CISCA (The Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association) conducted the first ever study of its kind comparing suspended ceilings with open plenum (exposed) ceilings based on initial construction costs, recurring energy costs and the resulting life cycle payback.
The key finding: Suspended ceilings outperform open plenum ceilings by not only reducing a building’s lifetime operating costs, but also by providing a sustainable advantage.
“This study is an important step forward for the interior ceiling construction industry,” says CISCA Executive Director Shirley Wodynski. “Debate about the relative benefits of each ceiling type has been ongoing. An objective, independent study was needed to quantify life cycle data and to clarify the advantages of each ceiling type.”
The study evaluated energy and construction data in five markets in late 2007. The communities involved were: Chicago, Charlotte,Oklahoma City, Orlando and Phoenix. Both retail and office buildings were included in the evaluation.
The research found suspended ceilings can achieve a life cycle payback in as few as 11 months. During the life span of the ceiling, these lower energy costs translate into savings that outweigh the initial construction costs.
To read a summary of the survey’s finding, click here.