Office design is undergoing constant revision, having seen a dramatic shift from the cubicle farms of the 1980s to open plan formation and other more casual working arrangements present today. The same goes for educational pedagogy, new retail spaces, hospitality, domestic environments… the list goes on. However, changes to how we organise space also come with changes to how we must manage the invisible forces that affect how we interact with our environment. These forces, such as lighting, have the potential to make or break a project without proper consideration. 

The same goes for acoustics, where an open plan office will demand a different kind of treatment to that of isolated offices, or adjacent rooms with a suspended ceiling. Sound absorption is important in all three examples, although perhaps mostly so in the first instance. The latter two, on the other hand, must take into account other factors such as airborne noise transfer, jeopardising what may otherwise be a private, soundproof space.

The solution to this is to embrace materials that embody a variety of acoustic properties, both absorbing and blocking sound, although the degree to which this is required varies from project to project.

As industry leaders, Armstrong World Industries’ new and improved ULTIMA+™ range of ceiling solutions has been developed with this multi-faceted issue in mind. The ULTIMA+™ ceilings improve upon their predecessor in numerous ways, including improved acoustic performance and offering additional features. The ULTIMA+™ range has been split into three distinct products, each with their own specialties. The ULTIMA+™ Standard ceilings features an upgraded Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) of 41, considered to be well above high performance, and a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70. ULTIMA+™ Standard ceilings have been designed to provide perfect TOTAL ACOUSTICAL balance, combining high sound absorption with excellent sound attenuation; making them ideal for working and learning environments.

ULTIMA+™ OP panels provide top of the line sound absorption with an NRC of 0.95, making them perfect for open plan spaces where ambient noise is likely to be distracting, such as in open plan offices, call centres, libraries or cafeterias.

With a CAC ranging from 42-44 depending on the product type, ULTIMA+™ dB ceilings feature an even higher CAC than the Standard range, making them ideal for ensuring privacy between rooms and preventing airborne noise transfer through suspended ceilings, such as in board rooms, private offices, hospital consultation rooms and patient rooms.

From a sustainability perspective, Armstrong ceiling products are listed by Ecospecifier and certified by Global GreenTag(TM) as “eco- and health-preferable” and able to contribute to Green Star™ credit points. Most recently, the full range of ULTIMA+™ Ceilings have become Cradle to Cradle Certified™, satisfying Section 26: Enhanced Materials Safety of the WELL Building Standard® v1.

Not only are Armstrong ceiling panels produced from high levels of recycled material, they are fully recyclable. Since 1999, the Armstrong Recycling Program has diverted over 19 million square metres of old ceiling materials from going to the landfill.  Not only does this save energy, but also is equivalent to over a million tons of virgin raw materials saved. The Armstrong Ceilings Recycling Program is an easy way for building owners and managers to reduce their environmental impact.

This is all in addition to re-engineered edges for the ULTIMA+™ range and a new scratch resistant Durabrite™ finish for improved appearance, easier handling and better durability.

For more information on ULTIMA+™ ceilings, get in touch with Armstrong Ceilings via their website below.