors, large overhangs, and a closed-loop ground source heat pump for heating and cooling were included. The 7,150 SF Clubhouse serves students, faculty, staff, and the community. The restaurant has the capacity to host up to 100 guests for special events. The architectural design firm is Design West Architects, P.A., Pullman, Washington. Most of the public area floors in the Clubhouse are polished concrete including the pro shop, restaurant, bar, and corridors. Washington State University has had excellent success with polished concrete floors. This project called for 4,250 SF of polished concrete in highly visible areas. Typically carpet is used on the floor in restaurant and retail settings. The advantages of carpet are that it absorbs sound and is available in a wide variety of colors and styles. The disadvantages of carpet are that it requires constant maintenance and must be replaced periodically.

The advantages of polished concrete are its ease of maintenance and its permanence. Initially, there was some reluctance to use polished concrete in this upscale retail project, with fear the floor would be slippery. Slip performance criteria per Voices of Safety International VOSI V41.21 test method were specified. The construction schedule dictated the floors be placed after the exterior walls and roof were framed-in. This created some challenges with the concrete placement and polishing. Rob Munday Inc., Pasco, Washington, placed the concrete. Integral color was added to the mix design to give the floor a rich, dark brown color. Knowing the floor was to be polished, Rob Munday Inc. used a laser screed to hold very tight tolerances. The floor was saw-cut within 24 hours, then covered with plastic and OSB to protect the surface during construction and allow the concrete to properly cure. Lundeen/Simonson, Inc., Spokane, Washington polished the floors. Five passes were made using abrasive resin diamond pads progressing from 50-grit to 600-grit. The slip resistance test was then conducted by Strata, Moscow, Idaho, using an ASTM 825 slip meter and 400-grit silicon carbide paper to ASTM 2047 standards. The floor achieved a 0.74 or greater coefficient of friction (COF). A COF of 0.50 is required for a floor to be recognized as a slip-resistant walkway. The polishing process was completed by applying a penetrating sealer.

In the three years since the pro shop and restaurant were opened the tenants have been very pleased with the performance of the floor. It requires very little maintenance. Typical daily care is dry sweeping. Occasionally the floor is wet mopped. No waxes are used or needed. The rich walnut color of the polished concrete creates a solid visual foundation for the restaurant and retail spaces, blending well with the warmly stained cherry woodwork throughout the Clubhouse.

Contractor: Washington State University