Durham County Council’s Seaham Contact Centre opened in May 2011 and houses a library, Registrar’s office, housing and benefit advice sections and Customer Contact Centre.
The new £3.8 million complex is a unique design for Durham County Council residents and community groups.
The new building was designed to meet high environmental standards and achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating. The building is glass fronted and has a high thermal mass for passive heating and cooling via the structural concrete soffit. The rooms & spaces presented challenges acoustically. However, the installation of an acoustic suspended ceiling, improved the acoustic environment for those working and using the building.
Saint-Gobain Ecophon designed the striking suspended ceiling with strong consideration of the BREEAM aspirations of the building. Ecophon’s technical and design team were able to advise on how to achieve the correct “Room Acoustic Comfort” to support all the activities and room functions of the building. The layout of the acoustic ceiling and installation detail was supported by the contractor Kenmor Ceilings & Partitions. They installed Focus E with Wing perimeter rafts and free-hanging Solo acoustic panels all made from 80% recycled glass wool. This allowed full accessibility to overhead services and allowed the air flow in the building to be unrestricted. Kenmor overcame the complex integration with mechanical engineering requirements whilst working to a tight installation programme.