Nov 28 2012 , New Delhi
A suspended ceiling is a great way to hide unattractive floor joints, pipes and wirings and simplifies repairs and alterations
When you are remodeling your living space, consider installing a suspended ceiling instead of going through the difficult task of working with drywall overhead. A suspended ceiling is a great way to hide floor joints, pipes and wirings that make your house unattractive. The one major requirement for installing a suspended ceiling is availability of sufficient room height.
Suspended ceilings can appear dull and featureless, consisting of a basic grey grid with off-white acoustic tiles. Though, there’s no need for it to remain in such a condition. With a bit of paint you can change the colour of grid and tile, creating an accent for the rest of the room.
Thomas Johan, senior GM — retail operations and institutional sales, @home by Nilkamal, India’s leading manufacturer of material handling systems, said, “The development in wooden laminated and designer ceilings business in India is expanding and foresees a lot of potential for growth. The soundscaped technology is ideal solution for schools, colleges and hospitals in order to control the noise level.”
From conservative to contemporary, understated to ornate, ceilings are increasingly being used to reflect the emerging trends in interior design and complement a wide variety of tastes, room settings and budgets.
The ceilings market in India witnessed a boost when Armstrong introduced acoustical modular ceilings in mid 90’s. The trend towards modular ceilings is being witnessed across public spaces like lobbies and corridors as well as in image projects like airports and metro rail stations. A lot of interior material companies have developed special teams for architectural specialties to keep pace with the growing trends in interior design.
Techzone from Armstrong is a new concept that helps de-clutter the ceiling by organising services in a narrow zone. Large format panels reduce the visible grids and lend a great design concept that can be customised to suit the architect’s design and optimise position of service fixtures.
“The various aspects to decide an appropriate ceiling depends on the budget, interiors, colours, durability and ceiling material. Understanding the different ceiling ideas and options makes it easier to design according to your requirements. Scrubbable applications are useful where cleanliness is a priority like hospitals. They are washable and provide an easily maintained ceiling,” Johan said.
Ease of modification
Another advantage of a dropped ceiling is that the easily removed ceiling panels offer instant access to the plenum, greatly simplifying repairs or alterations.
Wiring and piping installed behind traditional plaster or wallboard ceilings is extremely difficult to modify once the finished ceiling is in place. Wires must either be fished through hollow spaces in the walls behind the finished ceiling, or the ceiling must be demolished in order for any wiring or piping changes.
In contrast, tiles and other parts of a drop ceiling can be easily removed to allow access to the area above the grid for any necessary wiring or plumbing modifications. During remodeling, nearly all components of the grid can be dismantled and reassembled somewhere else.
In offices, drop ceiling is often used in conjunction with hollow steel studs to construct small office spaces out of a much larger cavernous space. Wiring and other services run through the open ceiling, down through hollow stud walls, and to outlets in the work areas. If business needs change, office spaces are easily dismantled and the overall cavernous space reconfigured with a different floor plan.
As a renovation tool, dropped ceilings are a quick and inexpensive way to repair a ceiling and reduce costs. However, over time, white panels can take on a yellowish tinge from nicotine, wood smoke or home cooking. Any water leaks will develop into large, round, ugly stains. You can improve a suspended ceiling dramatically with simple paint and rollers.
How to go for it
Architects/designers are increasingly finding the need to differentiate themselves from the rest of their breed. The need is now manifesting into design and technology trends and, therefore, they want manufacturers and suppliers to offer them solutions like:
>> Interface solutions: Ceiling installations involve a lot of complex interface between services, like light fixtures, AC diffusers, fire related services and a host of electronic gadgets. It is left with a clutter after the installation due to poor coordination between various contractors. A ceiling system like Techzone can not only reduce issues arising out of coordination, but also results in a ceiling that looks clean and provide great functionality (better light reflectance and acoustics).
>> Transition solutions: Modular ceilings interface with other surfaces like dry wall, windows and may need to be carried into different levels, apart from incorporating details like blinds and ACs.
>> Design solutions: There are many spaces in an office that are in public view and seen by visitors, for example, receptions, lounges, meeting rooms, breakout zones. Every designer would want to leave his signature. Designers can choose from a range of wood, metal, translucents, mineral fibre to create innovative shapes like circles or trapezoids, use vivid colours or finishes like wood or metallic sheen, use interplay of light from translucent or opaque panel and change the look of the complete space.
Future of modular celling
There is a huge demand for green sustainability, which is a major criterion for selecting products in a project. Recycled content in building material saves the planet from depletion of precious non-renewable resources. High acoustic performance and low volatile organic compound content has a direct relation to the health of occupants. It is just a matter of time before end-users start demanding products that are green and the entire design community have already woken up to this fact, which is evident by the way the green revolution has taken shape.