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How Commercial Ceilings Created a Better Place to Heal


Natural properties are the secret to making Rockfon’s stone wool a high-performing ceiling material for healthcare spaces in the busy New York metro area.

Building a comfortable, safe healthcare facility in the New York area requires carefully chosen materials. The suspended ceiling in particular plays a vital role in safety and patient comfort.

Stone wool creates ceiling solutions ideal for the spaces where we heal. As an abundant natural resource, stone can enrich modern life. To leverage its strengths, the molten stone is spun into lightweight wool. Stone wool is then used to make ceiling tiles and panels. From effective acoustics to optimal durability, stone wool addresses some of the biggest healthcare design and performance requirements.

High Acoustic Absorption in Ceiling Tiles

No matter the room’s purpose, acoustics have an effect on the space. Noise in healthcare settings impacts both patients and staff. Quieter healthcare environments have been shown to lead to faster recovery times and greater patient satisfaction.[1] For doctors, nurses, and staff, it’s important that their environment reduces stress and increases productivity.

With its fibrous structure, stone wool is a high performing sound absorber. When used in a ceiling system, it reduces noise levels and reverberation times. Patients can better communicate, and the staff is able to focus. Installing suspension ceilings with high sound absorption also protects patient privacy and aids in HIPAA compliance.

Rockfon stone wool ceilings offer high sound absorption with ceiling tiles and panels that have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.60-1.00. They comply with all acoustic requirements in building standards and guidelines, including those from the Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI), Green Building Initiative (GBI), WELL, and others.

Ceiling Systems Must Provide Moisture Resistance

Stone wool naturally repels water and will not retain moisture from the air, even in high-humidity environments. This offers two main benefits for ceilings:

Mold Resistance:  Mold negatively impacts indoor air quality and has potentially harmful effects on patients. Stone wool’s natural moisture resistance and non-organic composition mean it does not promote mold and mildew growth.

Sag Resistance: A natural consequence of water and humidity is sagging ceiling tiles, which can create costly maintenance issues. While humidity can weaken some materials, stone wool remains strong even in up to 100% humidity. This means ceiling tiles won’t warp or fall out of the grid.

Because stone wool tiles and panels naturally resist moisture, Rockfon’s stone wool products reduce maintenance costs and feature a 30-year warranty.

Rockfon Stone Wool Provides Exceptional Fire Resilience

Selecting safe materials is a crucial part of improving the fire-resilience of healthcare facilities. Given its volcanic origins, stone wool withstands extreme temperatures of over 2000⁰ F. As a non-combustible material, stone wool does not contribute to the spread of fire or develop toxic smoke.  This helps ensure the safe escape of occupants and firefighters’ response in the case of fire.

All Rockfon stone wool ceiling tiles and panels are UL tested for fire performance.  They have Class A Fire Performance, a Flame Spread Index of 0, and a maximum Smoke Developed Index of 5.

Health and Safety are Critical in Healthcare Construction

The purpose of every building is to provide a safe, comfortable indoor space, but this is especially true for healthcare. The construction materials used in the places where we heal need to make a positive contribution to patient and caregiver health, comfort, and overall well-being.

To have a quality indoor environment, the U.S. Green Building Council recommends a holistic approach. Their LEED rating system sets metrics in its EQ credit category to measure the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) of a space. Included in the category are Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) prerequisites, lighting, occupant comfort, and more.

Stone wool ceiling tiles and panels’ natural strengths contribute to health and safety in several key ways:

Indoor Air Quality: Reducing sources of air pollution results in better IAQ. With UL GREENGUARD® Gold Certification for low VOC emissions, Rockfon stone wool ceiling tiles reduce exposure to airborne chemical contaminants.

Acoustic Comfort: Noise impacts the comfort of indoor environments and how well patients can rest. Stone wool ceilings are excellent at reducing noise and absorbing sound.

Lighting: With contentment being linked to natural light, the ceiling must offer the ideal amount of reflectance. Rockfon stone wool ceiling tiles and panels reflect up to 86% of all available light, limiting hot spots and glare.

Infection Control: To minimize maintenance while maximizing infection control, ceilings need to be easily cleaned. Rockfon’s stone wool ceilings are durable enough to stand up to repeated cleanings. The medical range of tiles are designed specifically for healthcare spaces and are treated to allow cleaning with diluted disinfectants.

Built to be Durable

When selecting construction materials, durability is an important factor. Products should last the life of the building and require little maintenance. Durable choices allow builders and site owners to consume fewer resources, create less waste, and reduce long-term costs.

Rockfon’s stone wool’s moisture resistance and fire resilience make it a durable ceiling solution. The performance will not change over time and the tiles are also durable enough to be removed repeatedly for access to the plenum.

The unique strengths of stone wool offer the opportunity to improve the spaces where health and well-being matter most. Rockfon’s stone wool ceiling tiles and panels come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors to fit every project. Explore Rockfon’s healthcare products and learn more about their benefits at

[1] Pennic, Fred, Quiet Hospital Initiative Helps Increase HCAHPs Scores by 26%, Healthcare IT News/Healthcare Technology—Healthcare Consultant (2015). HCAHPS stands for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.

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