Malcolm Pirnie is one of the largest firms in the U.S. focused exclusively on environmental issues. Its Buffalo, NY office recently moved into new quarters. And, because of the nature of its specialty, the firm was looking for interior finishes that not only provided aesthetic and acoustic benefits to the space but were also environmentally responsible.
As part of the design of its new conference room, the firm installed a new WOODWORKS Ekos Wall System from Armstrong. Measuring 2' x 8´' in size, the wall panels consist of a mineral fiber substrate with a wood veneer.
The panels have 78% recycled content, no-added ureaformaldehyde and no-detectible formaldehyde emissions. “All of these were very attractive features, especially to an environmental firm,” states Malcolm Pirnie Senior Associate, Anne Marie McManus, P.E.
Aesthetics was another feature. Available in four wood finishes, the panels in the Pirnie conference room are Mahogany in color. “The look of wood definitely warms up a room and gives it a much richer feel,” McManus notes, “especially compared to drywall.”
Another key criteria was acoustics. “Two of the other walls are glass, so there are a lot of hard surfaces,” she says. Sound absorption was also a concern because the wall on which the new system is installed separates the conference room from an adjacent open office plan. To provide the desired acoustical performance, the Ekos panels used in the space are perforated.
Finally, McManus notes that the lightweight, easy-to-handle panels were installed quickly. “The wall treatment was installed in a day, while we were here.”
She also notes the staff is quite pleased with the result. “Everybody loves it,” she says.