During a consultation with our clients regarding the installation of their suspended ceilings and prior to any building or alteration works being carried out, we will need to consider a number of very important issues. Key among these is the issue of Health and Safety.
Suspended Ceilings Health & Safety
Health & Safety Regulations can vary from one local area authority to another and a lot will depend on the type of building and/or the location of the installation.
For example; If the suspended ceiling was to be installed within a hospital, a laboratory or any food preparation area, stringent hygiene and sterility standards would have to be adhered to. This would also apply to areas involved in the electronics, fibre-optics, pharmaceuticals and computer industries. They may also have requirements for environmentally controlled installations or may require Class 100 clean room conditions, all of which if required GDL Interiors Ltd would be able to provide as part of our service.
A suspended ceiling can form part of a buildings fire protection and therefore we at GDL Interiors Ltd make sure that it is correctly specified, designed and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements. This again will vary, depending on location. When considering your suspended ceiling requirements, you should be aware of the level of fire resistance you require. As part of our overall service GDL Interiors Ltd will always advise our clients of the works that need to be carried out in order to conform to fire regulations.
Before installing a suspended ceiling or indeed even carrying out a site survey it is imperative that The Asbestos Register be checked to ensure that the existing ceiling does not contain any Asbestos based materials. Should it prove positive for asbestos then the installation would have to be carried out by a suitably registered company which GDL Interiors Ltd can provide for our clients as part of our service.
Before installation of any suspended ceiling the grid should be securely and adequately fixed to the existing ceiling with the correct number of fittings following the manufacturer’s instructions. In some instances it may be necessary for a Structural Engineer to check the grids capacity to take any additional load.
Specialist structural advice may also be required if you are considering the installation of an acoustic or insulated ceiling. This may also apply if lighting or items of decoration or equipment is to be suspended from the ceiling.
The newly created roof void, that area between the original ceiling and the suspended ceiling must be kept clear at all times. Under no circumstances must the area be used for storage. Neither should any beams or trusses above the suspended ceiling be used to balance materials.
All suspended ceilings require sufficient head clearance to provide a viable ceiling option. It is suggested that installing a suspended ceiling in a room with at least 7 ½ foot ceiling height would be within the guidelines of most building codes. Installing the ceiling within a shorter ceiling space would be considered a physical hazard as a taller person or member of staff could bump their head on the ceiling. Again this can vary depending on the building and location of the installation.