Opened in September 2021, the 68,000-square-foot academic and research building provides a holistic learning environment for students pursuing in-demand careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. As the gateway to the east end and academic core of Rowan University’s Glassboro, New Jersey campus, the new Discovery Hall offers expanded space to meet growing enrollment in the School of Earth & Environment and the College of Science & Mathematics.

To optimize acoustics, a Noise Reduction Coefficient of 0.70 NRC was specified to absorb sound in student collaboration areas, while still providing an energetic atmosphere. Durability and maintenance also were key to the university’s facilities team. In designing Discovering Hall, KSS Architects LLP selected Rockfon’s ceiling systems to provide a biophilic wood-look design with sound-absorbing, moisture-resistant, fire-resistant and sustainable performance.

Watch a video tour of Discovery Hall to learn more about the project.

Rowan University, Discovery Hall

Glassboro, NJ

We researched metal ceilings that had the wood look we wanted and could provide the acoustic control we needed. From the floor looking up, you don’t notice the perforations. The finish color is a good match. It came out really well. The result is a ceiling system with an elevated look, executed to meet the university’s needs, and will be easy to work with throughout the building’s life.

Beth Emig

KSS Architects’ associate, R.A., LEED® AP BD+C, AIA

A total of 21,000 square feet of Rockfon Planar Macro square edge, linear metal ceiling systems were installed with Maple Metalwood® Woodgrain finishes. In common areas, main corridors and student collaboration spaces, Rockfon’s metal ceilings feature the woodgrain appearance. On the first, third and fourth floors, the metal ceiling panels align in parallel running the entire length of the building. On the second level, the largest hallway ceiling span runs 200 feet long. Where collaboration spaces meet and merge with the second-floor corridor, Rockfon’s white-finished metal ceiling panels intersect to form contrasting perpendicular patterns.

To achieve performance requirements, an acoustical insulation backing was added to the metal ceiling panels. The panels’ sound absorption was further enhanced with a small-diameter perforation pattern.

Rockfon’s metal ceilings are resistant to moisture, humidity and sagging. The linear planks can be removed individually if updates are needed to equipment or other systems concealed in the plenum above the panels.

Supporting sustainable goals, Rockfon’s metal ceiling systems are manufactured with up to 85 percent recycled content and are 100 percent locally recyclable.

Rowan University, Discovery Hall

Location:Glassboro, New Jersey, United States
Architect:KSS Architects LLP; Princeton, New Jersey
Contractor:Terminal Construction Corporation; Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
Installer:Bigelow Brothers, Inc.; Haddon Heights, New Jersey
Photographer:© Todd Mason, © Halkin Mason Photography LLC
Tiles:Rockfon® Infinity™ Engineered Perimeter Trim, Rockfon® Planar® Macro and Planar® Macroplus® Linear Ceilings