Interiors 500 views Aug 20, 2018
The only way is up for metal ceilings

Our interior spaces have evolved to such an extent ceilings have become a vitally important element in the design and acoustics of commercial space writes Phil Smith, Group Sales Director, SAS International. Gone are the days of dull and functional mineral fibreceiling tiles, and into the mix enters everything from polynodal ceilings to colourful baffles, open-cells to rafts – all of which create aesthetically pleasing features as well as offering a wide range of acoustic, thermal, fire and lighting options. Versatile, sustainable and visually-enigmatic, metal ceilings offer countless design possibilities.


Finding a lighting system which is sustainable as well as seamless is prerequisite for modern commercial buildings. Open office spaces in particular are wide and expansive, requiring a sophisticated lighting design that satisfies the demands of developers and architects. Lighting must be cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and distinctive in equal measure - a challenging balance to strike in large spaces.

Integrated-lighting delivers on efficiency and visuals, illuminating a space with its discreet, stunning finish and encouraging optimum light flow. LED lighting is a favoured, sustainable design choice delivering 90% of its peak output after operating for 60,000 hours. Integrated-lighting works in complete harmony with a variety of ceiling plans, including suspended ceilings and baffles. Integrated-lighting exemplifies how seamless, sustainable lighting can be achieved, showcasing the impressive innovation metal ceiling designs are capable of.


Clever acoustic technology is a key consideration in modern building design, especially as sound reverberation occurs in constructions made predominantly from glass and concrete. Open, agile working environments which enhance employee wellness are gaining in popularity – the days of small office spaces are numbered. Sweeping interiors are prominent in modern commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel.

Although metal seems an unlikely product for ceiling design, it is in fact extremely successful at sound absorption. Metal ceilings assure excellent acoustic regulation, minimising echo and other occupational noise. Perforated metal ceiling tiles can be designed creatively depending on the level of acoustic control desired. These can be inlaid with mineral wool infills to provide acute sound control far more advanced than other ceiling materials. In a time where open-plan designs cannot be jeopardised by noise levels, metal ceilings are a worthy solution.


Maintaining a comfortable temperature in commercial buildings has its challenges, particularly from sustainability and wellbeing perspectives. These two factors are key considerations in modern building design; if a building is too hot it affects employee productivity, and if too much heat is emitted it is costly for both the environment and those renting the spaces.  

Thermal mass cooling is a desirable method which controls an interior space’s temperature. It operates most effectively in buildings made from dense materials such as concrete, as these materials guarantee optimum heat absorption. Sunlight is absorbed during the day to heat the building at night, in order to provide cool temperatures when people are at work. Baffles and rafts are examples of metal ceiling solutions which expose the concrete soffit to encourage heat absorption. Both solutions meet practical, aesthetic requirements, showcasing how metal ceilings can draw on unique, natural air conditioning systems to create beautiful, sustainable interior designs. 


Fire protection is a design imperative in modern interior spaces, whereby architects and developers must ensure their projects comply with current building regulations. Metal ceilings are naturally resistant to fire due to metal’s atomic structure. Although it is not recommended for suspended ceilings to protect a building’s larger structure, metal ceilings nonetheless provide a unique solution to fire-resistance. Whilst all metal ceilings must be certified in accordance with UK and European standards, the design still assures safety and protection from the plight of fire.


Metal is a highly malleable element, meaning the aesthetic possibilities of metal ceilings are limitless. Offering cool, sleek designs which can be shaped to reflect, complement, or heighten a building’s identity, metal ceilings are a favourable choice for developers wanting to put their unique stamp on a project. Whether it is colourful baffles or a distinctive motif, bespoke metal ceilings guarantee complete design flexibility – even the most ambitious of designs can be made a reality.

The days of conventional mineral fibreceiling tiles are quickly vanishing, as the rise of metal ceilings grows from strength to strength. It is no wonder metal ceilings are dominating the design world; their ability to combine design versatility, sustainability and striking aesthetics is a secure investment for any developer desiring a high-impact and beautiful interior space.