Suspended ceilings are an integral part of the construction industry, and our business and are a commonly used as acoustic treatments in the office. They offer both access to and concealing of all services in the ceilings void – from electrical power and data supply, air management, fire suppression – they can all be installed into the void and then covered up and forgotten about until a time when they require servicing and access is easy as a tile can just be temporarily removed.
Suspended ceilings do not need any wet trade such as plastering or decorating, and dust is minimal making their installation much cleaner than plaster-boarded ceilings. Suspended ceilings also make areas more energy efficient as only the areas beneath the ceilings require heating / cooling.
Suspended ceilings also offer vital acoustic properties, helping to prevent sound transfer between rooms, and absorbing sound within a room.
In recent times though we have seen a trend toward exposed soffits to give a more industrial look and offering a more open feel to offices. As a specialist interiors contractor, we are followers of fashion and embrace such changes as our industry evolves with different design trends.
Options for Acoustic Treatments in the office
We specialise in analysing and improving the acoustic performance of a space and as such we are very aware of the effects of removing the suspended ceiling from the equation. Typically, the only items left to absorb sound in most modern, open plenum offices are carpet tiles and furniture and these are not sufficient to control the acoustics.
Other trends toward glazed partitions and timber feature items only add to the non-absorptive materials in each area.
We are regularly asked to visit open plan offices whereby people struggle to concentrate on their work due to the acoustic reverberation in the area.
We also get asked to look at meeting rooms and board rooms which have particular issues with conference calling – some rooms are unusable, even with sophisticated conference equipment.
Luckily there are many solutions, and they come in different shapes, sizes and price ranges:
Suspended rafts or baffles. The most commonly used replacement for a suspended ceiling.
Rafts are horizontally installed products and commonly square, rectangular or circular in shape. There are various options in colour and sound absorption, and can usually be retro fitted by suspending from the soffit.
Baffles are vertical fins and are made from smaller pieces of the same materials as rafts so again are available in various colours shapes and sizes. These are also installed by suspending from the soffit
Other options available
Wall panels can be manufactured in almost any shape or size – typically up to 2400x1200mm and so can be made to fit open areas of wall, or in some cases create a mosaic effect to cover entire walls
Wall fabric – ordered in rolls, these can be installed to cover full walls, or cut into small pieces or strips. There are also tiled options which makes combining colours and creating unique patterns easy
Acoustic screens. These can be used to help segment office areas and come in different colours with patterns, they can be installed to sliding channels. They also help with social distancing by creating office partitions
Lighting – a growing trend in interior design, acoustic lighting looks great while working functionally as an acoustic absorber
To find out more about these products and to book a free survey please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our in-house acoustics team are on-hand to guide you through your project and provide the support needed to ensure your space is treated effectively and installed professionally.