Personnel located at the headquarters of a major supermarket chain in the north of England have warmed to their new working environment, thanks in part to the specification of raft ceiling structures from the range of Ecophon for the offices, which not only offer visual appeal and acoustic control but help keep the workspace cool.

In fact the choice of the Focus D and Focus Wing installations by project architects, Farrell and Clark, proved instrumental in improving the energy performance of Booths Central Office, located in the Ribbleton area of Preston.

In essence, avoiding the use of conventional suspended ceiling systems within the environmentally conscious designs for the development enabled the building’s structure to be employed to moderate the internal temperature. This passive approach to cooling within the building services strategy, avoids the need for high cost, energy hungry air conditioning.

The Project Job Runner for Farrell and Clark, Mr Nick Cooper, comments: “The principle of using the thermal mass of the concrete slabs to help cool the building overnight was established early in the design process. The inclusion of a traditional suspended ceiling, with a void above, would have isolated the slab from the space below. In acoustically sensitive areas a simple yet visually appealing ceiling solution was required while still allowing the air flow across the slab.”

“Having decided on the use of a ‘floating’ system the designs were developed in conjunction with Sound Ceilings, the specialist contractors, who put forward the idea of using Focus Wing. The ceiling solution has helped achieve a naturally ventilated building, with a good overall level of working light, and the client seems very happy with the project.”

The different rafts installed using Focus D and Focus Wing incorporate a mix of uplighters and spotlights to give good ambient and task illumination.

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