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In order to provide a system which required high acoustics, aesthetics, and radiant heating and cooling performance, the use of an activated torsion spring system was an obvious choice. This technologically advanced hybrid system combines a metal torsion spring ceiling system with a hydronic radiant system by permanently bonding aluminum saddles and sinuous copper to the back of the panel with the purpose of providing efficient heating and cooling thru the ceiling. With a metal ceiling area of 24,750 square feet, the finished ceiling system was able to provide a NRC of 0.85, seamlessly integrate with drywall and ACT systems as well as significantly contributing to achieving a LEED platinum rating. To provide the acoustical performance required for the classroom and study areas, a custom acoustical pad consisting of recycled cotton (denim jeans specifically) was used. When combined with the perforated ceiling panels, this unique product which contains 90% post-consumer recycled material, provided a NRC rating of 0.85 as well as LEED credits. This material was faced with a black non-woven fabric which blended seamlessly with the black facing of the radiant aluminum extrusion; thus guaranteeing no visual difference between an active or inactive ceiling panel. The radiant torsion spring system was installed in 59 different rooms including a large colloquium, classrooms of various sizes, lobbies, collaborative areas, physic laboratories, offices, observation rooms, and various other lay-outs. On the second floor of the project, the ceiling was designed to follow the slope of the roof in order to provide a sense of openness and incorporate natural light. To meet the necessary requirements for each different area and also allow full accessibility to each panel, the system includes 41 panel sizes which included: 7 ¾” wide non-perforated panels which house various fixtures (i.e. smoke detectors, diffusers, lighting, etc. . . .), 24″ wide active and inactive perforated panels, custom transition panels to allow for seamless integration from a flat ceiling to an 18° slope, as well as large perforated active trapezoidal panels (up to 4′ x 8′) which were installed on a slope and designed to match the profile of the colloquium area. In addition to the acoustical and aesthetic benefits, the hybrid torsion spring and hydronic radiant panel system was chosen for this project in order to offer improved energy efficiency. Hydronic ceiling panels offer a reduction in costs from standard HVAC systems of at least 25%. By incorporating the radiant ceiling system and other efficiency measures, such as LED lighting, this fully realized design has reduced energy use by 35%. In addition to reducing energy costs, the hydronic ceiling system decreases the amount of air required thru the traditional HVAC system, thus allowing for cleaner air movement. This offers the dual benefit of increased flexibility in a lab design as well as leading to an overall healthier atmosphere for inhabitants. The achievement of this project is combining high acoustic standards (NRC of .85) and radiant heating and cooling performance (energy saving of 35%) without sacrificing aesthetics or the architect’s vision.


Pomona College’s Millikan Laboratory & Andrew Science Hall in Claremont, CA was designed by EHDD architects. The complete renovation includes a 100 seat colloquium, domed planetarium, 2-story atrium as well world-class laboratories, classrooms, and lecture halls. Steel Ceilings engineered and manufactured over 20,000 square feet of radiant heating and cooling ceiling panels which, along with stringent green building standards, helped achieve a certified LEED platinum status.

Steel Ceilings Inc.

Steel Ceilings manufactures and installs renowned metal ceilings for commercial buildings nationwide. See why hundreds have chosen our company.

Call Us (800) 848-0496

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451 E. Coshocton Street
Johnstown, Ohio 43031

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