What to consider when choosing a commercial ceiling
Choosing a ceiling for your commercial space can be a difficult task. Most commercial environments will use a suspended ceiling system as the void above can provide a useful space for the distribution of heating, air conditioning, plumbing or wiring. Due to its popularity the array of material choices has increased. The options for modern ceiling design are endless. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ceiling choice is right for your space. To try and make it easier we have detailed some considerations you will need to make and the material options available;
Considerations for commercial ceilings:
The acoustic comfort in an office space, school or public building contributes to our well being as poor acoustic performance can affect health, communication, safety, productivity and learning. It is therefore imperative that you check the acoustic performance of the commercial ceilings that you are looking at. Different materials and systems will offer different acoustic properties. Dependant on the space you are working with you will need to consider how noise is likely to travel and affect the users of the space. You should be able to speak to the ceiling company about the acoustic requirements of your project.
Fire reaction refers to the surface burning of materials and the rate at which they contribute to the growth of a developing fire. When choosing a ceiling it is important to consider the fire protection the material offers. Commercial spaces often have a high footfall and therefore maximising fire safety is a crucial factor.
It is not the case that office or commercial ceilings need to be boring. Design flexibility with modern materials and processes mean that ceiling designs can be curved, perforated or tactile. The manufacturer you choose should have an array of options to bring your vision to life.
For more and more companies sustainability is becoming a focus. Choosing manufacturers who use recycled materials and are environmentally conscious with their own waste can contribute to a sustainable building future.
One common material option for ceilings is metal. It offers excellent performance levels all round. Different systems are available including linear, tiled, open and closed cell systems all of which can be specified in a range of shapes and curves depending on the carrier system used. If acoustic performance is particularly important then panels can be perforated which enhances acoustics and acoustic pads can also be added. Metal ceilings are often available in a range of standard colours and can usually be coated in any RAL color. In addition to these uni colours, there are several special metallic colours and chrome finish possible. This offers great design flexibility.
There are a variety of wood ceiling variations available including linear wood, grill ceilings and wooden ceilings created from tiles and panels. An abundance of finishes will be available with wood or veneered systems. Panels can be treated with transparent lacquer, or if a special look is required, special varnishes, staining or paint finishes can be applied. By correctly impregnating wood ceilings with the correct fire resistant finish you are able to achieve a reaction to fire.
In addition to traditional wood and metal ceilings Hunter Douglas also offer textile ceiling options. Inspired by felt as an intriguing material for clothing and furniture, they developed the HeartFelt® ceiling system. Textile ceilings provide architects, installers and building owners with an advanced system that allows them to precisely manage the acoustics of every space. With the HeartFelt® ceiling absorption values (αw) between 0.45 (module 100) and 0.70 (module 50) can be achieved.