Manufacturer goes online for the latest in its series of product catalogues.


Armstrong Ceiling Solutions has released its new mineral ceilings and suspension systems catalogue as an online flip book for ease of use and on-the-go accessibility.


The 106-page catalogue provides complete technical and product information on the manufacturer’s market-leading mineral ceilings and full system solutions, as well as its range of floating ceilings and options for specific applications – arming specifiers with all the information they need to make educated design decisions when specifying ceilings for new-build and refurbishment projects.


Kicking off with a product selector performance table that makes selection of acoustic mineral tiles super-simple, this ethos is carried through with a suspension systems product selector for quick and easy selection of compatible grid systems and concludes with an acoustical technical glossary detailing all the necessary acoustic performance considerations.


The catalogue reinforces Armstrong’s 150-year pedigree with information on the manufacturer’s smooth and white Ultima+, Perla, Sierra, Optima, Neeva and Plain ranges as well as Dune eVo, the first tile and grid system to gain Cradle to Cradle® Certified accreditation. All are available in multiple acoustic densities for total acoustic control and design flexibility. Classic tiles showcased include Fine Fissured and decorative tile options comprise the Colortone range.


Cradle to Cradle certification is explained along with Armstrong’s environmental commitment and pioneering ceiling recycling programme which saves contractors money by diverting waste from landfill.


Mineral solutions for specific requirements include anti-microbial Bioguard, Clean Room certified Parafon Hygien and Clean Room FL, and humidity-resistant Hydroguard and Ceramaguard while suspension systems include one resistant to corrosion.


Floating ceilings which open up an almost endless range of dramatic design possibilities and provide greater sound absorption than that of a traditional wall-to-wall ceiling include the Axiom range of square, rectangular, circular and curved canopies.


Suspension systems detailed within the catalogue include exposed and semi-concealed solutions for high design requirements, as well as those suitable for the integration of services, high load levels and special requirements such as corrosion, seismic resistance and Clean Room compatibility. Perimeter trims and accessories include edge profiles and transitions, blind boxes, and angles and channels for ultimate design flexibility.


As part of the objective to make the catalogue as informative as possible, it features an at-a-glance cleaning matrix, reaction to fire advise and references to the manufacture’s recommendations for installation and maintenance. More detailed information on these can be found on Armstrong’s new website


The new mineral ceilings and suspension systems catalogue also updates readers on Armstrong’s social media presence via Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.


The catalogue is available on

The pioneering programme is now even easier for contractors to use.


The pioneer of ceiling recycling schemes, Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, has fine-tuned its award-winning* programme to make it as simple and as accessible as possible.


It is now even easier for contractors to reduce their environmental impact and divert waste from landfill which also saves them money from the subsequent taxes as well as from skips and transportation costs.


All contractors are now required to do is simply take down the old Armstrong acoustic mineral ceiling tiles** and stack them on pallets. In partnership with the local distributor, Armstrong will arrange collection free of charge*** and the old tiles will be 100% recycled into new ceiling tiles at the company’s production facility in Gateshead.


The scheme for the UK and Ireland, which has been in place since 2003, enables Armstrong to minimise its impact on the environment by not only diverting its old products from landfill but also producing mineral ceiling tiles with even higher post-consumer recycled content, currently up to 82%.


As well as the support it gets from distributors, Armstrong has also developed a “green” branch of its Omega network of approved sub-contractors, specifically for those installers with proven recycling expertise .. and they claim that as well as saving them landfill tax it also makes then more attractive for main contractors to use.


Armstrong’s recycling programme for demolition, construction and renovation schemes has saved 15 million m2 of old ceiling tiles globally and diverted 61,000 tonnes of waste from landfill. And with 2,000m2 of recycled ceiling tiles equating to 7.6 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill, that is a 14,000 kWh saving on energy.


Projects have included the headquarters of main contractor Kier Construction, the temporary beach volleyball venue at Horse Guards Parade in London, and the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.


A member of the UK Green Building Council, Armstrong also a partner in the Ceilings Sustainability Partnership, a working party of the AIS (Association of Interior Specialists) technical committee, which delivers on the actions within the Mineral Wool Ceiling Tile Resource Efficiency Action Plan (REAP). The REAP plan is intended to help the sector reduce the amount of mineral wool ceiling tiles going to landfill.


Armstrong recycling case studies also feature as WRAP exemplars, including Birmingham University Hospital where almost 43 tonnes of ceiling tiles were diverted from landfill and an estimated 19.5 tonnes of embodied CO2 were offset.


A new recycling programme leaflet, which has all the criteria information and steps to follow, is available from


*Awards include Sustain Magazine 2010; Green Apple 2011; AIS (Association of Interior Specialists) Eco Innovation 2011.

**Dated after January 2000

*** Armstrong may apply charges in special circumstances, eg out of hours collections or multiple collections of small quantities.



Site designed to reflect offer of “the best products, value and service” at a click of a button.

Armstrong Ceiling Solutions has relaunched its website to better reflect its leading range of mineral fibre ceiling and suspension systems.

The site’s intuitive design makes finding inspiration, specification and installation resources faster and easier than ever before, and for those who like to browse on the go, it seamlessly adapts to mobile phones and tablets while maintaining a user-friendly experience.

The new website advises specifiers and installers on ceiling solutions that transform interiors by highlighting what’s new with the company in terms of products, professional development and services such as Armstrong’s newly-simplified ceiling recycling programme which continues to help contractors, and the environment, by diverting old tiles from landfill.

With clear precision, users are guided through Armstrong’s market-leading portfolio of mineral ceiling tiles, floating ceilings and suspension systems that have been built up over 150 years, including products with which Armstrong became the first European mineral ceiling tile manufacturer to achieve Cradle to Cradle™ status.

Visitors to the site can accurately match ceiling space requirements to a full system solution for their next project with ease by browsing products by segment and/or special application, for example anti-bacterial solutions for healthcare environments or systems for spaces with high humidity levels such as swimming pools and commercial kitchens.

Additionally, products can be searched by performance criteria such as acoustics, light reflectance, humidity and VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions, all of which contribute to building users’ well-being.

Users can access technical documentation and resources including data sheets, installation and warranty files, CAD drawings and BIM objects through the ‘Technical Library’ and get added inspiration from the latest images, videos and case studies in the ‘Project Gallery’ area.

The new website also makes it super-easy for users to order samples, contact a technical expert and stay up to date with all the latest developments by subscribing to a newsletter or opening a ‘My Armstrong’ account as well as staying connected on social*.

Users can easily find a member of Armstrong’s nationwide Omega network of specialist ceiling installers or even their nearest approved distributor branch through an improved online map search function which insightfully reveals their most local contacts.

Armstrong Ceiling Solutions is proud to be one of the true pioneers in the design and manufacture of world-class mineral ceiling and suspension systems and its new website is designed to reflect its mission statement “To offer customers the best products, the best value and the very best service possible,”

For a more in-depth look at the new website, go to

*Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Manufacturer’s Dune eVo tiles feature in an agile working programme.

Ultra-green ceiling tiles by Armstrong Ceiling Solutions are helping one of Britain’s leading utility companies focus on providing low-carbon, sustainable energy, alongside agile working, within its own offices.

In 2014, npower initiated a major programme to introduce agile working across its estate to benefit the wellbeing of its employees and enable the business to reduce its own energy overheads.

Agile working gives employees the freedom to choose where and how they work, be it from home a few days a week, from a client’s office or a café, or moving around different spaces within an office. The added benefit is that workers can save considerable time they would have otherwise spent on commuting into work, and with fewer workers coming into the office that means less power and water use, and fewer cars on the road.

As part of this programme, Armstrong’s new Dune eVo mineral ceiling tiles replaced the manufacturer’s traditional Dune tiles as part of a mechanical and electrical upgrade at npower’s office in Princes Way, Solihull, Birmingham (one of its largest offices, with typically around 600 employees on site during normal working hours).

Dune eVo was the first ceiling system in the industry to gain Cradle to Cradle™ accreditation. Being 100% recyclable, the range has been designed to provide class-leading visuals and improved acoustic performance through a new surface that is also brighter and smoother.

More than 2,000m2of the old Dune tiles were returned to the company’s production facility in Gateshead for recycling while the new Dune eVo tiles were installed over eight floors (550m2per floor) in two months by a team of six by main contractor Beacons Business Interiors (Bbi) for principal contractor Mitie.

The modern, highly efficient Solihull office, which significantly benefits from solar power, is home to npower’s commercial, sales, finance, human resources, communications and risk departments. It boasts an on-site restaurant, with a contemplation room and a number of quiet study rooms.

Bbi’s strategic business development director Paul Westlake said: “The project went very smoothly, with the Armstrong systems performing very well as usual. The fact that we offered a recycling scheme was a big positive as this was a refurbishment project and we diverted the old tiles from landfill.”

As one of Britain’s leading energy companies, npower serves around 3.6 million residential and business accounts with electricity and gas.

Julian Pugh, head of real estate and workplace at npower, said: “Our business aims to provide good value to its customers, operating in a professional manner, and is very much in the public eye. Our management of the workplace needs to follow a similar value-adding approach to the working experience of our employees.

“Since introducing flexible and agile working five years ago, one of the most important lessons we’ve learned is that agility isn’t a property strategy, it’s a people strategy. This has changed the dynamic of project perception, so instead of just looking at redesigning an estate around the most cost-effective use of property, we’ve also looked at it from the perspective of enhancing the experience of employees using it at every point on their work journey.”

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceiling Solutions website

With six billion people estimated to be living in cities by 2050, how can ceilings help accommodate such growth? Ian Clarke, commercial technical manager for Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, discusses.

The construction industry is at a critical juncture. Headcounts worldwide are growing, and growing fast – and the projected numbers are staggering. It’s predicted there will be nine billion people worldwide by 2050, with two out of every three living in cities by the same date. For those tasked with designing and building our cities, the challenges of such accelerated growth quickly add up. From skills shortages and needlessly complicated supply chains to a fear of embracing BIM, it’s never been more important to face the challenge head on.

But what can be done today to help counter the increased building demand of tomorrow? Simply put, a drive towards greater construction efficiency. To this end, any opportunity for increased simplicity and proficiency should be welcomed. While the building envelope is an obvious focus for building faster and more effectively, the internal space should not be overlooked.

Start how you mean to go on

While the outside of a building goes a long way to define architectural appeal, it’s the interior space which creates comfort and usability. By enhancing light and acoustics, ceilings are a critical aspect of this process, and they are an area where architects, specifiers and installers all stand to benefit from enhanced methodologies.

Involving ceiling manufacturers at the beginning of the design and specification stage is critical. In doing so, a more collaborative, transparent working environment is established where questions from all parties are openly asked and existing conventions are challenged. The result is that key concerns are raised earlier, leading to less rework down the line. A team that’s working together clearly and cohesively also works more efficiently, which will become increasingly important as demand and population figures continue to rise.

On call with one call

In our always-on world, everyone expects to be able to get what they want with a single tap, click or call. The ceiling industry is no different. It’s why, at Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, we provide everything from industry-leading products and expert support right through to training. For example, in the UK 90% of Armstrong products are available next day, while a 24-hour call-to-site service is also available. This approach aids efficiency by greatly simplifying supply chains and, in turn, minimising exposure to unforeseen delays.

Working the right way, right away

Increasingly, contractors are being asked to take on greater responsibility and become jacks of all construction trades. This is leading to increased levels of superficial knowledge and a move to hiring generalists over specialists. While some short-term benefits may exist, the long-term inefficiencies in moving away from specialist expertise are likely to cause serious issues in terms of meeting demand and maintaining quality standards.

By realising this, we’ve made it a clear mission at Armstrong Ceiling Solutions to maintain specialisation and in-depth knowledge in contractors’ skillsets, combining comprehensive training at the renowned Armstrong Installation School, technical support from our ceiling specialists and – in the UK – the Omega Contractor programme of Armstrong recognised specialist ceiling installers. As a result, contractors are able to draw on both their experience and comprehensive, targeted expertise in order to deliver best practice in terms of cost and construction efficiencies.

Win with BIM

The digital age is playing an ever-increasing role in all aspects of construction, meaning a meticulous attention to data is no longer a need, but a must. And Building Information Modelling (BIM) is set to play an ever more prominent role in terms of delivering ceiling construction efficiency.

The benefits of BIM are manifold, not least in terms of improving collaboration and enhancing decision-making. It also greatly reduces rework and eliminates costly duplication of drawings, freeing up talent and capital to be used elsewhere. Yet many within the industry are still not yet fully equipped to deal with BIM, preferring instead to rely on time-proven methodologies. But with just 30 years before we reach the estimated worldwide populace of nine billion, it’s way past time for the industry at large to embrace future-facing technologies and techniques; to look proactively at methods that will enable all of us to construct a more efficient future for all.

Building efficiency into products

While service and support help increase project efficiency, it’s important also to consider the role of the products themselves – in terms of both ease of installation and environmental sustainability. In both cases, Armstrong Ceiling Solutions builds efficiency into its portfolio.

To complement our world-leading range of tiles, we’ve developed a range of highly engineered products – including grids and canopy kits – which simplify installation and maintenance, helping minimise time on site and accelerating project completion.

Last but not least, there’s the efficiency in the products themselves. Currently, some 60% of all materials are used in creating and maintaining our built environment – with a significant amount enduing their service life in landfill. Products which can be recycled and re-used therefore add value to the process as well as to our planet. Among Armstrong Ceiling Solution’s range are a number of products certified as ‘Cradle to Cradle’ (C2C), which means they’re responsibly manufactured and endlessly re-usable. Already a requirement for certain projects in the United States and Europe, C2C is sure to become more widespread, helping contractors provide transparency and protecting our environment for future generations.

To learn more about how Armstrong Ceiling Solutions can help you construct a more efficient future, visit

New fully-concealed edge to Ultima+ mineral tile range combines form with function.

To meet the growing trend for monolithic ceilings as well as sustainable interior solutions, Armstrong Ceilings has enhanced its popular Ultima+ range with a new fully-concealed ceiling system solution.

Called Finesse, the fully-concealed, fully-painted edge detail combines the uniform visual popular in contemporary design with the key benefits of suspended ceilings.

Its sleek monolithic visual has been designed to appeal to architects and interior designers while its ease of accessibility for maintenance will be equally attractive to building managers. This is complemented by ease of installation for contractors who can pre-define accessible tiles when planning the installation.

Available in 600mm x 600mm and 1200mm x 600mm modules, the tiles can be installed in standard and staggered layouts. Ultima+ Finesse ceilings feature all the advantages of the Ultima+ system but with no visible grid.

The Ultima+ range offers acoustic and aesthetic advantages such as its Class C sound absorption performance, ISO 5 Clean Room Classification, and a bright-white finely-textured surface. This surface finish not only provides high light-reflectance but also excellent cleanability, scratch-resistance and a longer life.

Manufactured with up to 36% recycled content, it is also 95% humidity resistant and the tiles’ 87% light reflectance helps achieve 16% cost savings compared with indirect lighting. These factors help to make the Ultima+ Finesse edge detail particularly suitable for open and closed-plan spaces such as lobbies, reception areas and corridors in offices, healthcare and education establishments, and retail outlets.

With Ultima+ Finesse, specifiers can now choose healthy materials for their next interior project as both the tile and grid are Cradle to Cradle™ certified. The Ultima+ range is also fully recyclable and can be re-used continuously, helping architects and interior designers meet sustainable targets.

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website


The refurbishment of a ward at Bristol children’s hospital includes printed ceilings.

Hospital stays for children striving against cancer in the Bristol area are now more positive and stimulating, thanks to Armstrong Ceiling Solutions and its chosen charity Rays of Sunshine, a charity that brightens the lives of recovering children by granting their wishes and providing support in hospitals.

A refurbishment of the oncology day beds unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, part of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, includes acoustic ceilings featuring sky scenes and shoals of fish to reflect its new name as the Ocean Unit.

The ceiling systems donated by Armstrong, totalling almost 300m2, were installed for free as a part of a ward wish by specialist sub-contractor H + L ceilings- a member of Armstrong’s approved national network of Omega contractors.

The BioGuard ceiling tiles that feature anti-bacterial benefits for healthcare environments were finished with a coating of sky scenes in the recovery bay for older children, a school of fish swimming down a river in the reception/waiting area corridor, and a shoal of fish in a small treatment room.

They were installed by a team of three from H + L over two weekends, with the old tiles from the 10-bed ward being sent to Armstrong’s factory in Gateshead for recycling and the company’s streamlined TLS grid, which is up to 20% faster to install, replacing the existing suspension system.

Around 35% of the total tiles were white and screen-printed which Armstrong supplied with a number on the back so H+L could follow appropriate layout guidelines.

Armstrong became involved in the project after its chosen charity Rays of Sunshine identified the refurbishment of the ward, which had not been updated for 15 years, under its Hospital Ward Wish programme.

This works to, among other elements, decorate treatment rooms to transform sterile spaces into stimulating environments which provide a distraction and enable children to respond better to treatment.

The refurbishment of the Ocean Unit, which has two six-bed bays and four single rooms as well as four consulting rooms, and looks after all oncology, haematology and bone marrow transplant children up to 19 years, also included new wall art and furniture.

H+L director Darren Hopkins said: “When Armstrong asked us to install the project we were more than happy to get involved. It was treated like any other job but the installation team volunteered themselves for the weekend work.”

And of the tile numbering system he added: “We have never had to work that way before but it was pretty easy to install by following the instructions Armstrong gave us.”

Jane Sharpe, CEO of Rays of Sunshine, said: “A very big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen. The ceiling makeover will make such a massive difference to the children visiting the ward for treatment. It will make their time there so much more bearable and will put lots of smiles on lots of faces.”

Jane Thomas, donations co-ordinator for the children’s services division of University Hospitals Bristol, thanked Armstrong for their support in “transforming” the ceilings for the patients and their families.

She said: “The work completed by Armstrong Ceilings has made the area a brighter but still calm place for the children to be in, with the fish gently swimming through. Especially popular is the large bay under the tropical picture where the children can recover following treatment.”

Isabel Blanco, Armstrong’s marketing communications manager, said: “Our latest exercise for Rays of Sunshine was particularly rewarding as it was easy to see the difference the bright, fun ceilings made to the children.”

BioGuard tiles are cleanable and perform to Sound Absorption Class C and Clean Room Classification ISO 5. They are also 85% light reflecting and 95% humidity resistant and manufactured from 42% recycled content.

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website

Black metal ceilings are a key feature of HSBC UK’s new headquarters.

Armstrong Ceiling Solutions were specified for key features in a next-generation UK headquarters building because they are the architect’s trusted brand capable of supplying a complete system.

Armstrong’s B-L302 jet black custom-mesh metal planks were complemented by the manufacturer’s Bandraster grid and Axiom blind box on levels 1 and 2 of the “university” reception, marketplace (canteen) and break-out areas for HSBC UK’s new headquarters at 1 Centenary Square at Arena Central in central Birmingham.

They were selected by regular Armstrong users TP Bennett architects who, while referring to the client’s design guidelines, wanted at the same time to innovate to create a new kind of headquarters for HSBC UK to focus on retail banking and training for 2,500 people.


Located on nine acres of a key regeneration area for the city and the former home of Carlton TV, the 11-storey, 210,000ft2 building with three basement levels is constructed of steel frame with rainscreen cladding and houses offices, the HSBC university, a staff gym, restaurant and café, and an executive suite with catering.

Extensive landscaping and external public realm works help to create a new “urban meadow” and public square at what is now known as Bank Court for developers ACDL – a joint venture between Miller Developments and Pro Vinci Asset Management.

The Armstrong systems form the main feature ceiling in the university reception area and the key break-out and collaboration areas and comprise 283m2 of 1210mm x 687mm metal planks with 71% open mesh area along with 193 metres of 100mm Bandraster unslotted exposed suspension grid and 272 metres of 100mm Axiom Blind Box transitions, both also in jet black (RAL 9005).

TP Bennett associate director and interior designer Francesco Tidona said: “We specified the Armstrong systems because they are a trustworthy company who are able to provide a full system which is convenient as it includes the mesh tiles and the supporting structure as well the proprietary Blind Boxes which we integrated with linear luminaires.”

They were installed for main contractor GallifordTry over two months by a team of 10 from specialist sub-contractor Taylor Hart, a member of Armstrong’s national network of approved Omega installers.

Managing director Phil Lewis said: “The Armstrong products were excellent, incorporating a Blind Box to allow M&E to install lights into the system in place of the Bandraster grid in various areas. The system was easily built and the colour march was of a high quality for each of the components.”

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website

Photos: Jack Hobhouse

Refurb of Radio House is set to send potential tenants Ga Ga.

Ceiling systems from Armstrong were specified for the £7 million high-spec refurbishment of a landmark Cambridge building for their cost effectiveness and functionality.

The striking wall-to-wall ceiling solutions featuring in the makeover of Radio House, which is renowned for its wave-form barrel-vaulted roof, allow for flawless transitions between varying ceiling materials, including Armstrong’s demountable metal MicroLook 8 1200mm x 300mm rectangular panels and plasterboard margins, to provide a streamlined visual which is versatile and exceptionally functional.

On the ground floor and part of the first floor, Armstrong’s Drywall Grid System (DGS) was pre-configured to the required shape to form a sloping bulkhead around the perimeter which allowed for safer installation and a reduced working height in these offices.

The sloped bulkhead was joined to the metal area with Axiom transitions, creating a seamless finish. The recyclable white metal lay-in planks were extra micro-perforated and backed with a black acoustic fleece to perform acoustically to sound absorption performance 0.70 aw and sound attenuation performance 31db and were installed using a Prelude 15mm XL2 grid.

Using Armstrong’s DGS system to lay out the openings for lighting, air grilles and plasterboard margins allowed for faster and accurate boarding and meant no cutting out was needed post-installation.

The ceiling systems were specified by Aukett Swanke architects whose brief was to refurbish the building internally and externally to bring the internal layout and services up to modern standards, to celebrate and enhance the positive aspects of the building envelope, and to improve the areas of the existing envelope which were no longer fit for purpose.

Radio House now offers approximately 7,452ft2 to 43,382ft2 of BREEAM “Excellent” Grade A office space in a self-contained building situated in the Chesterton Conservation Area between the city centre and the northern fringe business parks. It was vacated by the critical communications company Sepura who moved their headquarters elsewhere in the city.

The distinctive building underwent an 18-month comprehensive refurbishment to provide a new main entrance and central core with double-height reception, full access raised floor, and Armstrong’s suspended ceilings on the ground floor with a floor to ceiling height of 2.7m. The feature ‘wavy’ roof on first floor has a floor to ceiling height of between 2.95m and 4.75m.

Aukett Swanke studio principal Daniel Winters said: “We carried out a careful design process that balanced the constraints of the existing building and budget to deliver a transformation that retained and augmented the special qualities of the existing building and its landmark wave form roof. The Armstrong products helped us deliver that by being cost effective and functional.”

The CE Marked and Cradle to Cradle™ certified DGS and metal tiles were installed by specialist sub-contractor Lorus Projects who were joined on site by Armstrong Drywall Grid specialists to go through the build and ensure the fixing teams were fully educated on the process.

The building’s external appearance was rejuvenated with careful integration of terracotta cladding systems, with brick slips appropriate within the Cambridge and Chesterton area which will bolster the building’s heritage qualities.

Will Heigham from agents Bidwells said: “Finding Grade A office space in Cambridge is a huge challenge because office supply levels have fallen to the lowest level for 15 years and availability rates are down to just 8.5%. What this means is that there is very little space available, let alone units of over 10,000ft2.

“Radio House’s completion therefore represents a real opportunity for existing Cambridge occupiers looking for new open-plan expansion space or new entrants considering establishing themselves in Cambridge.

“A huge amount of money has been invested in upgrading Radio House and it will provide efficient and substantial open plan floors, with flexible floorplates, that will appeal to a wide variety of occupiers from professional services to the technology sector.”

Cambridge is home to a range of well-known R&D, technology and life sciences companies including AstraZeneca, Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Microsoft, Huawei and Apple.

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website

Photos: Claire Lize Photography

Systems, including a custom one, toe the visual line for collaborative teaching.

A myriad of metal wall-to-wall systems by Armstrong Ceilings were specified for a next-generation laboratory facility for their cost-effectiveness and versatility.

A total of 2,500m2 of them feature on the University of Birmingham’s Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) building which aims to replace traditional, discipline-specific laboratories with a range of innovative teaching methods beyond the classical bench-style laboratory model.

Armstrong’s DGS (Drywall Grid) system for plasterboard interfaces features as bulkheads alongside metal S-Clip F planks in laboratories, classrooms and meeting rooms while the metal clip-in F-L601 system has been used in corridors.

But arguably the most striking system is the custom C-Profile linear modular metal system used on the ceiling and the walls of the three-storey atrium as well as in corridors and break-out areas.

Rated BREEAM “Excellent”, the 72,120ft2 CTL building takes the shape of a robust brick structure with variation in materials and form to represent the three different internal laboratory environments. Large angled brise soleil made from gold anodised aluminium, which project over the main entrance, are reflected internally for continuity.

The purpose-built CTL building comprises wet, dry and e-laboratories, and along with a recent new laboratory in the School of Engineering building, represents a £40 million investment in Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at the university.

They enable the university to re-think the way STEM subjects are taught by making more effective use of staff time and resources through the efficient use of practical teaching space, innovations in teaching delivery and the reinvention of practical classes. This allows both undergraduate and postgraduate students to benefit from transformational teaching in a space designed to encourage and facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary working.

In addition, the CTL on the university’s Edgbaston campus provides a visually stimulating and interactive environment in which to showcase STEM subjects to a wider audience, providing a flexible space for outreach and business engagement activities, open days, events and CPD.

The recyclable ceiling systems were designed in conjunction with architects Sheppard Robson to reflect this focus on aesthetics but without loss of acoustic performance.

Armstrong Ceiling Solutions

Timothy Clement, design manager (construction) for main contractor Morgan Sindall, added: “The Armstrong systems were specified as a more cost-effective option to a system that was originally proposed while maintaining a similar aesthetic and quality for the client.”

Armstrong’s DGS is typically faster and easier to install than traditional drywall framing and at the CTL building the metal S-Clip F planks and metal clip-in F-L601 tiles were perforated for even greater acoustic performance. Despite its slender frames the C-Profile linear system incorporates services such as lighting and sprinklers.

The highly light-reflecting white Armstrong Ceiling Solutions were installed over six months by a team of up to 30 operatives from specialist sub-contractor Grimes Finishings, a member of Armstrong’s approved national network of Omega installers.

Grimes’ head of commercial operations Rob Harriman said: “In 25 years of working with suspended ceilings I believe this was the most technically challenging ceiling project I’ve ever been involved with or am aware of by some margin.

“But the Armstrong systems performed excellently and integrated into the build seamlessly and the project support from the Armstrong team was second to none.”

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website