Raising the Bar for Sustainable Ceilings

Armstrong AcoustiBuilt™ ceilings offer a sustainable combination of sound absorption and sound blocking.

Sponsored by:

Armstrong was a sponsor of the Metropolis Perspective: Sustainability 2020 Symposium.


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The West Palm Beach office of design firm Spina O’Rourke + Partners is sleek, minimalist, and, thanks to an AcoustiBuilt seamless acoustic ceiling from Armstrong, acoustically comfortable. Courtesy Armstrong

When designing its new offices in West Palm Beach, Spina O’Rourke + Partners knew that controlling sound would play a critical role in how well the space, which featured exposed structural elements, would function.

“The aesthetic for the open offices was for the structure to be exposed in some areas and to have clean, smooth drywall ceiling in others, but we were worried about the acoustics,” says interior design principal and director Tammy O’Rourke.

Acoustics had been a problem in the architecture and design firm’s previous offices, which had a similar aesthetic. “This is a highly-active space,” says O’Rourke. “We entertain a lot of people, including a lot of high-end clients. We knew that the same scenario of exposed structure and drywall ceiling would not provide us with the functionality we needed.”

Unwilling to compromise the aesthetics, O’Rourke reached out to her Armstrong representative who told her about AcoustiBuilt™ seamless acoustical ceilings, a new ceiling system that provides the monolithic look of drywall in a high-performing acoustical ceiling.

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Courtesy Armstrong

The new ceiling is part of the Armstrong Total Acoustics® portfolio, offering an ideal combination of sound absorption and sound blocking. AcoustiBuilt ceilings are also part of the Sustain® portfolio, meeting the most stringent industry sustainability standards.

What’s more, the ceilings are free of Red List chemicals and have Health Product Declarations and Environmental Product Declarations. They also meet the California Department of Public Health’s rigorous low-emissions standards. While contributing to the acoustical comfort of the space, they also helped the project be more sustainable and support occupant wellness. Products in Armstrong’s Sustain portfolio contribute to LEED v4, including new Materials and Resources credits, and contribute to Living Building Challenge and Well Building Standard certifications.

About 2,000 square feet of AcoustiBuilt ceilings are installed throughout the 9,300 square-foot interior, allowing O’Rourke to achieve both the aesthetics the firm wanted and the acoustics they needed for the new space. “It’s a perfect fit,” says O’Rourke. “We are able to control the sound in this highly-active area and still have the refinement of a drywall ceiling.”

The AcoustiBuilt ceiling cloud installed above the business lounge brings down the noise in this busy space. “That’s a perfect example of how we used this product to create a space that would be more conducive to having a large group of people at one time—either having lunch, a conversation, or giving a presentation—and not have an issue of an echo,” says O’Rourke.

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Courtesy Armstrong

In the living room, a large executive office space O’Rourke shares with her business partner and CEO Keith Spina, the AcoustiBuilt ceiling helps ensure speech privacy by preventing sound from entering the adjacent space occupied by the design team. “We’re right next to the open studio,” says O’Rourke, “yet we can have conversations that stay contained in our office area.”

Armstrong knows that offering environmentally friendly products that customers can feel good about without sacrificing performance is critical to moving sustainable design forward. That’s the premise behind the brand’s Sustain portfolio of best-selling mineral fiber, plant-based fiberglass, specialty ceilings, suspension systems, and trim products that use material screening and Design for Environment principles in their development.

“The crisp, finished look is exactly what we wanted,” adds O’Rourke, “and definitely rivals conventional drywall with its acoustic control and true drywall appearance.”

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Courtesy Armstrong

Categories: Building Products, Sustainability