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New Ceiling Meets Arkansas State University's Goals

Arkansas State University’s Humanities and Social Sciences building greeted its first students in the 2015-16 academic year. The building’s exterior was designed to complement the campus’ historic architecture and its modern interior to offer quiet, comfortable learning spaces. Helping accomplish these goals, the building features ROCKFON’s ceilings systems throughout its 120,000-square-foot, four-story facility.

The HSS building serves as a centerpiece linking Historic Mall to the west, the Caraway Mall to the south, and the new Campus Commons to the north. The structure dramatically defines the edges of multiple plazas and vistas. Inside, it encompasses more than 40 classrooms, laboratories, seminar rooms and approximately 140 faculty offices plus a large atrium for groups to gather.

HSS will have 24 percent more space than offered by the building it replaces, Wilson Hall. Arkansas State University’s oldest building, Wilson Hall eventually will be adapted and renovated for other uses.

Considered one of the largest instructional buildings on a university campus in the state of Arkansas, HSS has been constructed in four phases with an estimated budget of $36 million. The final phase was substantially completed in June 2015. This phase focused on the interior and site exterior and was completed in 16 months. The project first broke ground in Sept. 2008.

During the continued phased construction, the university incorporated some modifications as classroom count and size changed dramatically. Budgets remained top-of-mind in continuing from one phase to the next. In early 2014, as the fourth phase began, value-engineered options for the ceiling systems selections were reviewed. The existing specifications called for an acoustic ceiling tile with a white finish that met the requirements for Seismic Design Categories D, E and F and the high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70.

Good Looks and Performance on Budget and On Time

Meeting the project’s multiple requirements, ROCKFON provided a cost-effective bid request for substitution. ROCKFON Tropic 1020 stone wool acoustic ceiling was installed into a Chicago Metallic 4500 Ultraline heavy-duty bolt-slot suspension system. ROCKFON Tropic acoustic ceiling panels achieve an NRC of 0.85 and have a smooth, white finish. The 2-by-2-foot ceiling panels feature a square tegular narrow edge and shadow molding along the perimeter to create the desired aesthetic.

Ultraline suspension systems are mitered for continuous flow at the intersection to minimize the grid appearance and avoid an institutional feel, achieving a high-end, monolithic look. Contributing to speedy installation, the Ultraline suspension system’s stab-end cross tees give an audible ‘click’ when the cross tee is inserted fully. And, as with all of ROCKFON’s stone wool ceiling panels, Tropic panels are easy to cut and are 50-75 percent lighter than other ceiling panels making them easier to install.

ROCKFON stone wool ceiling panels are primarily made from abundantly available basalt rock and contain up to 42 percent recycled materials. These stone wool panels are inherently anti-microbial and sound absorbing, without needing to add treatments or associated costs. They also provide high light reflectance (LR 0.86) and UL Environment’s GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-emitting products.

The Ultraline suspension system further contributes to the ceiling system's anti-microbial performance and sustainable goals, in addition to being ICC-ES listed for seismic suspended ceiling applications. Providing low maintenance and long-term durability, these ROCKFON products supplied in North America are supported with a 30-year product warranty on the stone wool ceiling panels and a 40-year on the suspension system.

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