In the business world, appearances matter. They mattered ten years ago, they matter today, and they will continue to matter in the future. For many business owners, their office isn’t just their work headquarters –– it’s also a physical representation of their brand image and values. As such, office design choices can affect a company’s ability to grow, to attract customers and employees, and its bottom line. Today, we’ll take a closer look at a popular recent office renovation trend: open ceiling design. We’ll weigh the pros and cons associated with this stylistic choice to help you determine if it’s right for your company.
What is Open Ceiling Design?
An open ceiling, or “exposed structure” ceiling, is a ceiling that is not covered by panels or tiles. This means that open ceilings leave mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installations exposed. Open ceiling design became popular in modern offices over the past 5-10 years.
Open ceilings are the opposite of suspended or “drop” ceilings. Drop ceilings were the de facto ceiling design for decades in offices and drop ceilings act to cover mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installations with panels or tiles.
So, which style is better for your business?
Open Ceiling Design Pros
Here are some of the key benefits associated with open ceiling design:
- Aesthetic appearance. First and foremost, open ceiling designs can look very sleek, modern, and just plain cool. Many business leaders embrace the industrial or “modern” vibe that open ceilings provide, and they create office designs that complement exposed ceilings.
- More space. If you want your office to look bigger than it actually is, then an open ceiling can help you do just that. Additionally, some companies may be able to utilize the extra vertical space in their workplace for storage purposes.
- Better lighting. High, open ceilings can allow for better lighting distribution throughout an office or retail space.
Open Ceiling Design Cons
While open ceilings can look very sharp and provide businesses with extra space, they also present a number of potential issues for companies as well.
- Lack of sound control. High, open ceilings amplify sound and, in the worst situations, can actually create annoying echoes or sound reverberations in a work environment. A spray acoustical treatment, acoustic ceiling baffles or clouds, may need to be added as a sound control solution. This can be a considerable additional cost to the project.
- High heating/cooling costs. Exposed ceilings can contribute to higher utility bills because of the extra energy needed to cool/heat more space.
- Need for immediate maintenance. Since open ceilings have no cover, business leaders will be forced to fix any maintenance issues on their ceilings immediately.
Are Open Ceilings a Good Investment?
Under the right circumstances, an open ceiling design can be a great way to complete a modern/industrial office renovation. Open ceilings can be eye-catching and may bolster the look-and-feel of a progressive workspace. An open ceiling may or may not cost more than a traditional drop ceiling since ceiling price depends on various factors (labor costs, installation fees, etc.).
Alternatively, business leaders who are concerned about high energy costs or the lack of sound control associated with an open ceiling may be better off with a drop ceiling. And, of course, some offices just look better with a covered ceiling. It really depends on the situation!
Not sure if an open ceiling would improve the appearance of your workspace? Then get in touch with the pros at Key Interiors for some expert advice. Our team has years of experience working with a wide range of companies, and we can help you design and build the perfect office for your business. Contact us here to learn more!