0 Shoppingcart
Radboud UMC   headerxxl

Based on the design by EGM Architecten and the interior concept by Suzanne Holz Studio, Gispen furnished the new accommodation for the new main building and the infection units of Radboudumc. A hospital has specific requirements for cleaning and disinfection. This has consequences for upholstery and materialisation. And for cleaning. Together with the cleaning team, Gispen and Radboudumc carried out tests with different liquids on different materials. "Interesting results that deserve a follow-up."


Radboudumc distinguishes itself (inter)nationally through specialist care for infectious diseases. The new healthcare building is intended for patients with lung-related infectious diseases. Building P has its own entrance and three units: an open unit for patients with non-contagious lung-related infectious diseases; a unit with isolation rooms for patients suspected or known to be infectious and an isolation unit with two IC rooms for patients with (suspected) viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.
Radboud UMC   landscapem
Radboud UMC   landscapem

The building is connected underground to the other buildings of Radboudumc via the long corridor. A good concept was made for the furnishing. Nelleke Lagerwerf, interior architect at Gispen: 'Because patients sometimes stay here for months, a 'feeling of home' is even more important. Throughout the complex, plenty of attention has been paid to comfort and a home like appearance.' Read more about this in our Radboudumc project description.
Read more
Options for disinfection


Extra attention to comfort, wellbeing and a healing environment is particularly important for patients with infectious diseases. In some cases they stay in isolation for a longer period of time. Nelleke: 'In addition, as an interior designer you pay a lot of attention to hygiene and disinfection options. That sometimes means different methods for the upholstery; for example, loose covers that can be deep cleaned, prevent folds in which dirt can accumulate. The strict cleaning protocols for the infection units add to that; the protocols set very specific requirements for hygiene and cleaning. That excludes certain upholstery; we often use synthetic leather in these types of spaces.'
Radboud UMC   landscapem
Radboud UMC   landscapem


In times of corona, we saw that some types of imitation leather wear out faster due to frequent cleaning, often with alcohol. Nelleke: 'The glue of the 'one and a half meter' stickers also left their mark; they sometimes caused 'holes' in the artificial leather, because the glue residue slowly dissolved this upholstery. Radboudumc, with whom we work very closely, also noted that we really had to make sustainable choices for the upholstery of the furniture for the infection units. We were therefore very happy with the proposal to carry out tests.'


More than twenty samples underwent 24 and 48 hour testing. It was lavishly spilled with coffee, blood, urine and aggressive substances. These were cleaned in accordance with the Radboudumc cleaning requirements with various cleaning and disinfection agents. Nelleke: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to see how stains, cleaning products, fabrics, imitation leather, methods and time interact. We get a lot of 'cleaning questions', especially from hospitals. Of course we take into account upholstery in different areas with various functions. The level of hygiene for a waiting room differs from that of an OR. Together with Radboudumc and the cleaning team, we carried out quite a few tests and experiments.'


The main subject of research was synthetic leather, a commonly used upholstery material in hospitals. The most common synthetic leathers are made of PVC or PU. The new innovation silicone has recently been added. Iris Hobo, Design Manager Furnishings & Design Radboudumc: 'We have carried out extensive material tests, with coffee, blood, urine and various cleaning agents and methods. A new silicone synthetic leather performed remarkably well in the test. This means that this upholstery not only meets the strict hygiene and cleaning requirements, but with its PVC-free composition also meets our ambitious circularity requirements.'
Radboud UMC   landscapem
Radboud UMC   landscapem


With these test results, Gispen is taking another step towards even more sustainability. Nelleke: ‘There is a note to that: silicone is a fairly new material. It comes up very well in all kinds of tests, but we have yet to see how durable this synthetic leather is. The interesting results therefore deserve more experiments. We would like to follow up on that!'

Download our cleaning and maintenance brochure

black and white portrait of Nelleke Lagerwerf
Nelleke Lagerwerf, interior architect at Gispen

Contact Us

Would you like to know more about cleaning and disinfecting different fabrics and synthetic leather? Contact us.