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Airport Decides To Renovate – Not Replace – Ceiling System

Before a recent renovation, Denver International Airport had a 12-year-old ceiling system with discolored or sagging panels. So the city of Denver hired Wong Strauch Architects to design a new system.



Before a recent renovation, Denver International Airport had a 12-year-old ceiling system with discolored or sagging panels. So the city of Denver hired Wong Strauch Architects to design a new system.

The architects first considered demolishing the entire ceiling system and installing a new one, an expensive option that would greatly disturb the airport’s concourses. But a consultation with a CertainTeed Ceilings representative and Acoustics Systems, a ceilings contractor, resulted in a solution that would allow the airport to keep the existing ceiling grid and replace the old ceiling panels with CertainTeed panels, trimmed to fit the existing grid.

This would save the city about $2 million and cause less disturbance to building occupants and personnel. CertainTeed also was able to provide a facility to recycle the jobsite refuse, one of Denver’s requirements in the project.

After viewing a variety of CertainTeed Ceilings products, officials determined CertainTeed® Sand Micro™ Classic Mineral Fiber ceiling panels met all of the airport’s needs.

“The Denver International Airport wanted a cutting-edge ceiling design featuring panels with a more contemporary, smooth, tailored look and a resistance to the staining often caused by jet fuel exhaust,” says John Yancey, senior associate at Wong Strauch Architects. “We chose the Sand Micro ceiling panels because they met all of these requirements and had the most sophisticated look.”

Sand Micro is a mineral fiber ceiling panel with a pulverized-marble aggregate coating that offers an upscale look with enhanced durability and resistance to sagging. Its lightly textured surface provides an attractive finish with light reflectance, and micro perforations in the panel absorb sound. The ceiling panels also are coated with BioShield™ to prevent mold or mildew growth.

“Sand Micro Ceiling Panels roll several beneficial features into one product, making them ideal for many different applications,” says Cedric Woindrich, CertainTeed Ceilings’ vice president and general manager. “An international airport demands a ceiling that is durable and resistant to staining, allowing its visual appeal to resonate for many years to come.”

In September 2007, Acoustics Systems began removing old ceiling panels and installing 375,000 square feet of Sand Micro panels throughout the airport’s three concourses. The ceiling tiles removed from the site were shipped in eight truckloads to the CertainTeed Ceilings plant in Meridian, Miss., where they were recycled and used in the manufacturing of other CertainTeed products. This sustainable method of jobsite refuse disposal benefited all parties involved in the project.

“This has been a win-win situation for everybody,” says Kyle Watts, plant manager for the Meridian plant. “We needed the raw materials, and the customer needed to get rid of the old ceiling panels. This is also great because that’s 300,000 square feet of ceiling panels that won’t be taking up space in a landfill.”

The installation of the new panels has gone well, and the new ceiling already has received excellent reviews from airport management.

“It looks great, and everybody involved agrees that the new ceiling panels have really made a huge difference in the appearance of the concourses,” Yancey says. “We’re very pleased with how this project has turned out.”

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