The Development of Suspended Ceilings
The history of suspended ceilings
Donald A. Brown is credited in a number of sources as the ‘inventor’ of the dropped ceiling in 1958. Since then, there is no doubt that they have been a huge success. Due to developments in technology it is now much more practical to be able to gain access to your ceiling, where previously there was no use for suspended ceilings.
When suspended ceilings started to become popular, they were built using interlocking tiles. The only way to access a specific tile or ceiling void for inspection or repair, was to start at the edge of the ceiling and remove tiles one by one to reach the desired point. This was time consuming and expensive which led to a new invention which allowed instant access to any tile. Brown filed for a patent for his innovation and it was introduced to the market as an accessible suspended ceiling, which is now a norm in the construction industry.
How suspended ceilings are used today
Modern day commercial ceilings must adhere to a number of standards such as; aesthetics, acoustics, fire protection, insulation and environmental factors, as well as construction and upkeep costs. A suspended ceiling can provide space for a number of useful features such as; heating, ventilation, plumbing and wiring, as well as providing a platform for speakers, LED lighting and cctv cameras.
Ceilings can also be integrated with partitioning systems so that the tiles, grids and partitions intersect neatly. Partitions can either stop at the underside of the suspended ceiling (providing maximum ease of installation and flexibility), or can run through the ceiling to the underside of the floor slab.
Benefits of suspended ceilings
Suspended ceilings are particularly popular in construction, especially offices and commercial structures, due to the range of benefits they offer, such as:
+ Ease of installation
+ Concealing pipes, wires, HVAC and other unsightly services
+ Easy to remove for repairs
+ More economical than renovation
+ Acoustic improvements
+ Design choices in a variety of materials and colours
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