Modern ceiling tiles and lighting options have an ever increasing number of benefits when it comes to improving performance and aesthetics, and are more sustainable than ever before. Here, Rachel Grundy, Category Manager for Ceilings and Partitioning at CCF, discusses how thanks to product advancements, it is now easier than ever before for specifiers to meet the project requirements of public sector applications.
Ceiling tiles come in a wide variety of material types and finishes and can help building specifiers of public sector buildings achieve different results.
For basic specifications in low footfall areas, standard tiles are often the most sensible option. However, a higher specification tile can meet a much broader range of requirements and guarantee a finish that’s suitable for areas that are going to experience heavy footfall.
The most popular option continues to be mineral fibre tiles. Modern mineral fibre tiles are now available in a far broader range of finishes. For instance, CCF’s own range of Sektor mineral fibre ceiling tiles come in a variety of finishes including plain and perforated. These tiles are fresh and contemporary looking with a smooth, fine granulated or needled appearance. They can also offer a solid all-round performance, which is ideal for busy offices or communal areas.
Alternatively, public sector spaces such as educational buildings like schools or community centres, will usually benefit from a slightly higher standard of mineral fibre tile covered with an acoustic fleece. For example, in a classroom, where the teacher’s voice needs to be projected effectively, but the sound of noisy children at the back of the classroom also needs to be absorbed - an intelligent solution is required. This is where ceiling tiles, such as the new fleece covered Sektor Pearltone Alpha mineral fibre tile, which thanks to its class A rating is able to provide excellent sound absorption and attenuation rates, vital to creating a comfortable learning environment. This of course also applies to large offices, particularly those with open plan layouts, and other public facilities such as libraries.
Metal tiles are also available, most plain faced metal tiles have a wipe-clean surface which makes them the ideal choice for healthcare facilities where cleanliness and hygiene is of paramount importance. When choosing a perforated style of metal tile, specifiers can also combine heightened acoustic performance qualities as many of these products are fleece lined.
It is no secret that Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology has revolutionised the lighting market and is fast becoming the go to choice for ceilings. In fact, LED panels are increasingly being turned to, instead of more traditional options such as fluorescent tube lighting.
Research has shown that over a period of 25 years, (assuming the lights are used 10 hours a day, for 5 days a week), the total cost of owning and running four fluorescent tubes would be £580.75. Only a single LED would need to be used, to achieve the same illuminance and would cost £434. A combination of this, and the fact that LED lighting will also last up to three times as long as florescent tube lighting, means there is a sound basis for choosing LED ceiling panels.
Not just cost effective, LED lighting is also a safe alternative for those with photo sensitivity issues, which can be triggered by fluorescent tube fittings.
There has been a real push from the construction industry to move towards more environmentally sustainable products. In turn, this is also a pressing requirements for many local authorities and public sector spaces when specifying and installing ceilings and lighting.
As a result, ‘cradle to grave’ is being replaced by a ‘cradle to cradle’ ethos which sees products being recycled back into the manufacturing process, rather than ending the product lifespan by ending up in landfill. Ceiling tile recycling initiatives also exist, which makes it easier for building and facilities managers to arrange for old tiles to be collected and reused in this way.
Newer manufacturing practices have removed many of the chemicals and hazardous materials historically used in the production of ceiling tiles and lighting, this and is the case for the sektor ceiling range, so the health and safety of products is assured. What’s more, when choosing newer lighting products on the market such as LED’s you are removing the risk that comes with purchasing fluorescent tubes, which contain mercury, so from a sustainability point of view, LED’s are a lot safer and better for the environment.
Building specifiers should keep the wide variety of ceiling tiles and lighting options available at the forefront of their minds in order to effectively plan and get the most out of public sector spaces. Manufacturers and distributors are there to help and together can advise to help ensure that the right quality and performance, while meeting budget requirements, is achieved.
For more information about the new extended range of Sektor ceilings which is now available exclusively at leading interior building solutions distributor CCF visit www.sektorinteriors.com, or go to your local CCF branch.