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Armstrong: Total Acoustics Ceiling Panels Play Leading Role in 'Office Spaces' TV Show



Deerfield Beach, Fla. — June 1, 2016 — Armstrong Total Acoustics ceiling panels play a leading role in the new Office Spaces TV show airing on Lifetime Television.

The new reality series, hosted by interior designer Kalyn Rothaus, reveals the step-by-step transformation of an existing warehouse into the new corporate headquarters for BrandStar, the educational programming unit for Lifetime.

“One of my biggest challenges was designing a bullpen area for about 54 employees that still supports focused work,” Rothaus said of her workplace makeover. “Employees are on the phone. They’re chatting with each other. They’re expected to work as a team. I needed to manage all that noise.”

After researching which ceilings would provide the best sound absorption (Noise Reduction Coefficient or NRC) and best sound blocking (Ceiling Attenuation Class or CAC), the on-air host decided on Armstrong ceiling panels (see photo) with Total Acoustics performance.

Working with Armstrong to identify a look, a performance expectation, and a budget that would satisfy the building owner, Rothaus specified Calla ceiling panels with Total Acoustics performance. “I knew it would be ideal for private offices where sound blocking is important, as well as wall-to-wall ceilings in open spaces where noise reduction is crucial,” she said.

During an on-air interview with Sean Browne, principal scientist for Armstrong Ceilings, Rothaus learned that Calla ceiling panels have an NRC of 0.85, meaning they absorb 85 percent of the sound that strikes them, and a CAC of 35, which helps block sound transmission into adjacent spaces that share a common plenum.

“You can use Total Acoustics ceiling panels throughout the space — in the private offices and the bullpen,” Browne said. “Then, if you reconfigure the space to adapt to new uses, you already have the right ceiling panels for the acoustics you need.”

To break up the look of the ceilings in the open areas, Rothaus specified Armstrong Formations Acoustical clouds with Calla ceiling panels in Stone and coordinating aluminum Axiom trim.

"When we add in the stone color Formations clouds below the white wall-to-wall Calla ceiling, we are not only getting beautiful design, but also another layer of sound absorption,” Rothaus said.

After adding a Dynasound sound masking system to further suppress unwanted sound, Rothaus brought in Brooks Acoustics Corp. to measure the acoustical performance of the space. The acoustical consultant found that the private offices achieved reverberation time of 0.4 seconds and a Privacy Index of 100 percent, optimizing speech intelligibility and ensuring speech privacy between adjacent spaces.

In the private offices, which share a common plenum, the walls extend only 6 to 8 inches above the ceiling plane. “Using Total Acoustics ceiling panels was the only hope for achieving confidential speech privacy in the closed offices,” Browne said.

To further ensure speech privacy, narrow linear light and HVAC fixtures were installed away from the walls in the center of the room. "This further reduced any impact sound leakage could have on the Privacy Index," he added.

In the much larger bullpen area, reverberation time remained 0.4 seconds. With a Privacy Index of 80 to 90 percent, normal speech privacy was achieved between adjacent workstations.

“I couldn’t be happier with the look of Calla ceiling panels with Total Acoustics performance,” Rothaus said at the conclusion of the show's Episode 6, which focuses on noise reduction. “The combination of sound absorbing and sound blocking makes it a perfect solution for the entire building.”

For more information about the show, visit Office Spaces.

For more information about Total Acoustics and other Armstrong ceiling products, click here.

Armstrong World Industries Inc. (AWI) is a global provider in the design and manufacture of innovative commercial and residential ceiling, wall, and installation system solutions. With over 3,700 employees and fiscal 2015 revenues from ceiling operations in excess of $1.2 billion, AWI operates from a global manufacturing network of 25 facilities, including 10 plants dedicated to its WAVE joint venture. 


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