When architectural firm Perkins + Will designed the new 220,000-square-foot Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building at Texas A&M University – with the goal of LEED® Silver certification – one area given special attention was the building’s 285-seat auditorium, a space where high acoustical quality and innovative aesthetics were paramount.
In response to these needs, the architects developed a unique suspended cloud-style ceiling design for the space. To achieve the desired acoustical and aesthetic qualities of the ceiling, Perkins + Will specified CertainTeed Ecophon® Master™ Solo S, a ceiling panel used to create a suspended cloud-style design that offers high sound absorption.
“Our design features a pattern of ceiling panels in three different sizes,” says Paul Chappell, a senior associate at Perkins + Will’s Houston office. “We turned the panels at a 15-degree angle to match the angle of the north side of the building and create a textured look. The Ecophon Master Solo S ceiling panels fit well into this design, and provide the high sound absorption we need in the auditorium.”
Texas A&M hired general contractor J.E. Dunn Construction Inc. to build the structure. For the wall and ceiling portion of the project, Dunn contracted with Applied Finish Systems, Ltd., of Houston, to install 1,920 square feet of Ecophon ceiling panels. To meet the architect’s design specs, the contractor fabricated two custom sizes from 4-foot x 4-foot ceiling panels.
“Overall, the panels were very easy to install. Our crew set up in a warehouse, I gave them the dimensions, and they cut the 4 x 4 panels down on a table saw to meet our needs,” says James Harvel, project manager for Applied Finish Systems. “We were able to neatly cut the panels because they didn’t have any hardened, exposed edges. I was impressed with how the Master Solo S panels allowed us to establish an anchoring point without any hardened edges, unlike most panels in suspended ceiling systems.”
In addition to installing Ecophon Master Solo S panels in the auditorium, the crew installed 26,000 square feet of CertainTeed Symphony® f Performance Series ceiling panels in rooms and hallways throughout the building. The ceilings installation began in October of 2008 and finished in May of 2009.
Perkins + Will is pleased to have achieved its desired acoustical and visual design requirements. “The ceiling looks great, and we’ve received good feedback on the auditorium’s acoustical response,” says Chappell.
One of the largest facilities ever constructed on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas, the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building was designed to attract world-class scientists to Texas A&M.
The building features more than 30 stateof-the-art laboratories and a variety of other high-tech spaces.
Ecophon Master Solo S ceiling panels feature the Akutex™ FT surface, which provides 85 percent light reflectivity (LR) combined with nearly perfect light diffusion. Manufactured from highdensity fiberglass, the panels deliver superior sound absorption with an NRC of .95. The panels also feature painted edges, do not require a suspension system, and can be positioned at a variety of angles for a true floating ceiling effect.
Symphony f is a fiberglass ceiling panel offering exceptional durability thanks to the smooth Overtone® finish, and superior noise reduction to maximize interzone attenuation. It provides outstanding acoustical and thermal value, high light reflectance, humidity resistance, and LEED recycled content of 39 to 43 percent. The acoustical performance of this product may contribute to points under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED sustainability standards.
Ecophon® Master™ Solo S ceiling panels help create superior environments pleasing to the eye, the ear, and the mind.
Project: Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building
Location: Texas A&M University
Application: Acoustical Ceilings
Architect: Perkins + Will, Houston
Contractor: Applied Finish Systems, Ltd.