CEILINGS, INTERNAL WALLS AND PARTITIONS
The world’s most sustainable offi ce
The petal leaf ceiling in the Foster + Partnersdesigned
Bloomberg building – said to be the
world’s most sustainable offi ce, features Integrated
Ceiling Panels (ICPs) which combine acoustics,
lighting and ambient temperature control. This is
said to have played a crucial part in the building
achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating.
Sustainability was reportedly an overarching
objective for Michael Bloomberg, who insisted
on a considerate design from an architectural and
performance perspective. For SAS’ Special Projects team,
which oversaw the design, manufacture and eventual
installation of the scheme on-site, this was a truly
collaborative project and one that saw the company
deliver 24,000m2 of SAS product.
The petal-shaped ceiling plays a signifi cant part
in a building that is said to push the boundaries of
sustainability. In total, 3,916 ICPs were manufactured
and installed with 2.5 million petals attached to them.
The petal shape is not just an architectural feature;
it has been optimised by specialist software modelling
to give the best possible acoustic, thermal and light
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BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 8
refl ecting performance. The sculpted shape maximises
surface area to improve heat exchange and optimises
airfl ow to maximise convection. The slots allow air to
pass through, which also improves performance. In short
and from a temperature control perspective, the design
exceeds Category A thermal comfort, the highest level
achievable for an offi ce.
The ICPs feature 500,000 LED lights and reportedly
use 40% less energy than a typical offi ce design. Due to
the number of LEDs used, they run signifi cantly below
maximum output for the required light levels. They are
even more effi cient when cooled and operate with an
increased life expectancy.
When it comes to acoustics, the slotted petals and
the perforations mean that the surface is suffi ciently
open to allow enough sound to come through to the
mineral wool behind. Tested to Class A absorption levels,
the ceiling impressively and precisely manages acoustic
reverberation across the open plan offi ces.
Commenting on the project, Foster + Partners’
Michael Jones said: “Without the ceiling, the
sustainability wouldn’t be what it is.”
Maintenance and durability
A long-term investment for any project, metal
maintains its appearance considerably longer than
lower quality ceiling materials. Metal ceilings are
impervious to many of the common factors you
would associate with ceiling degradation. For
example, a non-porous material, metal does not
suffer from increased loading, sagging or unsightly
stains from burst water pipes. Neither will dust
and grime permeate the surface. This robust,
hardwearing material maintains its appearance,
offers ease of maintenance and full access to
Steel and aluminium are the most widely
recycled and reused materials in construction,
the benchmark for waste reduction. These highly
sustainable materials can be 100% recycled and
re-used repeatedly without degradation of quality.
A recent report by SAS International considered the
long-term value of metal over other ceiling materials.
When considering the increased life expectancy and
ease of maintenance, metal demonstrated a 47%
cost saving over a 20-year period.
Ceilings often combine with or discretely
hide otherwise unsightly M&E services. Metal
has always been an ideal material to integrate
lighting and other services within a considered
and functioning design. As part of a fi re protection
system*, metal ceilings can also accommodate
additional services such as sprinklers and smoke
detectors. However, as we move closer and closer
to more intelligent and smarter buildings, the
possibilities of integrating technology are endless.
When it comes to metal as a material for
ceilings, there are virtually no limits to what can
be achieved; it is possible to turn an imaginative
concept into a colourful and truly inspired design.
* It is not recommended that a suspended ceiling be relied
upon to protect the structural elements of a building. Metal
ceiling systems should be tested and certi ed in accordance
with UK and European standards.