Surface hygiene, from the top down

by Francesca

With experts warning that, even with a vaccine, we could be living with Coronavirus for years to come, the selection of materials and finishes to impede cross contamination and enable enhanced cleaning protocols will be key to providing clean and safe indoor environments.

Now that we have all become much more virus-transmission aware, designers and building owners need to be delivering confidence to people who will continue to use communal spaces.

The ceiling, whether it be largely functional or a decorative statement, is integral to the appearance and cleanliness of any indoor space. SAS’ metal suspended ceilings are available in a wide variety of materials and styles, each with its own aesthetic and performance properties. The steel, aluminium and copper alloy systems developed by SAS are robust and durable to ensure a ceiling will maintain its appearance long after ceilings formed using alternative materials, such as mineral fibre, will have reached the end of their life.

For spaces aiming for the highest level of cleanliness, metal suspended ceilings can be manufactured to incorporate an anti-microbial finish to help provide lasting and effective protection against the build-up of harmful bacteria, mould, fungi and viruses, to complement existing cleaning and hygiene protocols.

Alternatively, naturally antimicrobial materials such as copper can create stunning aesthetic design features as well as contributing to a safer space, without the need for any applied finish.

SAS metal ceiling tiles and baffles can also be finished in a smooth, high quality polyester powder coating, which is available in any RAL colour. This releases near zero Volatile Organic Compounds, helping to ensure the highest levels of indoor air quality are maintained in the space.

Critically, from a building users’ perspective, metal ceilings are both easy to clean and to keep clean over the course of their 25-year lifespan. They provide a long lasting, impact-resistant surface that is easily cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth. In addition, for areas that may need more intensive cleaning, metal clip-in tile systems can be used to allow for upward cleaning pressure without fear of dislodging or displacing tiles.

Metal ceiling tiles also have the advantage that they can be easily removed to provide access to services and systems in the ceiling void behind. A suspended metal ceiling, with a concealed supporting grid incorporating a hinge and slide facility, will allow the tile to remain attached to the grid during maintenance work. This simplified process allows for fewer workers and less time required, therefore brings less risk of virus transmission through human contact.

As well as being a fifth wall, or surface which is easy to clean, maintain and gain access through, a major benefit of metal suspended ceilings is that they contribute significantly to the interior environment, which can positively impact the wellbeing of building users. A clean, bright ceiling can reflect daylight deep onto a building’s floor plates to help maximise occupants’ exposure to daylight for visual, mental and biological health.

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