Acoustic solutions suite with easy access to services at University of Birmingham
A suite of ceiling and wall acoustic solutions have been specified for The University of Birmingham’s new landmark Molecular Sciences building, which will provide a hub for research and academic work.
Designed for a variety of different users, the acoustic performance of the building has been enhanced through the use of 11 different ceiling and wall systems provided by manufacturer OWA UK.
A demountable hook-on metal ceiling system, specified with a 55% open area, was used in the laboratories, combined with black acoustic fleece and class A pads in some areas apart from lab spaces where a specific ventilation strategy was needed.
In the offices and study rooms, demountable metal ceiling rafts were installed to mask the major M&E services whilst enabling easy access for servicing and repair. The metal rafts were specified in eight different rectangular sizes and irregular trapezoidal shaped versions were installed in the lift lobbies. The rafts were fitted with class A pads to maximise acoustic absorption, with these areas also benefitting from acoustic wall panels.
In the main communal areas of the building, various ceiling systems were installed to control the acoustic reverberation, hide M&E installations, and improve design aesthetics, including a tubular aluminium baffle system, regularly-spaced tubes fitted with a full-length, integrated, LED light and bespoke perforated metal bulkhead panels. The corridor ceiling system uses a simple wall trim to support the panels instead of an overhead grid. The system is quicker to install and allows easier access to pipework and essential services which run through the ceiling void.
For the central staircase leading to an upper atrium area, acoustic ceiling solutions include bespoke rectangular panels beneath the stair runs and segmented panels beneath the semi-circular half landings and in the upper atrium, a clip-in wall panel system was specified to fit around the windows and grilles.