SCA Americas, a Swedish-based paper products manufacturer, recently moved into its new American headquarters in the Cira Centre in downtown Philadelphia.
According to Peter Levasseur, AIA, LEED® AP, Director of Sustainable Design for the architectural firm of EwingCole, the design priorities for the interior were: natural elements (water, earth and light), employee inclusiveness, and sustainability. He also notes that SCA was eager to pursue LEED® certification of the project.
“The challenge for EwingCole was to make aesthetic decisions that integrated all the environmental and technical issues inherent in open office environments, including such elements as daylighting, regional materials, recycled content products, acoustics, and top-shelf interior finishes,” he states.
Chosen for use was an ULTIMA ceiling system from Armstrong. Environmentally, the ceiling panels contain a high recycled content of 72.7%. They also have a very high light reflectance (LR) value of 0.90, meaning they reflect 90% of the light that strikes their surface.
“Daylight penetration was maximized not only to reduce lighting and energy loads, but also to enhance the quality of life of the employees,” Levasseur says. “Use of high light-reflectant ceilings helps extend the daylighting deeper into the space, creating a more enjoyable workspace.”
Using ceiling tiles that are recyclable was an added bonus. At SCA Americas, 83% of all the waste generated during the course of construction never made it to a landfill. “The fact that the ceiling not only contains a high recycled content but also can be recycled after its useful life is a great benefit when striving to attain high sustainable design goals,” Lavesseur says.
And, he should know, judging by the LEED® for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Gold Certification plaque now adorning the SCA Americas reception area.