Footfall Harvesting – How Flooring is Helping Sustainable Development

At PSR Industrial Flooring, you all know that we love talking about the various types of floor and industrial floor coatings that’re out there in the world, but that means that we also have one eye on the future as well. One of the areas that’s especially close to our heart is the development of eco-friendly practices, and we regularly distribute and sell environmentally-minded floor solutions to that end. As a result, you can imagine how pleased we were to read this article from The Guardian, as an innovation in flooring was one of the 10 highlighted ideas to make our cities more sustainable.


Smart Flooring (yes, we mean it!)

The technology we’re talking about is actually in use on a pedestrian walkway in east London, West Ham, and although it’s not in an industrial environment, it is very definitely flooring! In fact, that’s the secret to it. Every day, hundreds, probably thousands, of people walk over this large expanse of suspiciously springy flooring and don’t suspect that anything all that special is going on. However, the unassuming flex in the floor is actually hiding something: it’s powering the nearby street lights!

How are Smart Tiles Useful?

How exactly does this work? Well, each paving slab is arrayed with a number of small ‘smart’ tiles. Yes, that’s right; you know full well you can’t go anywhere without encountering a smart-something these days, Smartphones… smartwatches… now you can add smart flooring to that list. Each of these modest-looking smart tiles captures electricity and goes on to convert it into useful electricity, which is then fed to the street lamps to power them. And all this happens just by a floor being walked on.

Present and Future Usage

In addition to this London location, the technology behind this method of ‘footfall harvesting’ is secreted in a number of international locations – including at airports. After all, such large gathering places have a colossal footfall on a daily basis, so why not harness all of that traffic and make use of it? We certainly think this is a concept of pure genius, and we’d love to see it being used in more areas. When you think of how much floor gets walked on during a daily basis across the world, how many energy issues could be solved by this almost-invisible idea? The possibilities are staggering.

Futuristic financial district

Other Sustainable Solutions

Of course, we would tend to major upon flooring, because that’s what we do, but that’s not to say that other methods won’t play their part in sustainable infrastructure too. Our aforementioned Guardian article mentions a fair few things, of which a few of our other favourites are…

  • Luminous Trees on the Street – yes, that’s right, we really do mean glow in the dark trees! The idea involves splicing DNA from luminescent bacteria into plants; preferably those lining the streets. In theory, this (reasonably) natural source of lighting could replace street lights.
  • Billboards that Produce Water – we think the idea of fitting condensers and filters to a billboard sounds a bit crazy, but we can’t deny that the results could be useful. Apparently, each board could produce up to 96 litres of drinking water on a daily basis. Not too shabby!
  • Using Algae Walls in Buildings – we’ve been aware of this one for a while, but we still love Used in Hamburg, an algae wall constantly produces a fuel source that can be periodically harvested and used to make electricity. It’s already working, so why not use the idea more?
  • Smart Rubbish Bins – having just joked about ‘smart-everythings’, we couldn’t pass up on this! Solar technology in these bins will notify rubbish collectors when bins are full, and other mechanisms will compress trash to fit more inside. So, smart bins… sounds pretty apt!

Eco-Friendly Flooring Today

Of course, as fun as debating all of these innovations may be, it goes without saying that these systems will take a while to be introduced, at least on a widespread scale. However, you can count on eco-friendly floor finishes right now if you come to PSR Industrial Flooring, so what are you waiting for? Contact us today by calling 01226 382864 and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.


All Testimonials

"Just to let you know how delighted we are with the work you completed last week on our warehouse floor, especially given the difficult circumstances the team were working in. They were all very hard working and courteous, and worked with our in-house team and over the weekend to make...

Colour Master

"Thank you for all your help and communication with bringing our flooring project to a satisfactory conclusion. The team you sent were friendly and professional and have done a very good job so please pass on our thanks to them also"


"We have been working with PSR Industrial Flooring for the last 10 years. During this time, we have worked in collaboration in repairing both our internal and external floors. PSR have understood the demands of our operation and have always been looking at new materials to speed up the repair to be...

David Hopkin, Coca Cola
Federation of Small Businesses Logo
master guild logo
Safe Contractor Logo