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University of Toronto Scarborough Campus building meets aesthetic, performance and sustainability goals with Rockfon ceiling systems

February 13, 2018

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus’ (UTSC’s) $52.5 million, 126,788-square-foot Environmental Science & Chemistry Building (ESCB) earned LEED® Gold certification. Rockfon acoustic stone wool ceiling panels and suspension systems supported the project’s sustainability criteria, architectural vision and functional performance requirements, while completing the project within budget and on schedule.

Delivered in 26 months using a design-build strategy, the project involved a collaborative effort between the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDon Corporation, Nelmar Drywall Company Ltd., Patene Building Supplies, Rockfon and many others.

Inspired by nature, the UTSC ESCB reflects the academic pursuits housed within the facility, as well as its setting on the edge of a ravine. Conceived as a highly flexible research and teaching space, the building consists of two distinct wings that connect laboratories and academic offices around a five-story, sky-lit atrium.

Through the atrium, boardroom and meeting rooms, Rockfon Alaska® acoustic stone wool panels in special sizes with shiplap edge details were installed in Chicago Metallic ceiling suspension systems. Rockfon Artic® ceiling panels were installed throughout the corridors, as well as in faculty offices.

In selecting Rockfon products, Diamond Schmitt’s associate, Nigel Tai, M.Arch., OAA, MRAIC, LEED AP, said, “We wanted a sharp, clean look for the ceiling surface. The hairline shiplap joint detail was important to us, as well as the custom 2-by-5-foot proportion. Smooth finishes and good light reflectance were critical. We use the ceiling finishes as a reflective surface to bounce light around in the meeting rooms and boardrooms.”



“The smooth white surface of the ceiling panels reflects up to 86% of available light, dispersing natural light more effectively. The better distribution of light means offices can lower their light loads and reduce cooling costs, helping meet LEED’s energy-efficient criteria,” explained Rockfon District Sales Manager Scott Debanham.

Considered in the context of academic performance and occupant health, acoustic comfort also can be a factor in LEED certification. Tai sought a minimum Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70. Exceeding expectations, most Rockfon stone wool ceiling panels have an NRC of 0.85 or higher and Rockfon Alaska has an NRC of 0.90 as standard.

Further supporting sustainability goals, Rockfon stone wool ceiling products contain up to 42% recycled material. Another natural advantage of water-repellent stone wool is that it not only repels harmful microorganisms, mold and bacteria, but it also meets stringent requirements for restricting VOCs. Helping improve indoor air quality, the extensive portfolio of Rockfon acoustic stone wool ceiling solutions has earned UL® Environment’s GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-emitting products.

Due to their low particle emission, Rockfon Medical products meet stringent requirements for air cleanliness in healthcare and clean room environments. In ESCB’s laboratories, Rockfon Medical Plus ceiling panels have Bacteriological Class B1 and Clean Room Classification ISO Class 4. All Rockfon Medical ceiling panels also are Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) resistant.

Throughout UTSC ESCB, Rockfon ceiling systems contribute to the facility’s appearance, functionality and longevity. Opened in 2015, ESCB continues to successfully fulfill its architectural and educational purpose.