Bench Test: Project Runways
January 1, 2010
Southcoast Acoustical Interiors was hired to do the installation of 25 floors of hallway ceilings in the new Ritz Carlton Hotel now under construction in downtown Los Angeles. For this job, the company “bench tested” a new ceiling system called Runways, manufactured by Ceilings Plus. This is the first job in which Runways has been used, and it’s a big one-covering approximately 30,500 square feet.
What makes Runways unique is that it is a high-performance ceiling designed for use in corridors and narrow rooms. Each panel has three components: a center panel that is hung from the ceiling on a suspension system using torsion spring clips; and two extendable wings that collapse and expand inside the center panel to fit the width of the corridor. Therefore, Runways panels have adjustability and can slide out of the way for convenient above-ceiling access to maintain mechanical systems, pipes, and wiring. Runways can also accommodate, without field cutting, minor variations using a special wall-mounted edge trim.
PACKAGED RIGHTThe first thing I noticed was how compact the panels are when shipped. The center panels come separate from the wing panels. The two-side wing panels come in one piece that is scored down the middle so you simply pull them apart for a clean separation. Then, the two-side panels slide right into the center panel. The appropriate cut-outs for lighting, sprinklers, exit signs, or speakers are pre-punched in the panels where needed.
The ICC-approved suspension system is very easy to work with. The panels are lightweight, and easy and quick to install. The manufacturer can offer these panels from different metals and in a variety of wood and metal finishes.
For this particular job the designer, Robert Barry of Barry Design Associates, chose center panels that are 22-gauge steel with an Umbra finish. This finish is designed to simulate an organic, zinc-like appearance. The side wing panels are .040 inch aluminum with a gold metallic finish.
We just completed Runways installation in the first of 25 hallways, and the result is excellent. Since this is our first time working with the product, we’ve run into a couple of issues where the trim meets the side panels, but with the hands-on expertise offered by the manufacturer, we’ve been able to find solutions and quickly resolve any challenges that come up.
Overall, this was a successful trial of the product. We’ve done many different kinds of specialty ceilings from all manufacturers, and Runways is a very good product: simple to work with, looks great, and is high-functioning in terms of acoustics and ease of maintenance. It is also environmentally friendly thanks to its high-recycled content.
In total, by the time the company is through with this job, Southcoast Acoustical Interiors will have installed 1,805 Runways modules, consisting of 1,805 center panels and 3,610 wing panels.
The Ritz Carlton is a high-profile 54-story tower, the centerpiece of the “L.A. Live” complex. The 25 floors we’re working on, starting with the 27th floor and rising to the 52nd floor, will house the luxury residences. The views of the city will be breathtaking, and so will the ceilings. W&C