Architectural Record BE - Building Enclosure

Understanding Code-Compliant Integrated Ceiling Solutions

Using modern ceiling installation systems to meet design intent, IBC code requirements, and construction schedules
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Sponsored by Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions
Amanda Voss, MPP

Design Details: Integrated Shade Pockets for Acoustical and Drywall Ceilings

Traditionally, ceilings (either acoustical or drywall), shade pockets, and shades require coordination between multiple trades, potentially leading to lengthier construction schedules and poor fit and finish. Pre-engineered extruded aluminum pocket and shade options provide seamless integration between a variety of acoustical and drywall ceiling types, making specification simpler and installation faster and easier, while eliminating additional trade coordination and reducing ceiling construction schedules by 50 percent or more. Pre-engineered shade pocket options also allow consistent quality control at the building perimeter, reducing time required to detail and specify. They can also be customized in depth and dimension to work with almost any popular shade option you might choose.

Design Details: Monolithic Ceiling Design

Traditional suspended ceiling systems are often riddled with lighting, HVAC, sprinklers, and other visual “nose” break points, disrupting the appearance of the ceiling plane and the design of the space. Integrated ceiling solutions offer the ability to organize layouts to reduce visual clutter and integrate lighting, air diffusers, and other accessories, such as sprinkler systems into “zones” as narrow as 4 inches wide.

Ceiling system with compact linear zones for light fixtures

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions

Ceiling system with compact linear zones for light fixtures

Some ceiling manufacturers prequalify lighting fixtures from partner companies for fit and finish. This option makes designing and installing a customized, integrated ceiling and lighting layout using standard ceiling panels and suspension systems faster and easier.

Integrating linear lighting fixtures in a symmetrical, on-center continuous, or non-continuous layout can also be done using factory-finished or made-to-order ceiling panels and suspension systems. Wall-to-wall and cloud or canopy LED light fixtures can now be easily installed without independent suspension, and comply with IBC Seismic Design Categories (SDCs) D, E, and F for areas with high or very high seismic vulnerability.

There are six SDCs ranging from A to F. Structures posing minimal seismic risk are assigned as an SDC A, and structures posing the highest seismic risk are assigned an SDC F category. As a structure’s potential seismic risk increases, as represented by the Seismic Design Category, the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions requires progressively more rigorous seismic design and construction as a means of attempting to ensure that all buildings provide an acceptable risk to the public. According to the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), structures are assigned to a Seismic Design Category based on the severity of ground shaking and other earthquake effects the structure may experience and the nature of the structure’s occupancy and use.

Design Details: Lighting Integration

Lighting integrated within a ceiling’s suspension system offers the benefits of code compliance, easy installation, and plug-and-play capability needed for today’s flexible spaces. Ceiling manufacturer suspension systems specifically designed for integration with lighting, reduce trade coordination and labor requirements. Lighting fixtures can even install from below into the ceiling suspension system, eliminating construction coordination hassles, while reducing required plenum depth.

For example, pre-engineered extruded aluminum light coves for direct and indirect applications can integrate with acoustical or drywall ceiling suspension systems even in low plenum clearance areas and provide predictable lighting performance with a variety of prequalified lighting partners. Installation time and labor are reduced up to 50 percent. Working with the ceiling manufacturer early in the process as the lighting plan is considered ensures details are per your specifications and are not solved for on the jobsite.

Pre-engineered lighting options include:

T-bar suspension system lighting: zero plenum lighting fixtures install like a standard cross tee for increased ceiling heights and minimal plenum interference.

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions

T-bar suspension system lighting: zero plenum lighting fixtures install like a standard cross tee for increased ceiling heights and minimal plenum interference.

Acoustical cloud lighting: custom-look acoustical clouds with integrated lighting are packaged in easy-to-specify kits. These options provide outstanding performance for collaborative and focus areas in open plenum environments.

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions

Acoustical cloud lighting: custom-look acoustical clouds with integrated lighting are packaged in easy-to-specify kits. These options provide outstanding performance for collaborative and focus areas in open plenum environments.

On-center linear lighting: acoustical suspension systems provide lighting layout symmetry options using standard components to compliment your building design.

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions

On-center linear lighting: acoustical suspension systems provide lighting layout symmetry options using standard components to compliment your building design.

Technical zone lighting: effectively integrate all technical services for an organized, simplified, monolithic ceiling visual, including lighting, diffusers, and sprinklers in metal, wood, and acoustical ceilings.

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions

Technical zone lighting: effectively integrate all technical services for an organized, simplified, monolithic ceiling visual, including lighting, diffusers, and sprinklers in metal, wood, and acoustical ceilings.

Direct and indirect cove lighting: pre-engineered extruded aluminum light coves with integrated light fixtures provide predictable lighting performance.

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Commercial Ceiling Solutions

Direct and indirect cove lighting: pre-engineered extruded aluminum light coves with integrated light fixtures provide predictable lighting performance.

 

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Originally published in Architectural Record

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