Many technical services are located in the ceiling area. In order to integrate them in a way which satisfies both aesthetics and function, the details and the co-ordination must be taken care of early in the design stage. This section outlines a number of situations and shows details, accessories and ingenious solutions that ensure the successful integration of services as well as other building elements.
The ceiling shapes the interior.
The ceiling gives the interior character and direction.
The ceiling reflects daylight, and provides the ambience for artificial light.
The ceiling creates space, delineates areas and brings lightness or substance to the interior.
The ceiling is perhaps the most important of the elements that create an interior.
The suspended ceiling has a key role in the building, as one of its most important and demanding technical interfaces. Concurrently, the design of the ceiling determines the impression of space, order, light and comfort in the interior. Technical services - mechanical ventilation, comfort cooling, lighting, acoustic treatment, fire protection, power supplies, telephone and data systems - are often concentrated in the ceilings of our modern buildings. The ductwork, pipework and cables for these services are in the ceiling, as well as the exposed equipment and light fittings. Just one of these technical systems is demanding; several systems together make a very complex whole that requires extensive co-ordination from an early stage in the building project for a successful end result.
A suspended ceiling should be equipped to manage all these tasks, above it, under it and through it. The ceiling also has perpendicular or angled junctions with walls and moveable partitions. A ceiling must be able to cope with all these junctions.
In the material that follows, we will systematically go through the seven areas illustrated. We will illustrate how the suspended ceiling and the services meet. We will concentrate on critical points and suggest solutions.