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21 August 2017

Updating open offices for productivity, privacy and collaboration

Supporting design consultancy OPX Global ’s efforts to “make good companies work better,” Rockfon acoustic stone wool ceiling systems met the aesthetic, performance, sustainability and budget goals for The AES Corporation ’s recently renovated headquarters.


Hoachlander Davis Photography

In addition to these project goals, OPX and AES also identified several design criteria:

  • Productive work environment for individuals and teams
  • Optimized acoustics for privacy, noise and communication effectiveness
  • Collaboration in the office and with people in other locations

Solution Oriented

Located in Arlington, Virginia, the company mission focuses on “improving lives by providing safe, reliable and sustainable energy solutions.” Bringing this concept to life within the office design, Rockfon stone wool ceiling systems contribute to each of these solutions:

SAFE – stone wool products offer high fire safety; resist humidity, mold and mildew; contribute to indoor air quality and are GREENGUARD Gold low-VOC certified; in addition, metal suspension systems are suitable for seismic applications

RELIABLE – lightweight and durable, Rockfon’s systems are easy to install, minimize buildings' maintenance and repair, simplify renovation and are backed with an industry-leading warranty

SUSTAINABLE – panels and suspension systems are produced from recycled material and are recyclable at the end of their useful lives as ceiling systems; and the white surface of Rockfon stone wool panels provides high light reflectance to maximize natural light, allowing for reduced light fixtures and increased energy savings

Thoughtful Specification, Easy Installation

Addressing the project’s multiple requirements, the design team selected:

  • Rockfon® Koral™ stone wool ceiling panels in 2-by-2 and 2-by-4 sizes with good sound absorption (NRC 0.85)
  • Rockfon Sonar® stone wool ceiling panels with a square tegular narrow edge in 4-by-4 sizes with high sound absorption (NRC up to 0.95)
  • Rockfon® Multiflex™ Fibral baffles in 2-by-4 sizes, hung vertically to deliver high sound absorption
  • Chicago Metallic™ 4500 Ultraline™ bolt-slot suspension system with a 9/16-inch exposed narrow face and 1/4-inch reveal to create the appearance of a monolithic ceiling

To minimize disruption to the office staff, renovations were scheduled in two phases with two installing contractors: Affordable Builders International and Rock Spring Contracting. Rock Spring noted how easy Rockfon’s products were to install and completed the work on schedule for the re-opening.

Positive Results

According to OPX, “AES successfully changed the way its people work, and how they work together, by creating a more efficient work environment for its corporate office.”

Before the redesign, AES occupied five floors with 90 percent of the space designated to private offices. Now, the new 72,000-square-foot headquarters spans three floors and is 80 percent open workspaces with additional spaces designated for collaboration or for concentration and private conversations. It also has reduced its energy consumption and CO2 footprint by 40 percent.

An AES client representative shared with OPX that the new corporate office “feels energetic and positive; it represents the company today and meets its needs for the future.”

To learn more about Rockfon project examples, acoustic stone wool ceiling panels, metal ceiling panels and suspended ceiling systems, please follow us on LinkedIn. If you would like personalized assistance with a project’s product selection, please call us at 800-323-7164, email cs@rockfon.com or click here to find a representative in your area.


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