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CEOs and business owners are looking for ways to improve offices, retail environments and other commercial buildings for employee health, safety and productivity. At Armstrong World Industries (AWI), we believe in making a difference by designing and manufacturing ceiling and wall solutions that help to optimize workspaces so people can feel at their best and do their best work.
AWI Vic Grizzle said, “Studies show healthier spaces translate to better well-being and performance, which is good for employees and businesses. In spaces with exceptional air quality along with optimal acoustics, lighting, cleanliness, biophilic design elements and comfortable furnishings, people feel better. When we feel good, we think, process and generally function at our best, and attitudinally, we feel more optimistic and enthusiastic. It stands to reason that translates to productivity.”
In his book Healthy Buildings, Harvard’s Dr. Joe Allen talks about his research team’s COGfx Study, which examined the effect of air quality on cognitive function. It revealed ‘a dramatic improvement in higher-order cognitive function’ when workers were in an ‘optimized indoor environment’ with high ventilation rates, low VOCs and low carbon dioxide.
AWI has been in business for over 160 years, and we believe a healthier space starts at the top – with the ceiling. The ceiling can pull together core elements of a healthy space — air quality and ventilation, lighting, acoustics, sustainability, and design. Building on our legacy of leading-edge product design and materials science, the Armstrong sustainable ceiling and wall portfolio includes solutions to enhance air quality, acoustics, natural light reflectance, all customizable in performance and design configuration.
In 2020, we designed and constructed our new Living Lab in partnership with leading architecture firm Gensler. This 10,000 square foot space located on our corporate campus was built for the sole purpose of healthy spaces innovation. It serves as an incubator where our teams of engineers, scientists, designers and technologists can ideate, invent and experience the most advanced healthy space solutions available.
Just a few features of the Living Lab include exceptional air quality and ventilation, optimal acoustics and lighting and biophilic design elements that bring the “outdoors in” via live hanging plants, plenty of natural light and outdoor views, warm wood tones, and deep, earthy colors.
Installed throughout the space are ceiling solutions designed to improve indoor air quality. AirAssure™ ceilings with the VidaShield UV24™ Air Purification system maintain air quality and optimize indoor and natural lighting through high light reflectance. Total Acoustics™ performance provides the best combination of sound-absorbing and sound blocking properties and our Sustain® designation means our ceilings meet the highest industry sustainability standards.
Another important part of creating a healthy space is feedback from people and the building systems. AWI employees have reported consistently they are proud to be working for a company that is leading the way in healthy spaces. They’ve also shared the Living Lab feels good to be in…that they want to be there. In the Living Lab, there’s also a large wall-mounted digital dashboard that displays information about the indoor air quality of the entire space such as carbon dioxide levels, humidity and temperature. Providing real-time metrics like these can help people feel safer and more confident in their surroundings.
As a leader in the building industry and approaching two centuries of product design and manufacturing experience and success, the Armstrong team was the first to recognize how important acoustics are in a space. We were the first to institute a ceiling recycling program, and we were a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993. Today we are designing and manufacturing healthcare-grade ceiling solutions that can be used across industries to contribute to better indoor environmental quality.
This is an inflection point in the building sciences, and the demand for healthier commercial spaces for the office, healthcare, schools, retail environments, restaurants and more has reached a whole new level. At AWI, we are meeting that demand and continuing to invest in solutions that contribute to better building infrastructure so people can thrive.
To learn more about healthy spaces and Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions, visit www.armstrongceilings.com/HealthySpaces