In the new headquarters of the VR-Bank Schwerin, employees can now work in a relaxed acoustic environment. This is made possible by the ceiling systems from the Grafenau acoustic specialists Knauf AMG, which absorb most of the sound energy. In the historic former Werder Hospital, the ceilings also score with their elegant appearance.
In their search for a new headquarters, the VR-Bank eG found an interesting property in November 2012. This was the historic Werder Hospital in Schwerin – a listed historic building which consists of the classicist Demmler building from 1841 and the adjacent Hamann extension, which was built in the 1920's. Sadly, the former hospital had stood empty since 2005. Therefore the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board decided to convert this piece of town history into the headquarters at a cost of several million Euro.
The core issue: the new ceiling design
The VR-Bank did not wish to carry out a radical conversion, but rather to preserve a piece of the history of Schwerin. The architects therefore retained what had proved successful: the long, bright corridors and the classical interior of the five storey Hamann building from the 1920s. For the new design of the old wooden ceiling they looked for a solution which could be accessed for inspection and which had a plain and elegant design. They found what they were looking for with the Grafenau ceiling specialist Knauf AMF.
Homogeneous appearance with little grid appearance
The architects chose the AMF Thermatex Alpha HD AW/GN model. These are 19 millimetre thick ceiling boards made from a mineral material. "On the visible side, the 600 x 600 millimetre board are covered with white acoustic fabric and contribute to a spacious and modern atmosphere", explains Lars Eric-Reimer, Regional Sales Manager Hamburg for Knauf AMF. The boards are fastened to the ceiling with a suspended support profile, of which only inconspicuous V-joints are visible. "This is precisely what the architects wanted: an homogeneous ceiling with as few joints as possible and few visible grids." A total or 1500 square metres of ceiling boards were installed in the offices.
The in-house technicians are delighted: the ceiling is fully accessible for inspection
The in-house technicians are also pleased about the ceiling solution, because it is fully accessible for inspection. Individual boards can be easily removed at any point, so that the ceiling cavity can be rapidly accessed. This is practical in everyday work. Technicians can easily access the piping and ventilation systems for maintenance.
Acoustic ceilings are gentle on the ears of office workers
The AMF Thermatex ceiling boards not only convinced the architects with their elegant design, but also with their acoustic properties: The boards achieve a sound absorption coefficient of 0.9. "This means that they convert 90 percent of the sound energy into heat and only reflect ten percent ", explains Reimer. This reduces the reverberation time and the room sounds acoustically drier. "This is a great relief for the 60 office workers. Even when things are busy, they can still talk at a normal volume, because thanks to the optimisation of the acoustics the volume of the background noise does not build up."
Ceiling boards with excellent fire protection properties
A further aspect was fire protection. Here, the ceiling boards scored with their excellent fire protection properties. "There are only a few companies on the market which combine sound insulation and fire protection in a single board", says Reimer.
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