Efficient acoustics in healthcare environments are vital for patient wellbeing. When construction work began at the new Royal Papworth Hospital, on Cambridge Biomedical Campus, designers needed the help of knowledgeable and reliable interior building specialists to advise on a purpose-built ceiling solution that offered high performance acoustics.

HOK, the global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm responsible for the design of the hospital, turned to Rockfon, a leading provider of acoustic ceiling and wall systems, for its technical suitability, low maintenance requirements, and aesthetically-pleasing appearance of its ceiling products.

The brief

Poor acoustic quality can be detrimental to patients, leading to sleep deprivation, stress and anxiety and a lack of privacy for both patients and their visitors.

Discussing the specification of interior products in the hospital, Stephen Herbert, Senior Project Architect at HOK, said: “We were looking to partner with a manufacturer that could provide a full range of ceiling systems appropriate to the specific requirements and functionality of each space. During the specification process, we were also very mindful of the need to comply with the Government’s ‘Health Technical Memoranda’ for the NHS (HTM) and how the ceilings would perform within the healthcare setting.”

Following the design consultation, contractors for the site, Skanska, turned to leading insulation and interior building products distributor CCF, which supplied Rockfon products for the Royal Papworth Hospital site, which are designed with healthcare buildings in mind.

A specialist solution

The team at CCF’s Colchester branch, supported Skanska’s specification of Rockfon products due to the durability and high performance values of its products, which are ideally suited for healthcare setting.

As a result, two sizes of Rockfon Blanka D edge tiles were installed throughout ceilings within the main entrance hall and arterial walkways. The tile has the highest A1 fire safety classification, a matt white surface which offers increased light reflection and diffusion, while also concealing tile grid work in an attractive way.

Purpose-built for healthcare environments, Rockfon MediCare Standard ceiling tiles were also specified as they offer outstanding sound absorption, a high fire safety rating and offer resistance to bacteria and infection. The MediCare tiles are extremely durable and can withstand specialist healthcare cleaning, thanks to a resistance to diluted solutions of ammonia, chlorine, quaternary ammonium and hydrogen peroxide.

Both ceiling products work seamlessly with Rockfon System MaxiSpan, which made it a natural choice for finishing the hospital’s interior design. This system provides a cost-effective way to suspend the ceiling grid from the wall so is ideally suited for long corridors. It also allows easier access to voids needed by tradesmen as it can be suspended up to 3m for heavily-serviced ceiling voids which allows easy access for maintenance.

The result

The Royal Papworth Hospital opened its doors in May 2019 and now provides state-of-the-art care for 22,400 inpatient and day cases and 48,400 outpatients. Thanks to the cutting-edge design of Rockfon interior products, the hospital boasts high acoustic sound-proofing properties, creating a calm and welcoming environment for all visitors.

Discussing the reasoning behind product selection, Gary Bayliss, Branch Manager at CCF Colchester, said: “The range of acoustic ceiling tiles offered by Rockfon were the perfect solution for the new Royal Papworth Hospital. The customer was pleased with the high performance of Rockfon’s specialist products that have been designed to suit the precise needs of a hospital, as well as being very easy to install – always helpful when working to strict building deadlines.”

Stephen Herbert concluded: “We are very pleased with the finish and flexibility of the ceiling system to meet the hospital’s requirements. Internally, ceilings are always the largest part of the visible building. You know an installation has been successfully carried out when the ceiling blends into the background and enhances a building’s acoustics, even in the busiest of spaces.”

For more information about CCF visit www.ccfltd.co.uk. Also follow CCF on Twitter via @CCF_UK and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/ccf.

Photograph: Rockfon.  www.rockfon.co.uk