Jabil’s Florida HQ meets acoustic requirements with stone wool ceiling panels

Jabil Inc., an electronic manufacturing services company, utilized stone wool ceiling panels in its new St. Petersburg, Florida headquarters, to meet acoustic requirements and sustainability efforts.

Designed by Gensler’s architectural team, the new 15,793-m2 (170,000-sf) corporate headquarters consolidates teams previously working at eight different locations at a single site, to accommodate approximately 2,000 employees. Given this large workforce, good acoustics were key to the layout.

Gensler opted for three different kinds of sound-absorbing ceiling panels, which not only met the acoustic needs, but also prioritized sustainable outcomes and employee health and well-being. To optimize acoustics for a productive and comfortable workplace, the company’s specialists recommended sound-absorbing ceiling panels with a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.80 or higher, full-height walls, and proper background sound levels.

Gensler specified one of the ceiling panels with a NRC of 0.85 for the majority of the office and the meeting rooms. In the kitchen, where noisy activities are common, a different set of panels delivered an 0.90 NRC with an easy-to-clean surface. In Jabil’s main multi-purpose conference, where room speech privacy and intelligibility were key expectations, another type of ceiling panels were used with an 0.95 NRC.

Throughout Jabil’s workspaces, the stone wool ceiling panels also contribute to healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). The ceiling panels in the headquarters have earned UL GREENGUARD Gold certification for its low emissions. Without the use of added chemicals, stone wool does not support the growth of mold, mildew, or other potentially harmful microorganisms. Made from natural basalt rock and recycled material, stone wool inherently resists fire, water, moisture as well as Florida’s humidity.

Positioned at an exterior corner, the main conference room also features large window walls with views of the Blue Heron Lake. Throughout most of the office floorplan, window views are accessible to all. Open office workstations, private offices, meeting and conference rooms, and other collaboration spaces are inset from the exterior window walls. Maximizing daylight, the smooth white surface of the acoustic stone wool ceiling panels reflects 86 percent of the light into the interior. This helps reduce demand on electric lighting, contributing to the building’s energy efficiency.

Deepening the daylight within the building’s interior, enclosed conference and meeting rooms also feature large glass entrances on the exterior-facing walls. In contrast to these quiet enclosed spaces, the materials used in the open area immediately outside the meeting rooms reflect sound rather than absorbing it. Examples include the glass walls, hard flooring, and partially open plenums.

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