Open Plenums vs. Acoustical Ceilings: Can you have Both?

Acoustical ceilings

Acoustical ceilings have been a staple among commercial businesses for years. Both dependable and affordable, this form of ceiling installation is a great way to keep your business’s ceiling designs noteworthy. Recently, however, Ozburn-Hessey has noticed a new trend of designers and owners who desire open plenums (meaning “exposed ceiling”) for their spaces. This new ceiling trend comes with some things to consider, such as energy and light reflection, before choosing an open ceiling installation. 

Perhaps you’ve walked in a coffeeshop in 12 South, Silo, or Pinewood Social downtown with these exposed ceilings. This type of design creates depth and texture to a ceiling for a modern and industrial feel. There is no wonder why the trend has caught on! However, there are many factors to consider when deciding to remodel other than design.

Energy Costs -- A study done by the Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA) and referenced by Armstrong stated that energy costs for acoustical ceilings were lower than costs for open plenum ceilings. If you are energy conscious, that alone could be reason enough to choose acoustical ceiling tile. 

Open Plenum

Light Reflection -- Open plenums have darker light reflection than the acoustical (or suspended) ceiling installation. Acoustical ceilings more uniform giving off about 70% light reflection, where the open plenum is uneven with more layers of equipment giving off only about 50% light reflection. 

Sound Reverberation -- There is no sound absorption to control the excess noise, which for many people who might work in a office, could be a problem. Any ceiling designs that use open spaces will cause acoustical problems, especially if the exposed deck is less than 15 feet high. 

One of the great things about Ozburn-Hessey is that they understand the desire for design and the need for practicality. Though open plenum ceilings may not embody the benefits of a wall to wall acoustical ceiling system for your business, Ozburn-Hessey can help you achieve the look of an open plenum while still giving you quality acoustical ceiling installation. For more information or questions on ceiling installation or open plenum ceiling, call Ozburn-Hessey today! 

Open Plenum vs Acoustical Ceiling