Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences | Improve Acoustic Performance

The Challenge:

The Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences is relocating to a new campus by converting a former commercial office building into the school’s administrative building and a former manufacturing facility into a 200,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art learning environment. One of the key interior design considerations in both buildings is the reduction of noise intruding into one space from an adjacent space.

The Solution:

According to Stantec associates, Deborah Knast and Jill Sirota, the college is dedicated to improving the acoustic environment of the new facilities. “The college is currently housed in a number of older buildings at another location,” states Knast, “and many of the spaces are not acoustically acceptable. As a result, the college is extremely sensitive to acoustics and does not want to replicate any of the existing conditions.”

To meet the acoustic, as well as the aesthetic goals of the new buildings, the design team selected Ultima® ceiling panels from Armstrong. The panels feature TOTAL ACOUSTICS performance, which is the ability to provide both sound absorbing and sound blocking in the same panel.

To deliver that performance, the panels have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.75, meaning they absorb 75% of the sound that strikes them, and a high Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) of 35, meaning they perform extremely well as a barrier to intruding noise.

"The high CAC was one of the main reasons we chose these ceiling panels,” states Sirota. “On this project, the ability to block noise from adjacent spaces was key in both the offices in the administrative building and the classrooms in the learning environment.” In addition to its 28 classrooms, Sirota and Knast note the learning facility also houses a large open collaboration area surrounded by a number of smaller enclosed spaces where students can work together outside the classroom. To improve the acoustic environment of both, the Total Acoustics ceiling panels will be installed around the perimeter of the open collaboration space as well as in the adjacent closed spaces.

Project: Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

Location: Lancaster, PA

Architect: Greenfield Architects

Products: ULTIMA ceilings