Offices. We’ve all been in one at some point in our lives. People spend almost as much time inside them than their own home and almost all of us have experienced a badly designed, poorly lit one (some of us have been unfortunate to work in these spaces). In 2008, Haynes carried out research which found out that as satisfaction and comfort within a work area increased, so too did productivity. When ceiling and wall design is poor the satisfaction and comfort go down, so too does the productivity. Armstrong Ceilings were drafted in to ensure that Wirral Waters in Birkenhead was as appealing as it could be to workers, resulting in high productivity rates and increased morale.
The office sits within one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK and is an award-winning, Grade A building. The space that Armstrong had to work with was 5,000m² and the work had to be of high quality to set the standard for all buildings within the regeneration project.
About the tools for the required job, Armstrong write:
Armstrong’s R-H 200 standard perforated metal hook-on planks with acoustic inlay within a concealed grid, were specified by regular Armstrong users Falconer Chester Hall Architects for the feature ceiling of the atrium of the Kingsgate building at Birkenhead in Wirral Waters which was built at a cost of £11.4 million.
They are complemented by Armstrong’s W-H 1000 standard perforated metal wall system on the four-storey walls, hooked on in a vertical brickwork pattern to match the ceiling. Both systems were supplied by Armstrong in bespoke sizes to aid installation… and in bright orange! The metal tiles in the atrium are complemented by Ultima+ OP Tegular mineral tiles and Ultima+ SL2 planks in the openplan offices and circulation areas.
This ceiling system (and the suspension grid too) is Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified in line with Kingsgate’s BREEAM “Excellent” rating. Manufactured with up to 64% recycled content, the Ultima+ range is available in three core densities that allow specifiers to engineer sound absorption and attenuation for optimum acoustic performance – standard Ultima+ giving medium density, Ultima+ OP giving low density (both variables were used at Kingsgate) and Ultima+ dB giving high density, up to 41 dB.
Stephen Fieldsend of Falconer Chester Hall said the Armstrong systems were specified to reduce acoustics in the open plan office areas which serve as the core business for The Contact Company in its role as a contact centre and in the main atrium with its feature wall and ceiling.
Incredibly pleased with the solutions that Armstrong brought, Fieldsend went on to say:
“We have worked with Armstrong continually on office developments. On this one particularly the Armstrong materials interface fantastically well with the other materials used on the project. We had continual help from Armstrong for the visual aesthetics to the main atrium space”.
For more information about this project and many more, as well as products, visit Armstrong’s website: