Inova Women's Hospital/Inova Children's Hospital

The Challenge:

The Inova Health System recently opened a new 12-story, 660,000-square-foot building that houses two distinct facilities – the Inova Women’s Hospital and the Inova Children’s Hospital. Because good acoustics plays such an important role in the health, safety, and well-being of patients and staff alike, the design team at Wilmot Sanz knew acoustics would have to be a key consideration in the interior environment of both facilities.  

The Solution:

One way the design team met its objective was the selection of ULTIMA ceiling panels from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions for use in much of the building, including patient rooms, treatment rooms, corridors, nurses’ stations, and consultation rooms.

“The acoustic performance of the ceiling was an important consideration,” states senior architectural designer Yiling Mackay. “Women who arrive to give birth are under a lot of stress. As a result, we wanted to create an environment to help make them feel more comfortable. One way to do that was to reduce the noise level.”

The ULTIMA ceilings help accomplish that goal by providing TOTAL ACOUSTICS performance, meaning they have the ability to both absorb noise in a space (NRC of 0.70) and keep it from traveling into adjacent spaces (CAC of 35). In addition to aiding patient comfort and recuperation, the panels can also help improve HCAHPS survey results as well as address HIPAA requirements.

Selected for use in the nurseries and NICUs were OPTIMA ceilings (NRC of 0.90) from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions. “Sound absorption was the key criterion here,” Mackay says, “because young babies are so sensitive to noise.” The ceilings are also installed in isolation rooms.

To help alleviate the stress of arriving mothers, Mackay notes that Armstrong METALWORKS EFFECTS ceilings in a Dark Cherry finish were selected for many of the public spaces including the main lobby. “Even though they are metal, the warm, natural wood look of the ceilings imparts a welcoming quality to the space,” she says. Acoustically, the metal panels are perforated and backed with an acoustical infill to provide sound control.

Project: Inova Women’s Hospital/Inova Children’s Hospital

Location: Falls Church, VA

Architect: Wilmot Sanz, Gaithersburg, MD

Products: ULTIMA