Bespoke Armstrong ceiling stuns in Scotland

An Armstrong suspension grid for plasterboard ceilings, which is up to 40% quicker to install than traditional systems, has been used as the foundation for a completely bespoke, visually stunning day care centre ceiling that was created at a fraction of the cost of a specialist solution.

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rmstrong’s Drywall Grid System (DGS) was used to form a curved ceiling at Scottish War Blinded’s new Hawkhead Centre for visually impaired veterans in Paisley, Scotland. Other Armstrong systems have been used in a different new building on the same former garden centre site – the Jenny’s Well care home for older people with sight loss, run by Scottish War Blinded’s sister charity Royal Blind.

The Hawkhead Centre, designed by Page\Park Architects, features 1500m⊃2 of Armstrong’s DGS facetted system in the atrium/foyer, formed to a radius and using acoustic insulation above, a black acoustic fabric and finished with birch-faced plywood planks 165 and 225mm wide.

This steel-framed facility provides an easy-to-navigate layout through the gymnasium hall, workshop, art room, living skills kitchen, IT room, therapy room and quiet garden room.

The Jenny’s Well care home features Armstrong Ceiling solutions in the main entrance, reception and manager’s offices, all the corridors, back of house staff areas, kitchens and toilets. These included 1000m² of Armstrong’s Perla and 250m² of Ultima + dB Cradle to Cradle-certified tiles, as well as 350m² of Dune Max, all mineral with tegular edges installed on an Armstrong 24mm exposed grid.

In addition, it featured Clean Room-rated Parafon Hygien tiles to the main kitchen and humidity-resistant Hydroboard tiles to laundry areas and toilets, both square-edged 600 x 600mm in a 24mm corrosion-resistant grid. The use of a 200mm-high Axiom profile also provided a solution for ceiling level changes with a pre-finished bespoke upstand.

This 54-bed, two-storey facility has been organised in a layout of three ‘pavilions’ to the north-east and west and a ‘gateway’ building to the south-east providing access.

The CE Marked and Cradle to Cradle-certified DGS and other Armstrong systems were supplied by CCF in Glasgow and installed for main contractor CCG (Scotland) Ltd by specialist sub-contractor Brian Hendry Interiors, a member of Armstrong’s Green Omega network of sustainably-certified installers, whose squad of specialist fixers completed over a six-month programme.

Managing Director, Brian Hendry, said: “This was a very challenging project, requiring careful pre-planning, the highest attention to detail and accuracy in setting out. Quality was of the highest standard of installation and required exact sizing to ensure the finished timber planks fitted to the DGS, all aligning through. It is a testament to the quality and hard work of our fixers and the experience of our supervisor that this project looks so impressive.

“The DGS system was built using a jig to pre-determined radii and then raised and installed at high level to provide a curve. As a unique and bespoke installation, we had to constantly liaise with the architects to ensure their aesthetic requirements were met and verify all the different components which meant the complete ceiling could be built within the tolerances required.

“The Armstrong Drywall Grid System facetted system was a perfect fit for this type of bespoke ceiling which could be altered on site, allowing much more flexibility compared to the specified traditional MF pre-determined off-site curved grid system. Armstrong’s Drywall Grid System was also quick and easy to install.”

Page\Park Architect’s Martin Flett said: “The ceilings are crucial to the visual impact of the building and the integration of building services and acoustics.

“The Armstrong system forms the frame for the decorative ceiling linings and building services integration. It dovetailed well with the aesthetic and performance requirements and is clever in how it allows you to form a curve from a facetted framing system.”

Armstrong DGS installation specialist (North), Martin Dalby, explained that the DGS system was first covered with 100 x 6mm plywood strips to which the black acoustic fabric was fixed. Then the fixers used pre-finished 9mm plywood perpendicular to the ply lining to provide the finished aesthetic. Acoustic insulation was installed within the void to ensure high acoustic performance to the rooms and spaces below.

He said: “The advantage of using the DGS on this project was that a very expensive bespoke system to provide the finish was not required. The DGS facetted system had a relatively low lead time compared to other solutions in the market and the components were extremely cost-effective.

“Fitting the finished timber was the slowest part of installing this system but because of all the planning and setting out work carried out early on in the project with the fitting of the DGS framework, we had avoided all the lighting bays and there was no further work to be done altering the system.”

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