Delta Dental, the largest dental insurance provider in the nation, recently updated the interior appearance and employee experience of two offices in downtown Oakland, California, and San Francisco. Completed in 2020, the interiors of several floors in the existing urban buildings were renovated in phases to create a contemporary collaborative workspace for the occupants.

The progressive redesign of the two offices was orchestrated by Huntsman Architectural Group, with additional interior design support from Resource Design Interiors. The design team specified 200,000 square feet of Rockfon Alaska acoustic stone wool ceilings to help establish a comfortable and healthy office environment supporting employee well-being and energy-efficient, sustainable design goals.

“To more effectively compete in the Bay Area’s challenging talent market, this health care client implemented a forward-looking workplace concept as an integral part of its revamped brand strategy,” Huntsman explained. “The project entailed a shift in real estate strategy, transforming formerly traditional, conservative workspaces into dynamic, connected and timeless environments. Eliminating hierarchy and promoting openness in the workspace are key drivers in the design.”

To foster both collaborative and individual work, the designs for both offices provide energetic social hubs in common areas, complemented by more subdued open areas. Importantly for Delta Dental’s open office concept, Rockfon’s Alaska acoustic stone wool ceiling panels have a high noise reduction coefficient of 0.90.

A good acoustic experience can contribute to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher job satisfaction and retention, and overall well-being. Optimized for acoustics, ceiling systems in offices can have a positive effect on the bottom line, with more than 90 percent of an organization’s operating costs linked to employee efficiency.

Rockfon Alaska’s best-level sound absorption allows for increased concentration and productivity for quiet work by minimizing disruptive sounds that may carry from the common areas. For collaborative spaces, the high NRC results in better speech intelligibility for employees working in groups.

“Two regional offices in San Francisco and Oakland allow employees a choice in work location,” Huntsman continued. “To give each site a unique identity while remaining connected, the design concept is centered around a cool blue ‘Bay’ color palette for San Francisco and a verdant green ‘Hills’ palette for Oakland with plenty of overlap. In social spaces, color vibrancy is dialed up, while more muted tones define the ‘heads down’ areas.” Bursts of magenta and turquoise amplify the colorful interiors, balanced by the panoramic window views of the cities’ skylines.

Maximizing natural light from the windows through the transparent interior partitions reduces the need for electric lighting and contributes to energy efficiency. Both the Oakland and San Francisco office buildings are certified by ENERGY STAR and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.

Rockfon Delta Dental California Offices Picture 2

Photo courtesy of Jasper Sanidad via Rockfon

The 10-story 1333 Broadway building in Oakland was certified as LEED Silver in 2011. The 31-story 560 Mission property in San Francisco was the first LEED Platinum-certified multi-tenant office in California and has maintained its certification since 2010, including a LEED v4.1 recertification in 2020.

As part of an energy-efficient daylighting design strategy, the elegant, smooth white Rockfon Alaska panels deliver high light reflectance deep within the modern interior. Up to 86 percent of all light is reflected from the ceiling panels. The gentle, diffused light minimizes screen glare and associated eye strain.

Further supporting workers’ wellness and indoor air quality, Rockfon’s stone wool ceiling panels have earned UL Environment GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low emissions and meet the State of California’s Department of Public Health Services Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350 for testing chemical emissions. Without added chemicals, stone wool also is inherently resistant to fire, water and humidity, and does not provide sustenance for microorganisms, mildew or mold. The ceiling panels are easy to clean and durable.

Photo courtesy of Jasper Sanidad via Rockfon

GREENGUARD Gold-certified products, energy efficiency, daylighting and views, and acoustic comfort all are recognized by LEED. Assisting design professionals with informed choices, including LEED Material and Resources criteria, Rockfon offers comprehensive material and product transparency documentation such as Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations and the International Living Future Institute’s Declare Label 2.0 – Living Building Challenge Red List Approved.

For Delta Dental’s Oakland and San Francisco offices, Stockham Construction worked with Skyline Construction to build out the open and enclosed offices, collaboration and meeting areas, quiet “phone” rooms and other workspaces. For a uniform, modern appearance, Rockfon Alaska ceiling panels were installed in a Chicago Metallic 4000 Tempra 9/16-inch exposed ceiling suspension system. The panels can be conveniently removed to access the plenum and update the HVAC, plumbing, safety and security, electrical and other concealed technological systems that may change throughout the offices’ lifespan.