Armstrong Asks: How Does The Future Workplace Function?

Armstrong “Living Lab” — a recently renovated workspace on the company's Lancaster, PA corporate campus — demonstrates how today’s healthy workplace can function.

To demonstrate how today’s healthy workplace can function, Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions recently renovated a 10,000-square-foot workspace on its corporate campus in Lancaster, PA. Dubbed the Living Lab, the new workspace was created in partnership with architectural firm Gensler and designed with optimal acoustics, lighting, cleanliness, comfort, and exceptional air quality in mind. Armstrong employees work in the fully-equipped office space, providing feedback on the functionality of both individual and collaborative areas.

Designed with indoor environmental quality at the forefront, the Living Lab is intended to be a testing ground and to push the limits of innovation of a workplace model that embodies a “healthy spaces” philosophy. Innovations resulting from the Living Lab range from systems creating cleaner air and enhancing effectiveness of HVAC systems to piloting new installation methods, materials, and design concepts.

The Living Lab houses eight distinct areas, including the main entrance, a work lounge and café, 24 open office workstations, an ideation area, a hands-on “maker” space designed to allow teams to work on new products for testing, huddle spaces and focus rooms, conference rooms, and an outdoor working space.

The first element employees and visitors encounter when they enter the Living Lab is a large 5’ x 20’ wall-mounted dashboard that displays detailed real time information about the Lab’s indoor environmental quality. Building metrics displayed include air quality, carbon dioxide level, humidity, temperature, and other biomechanical data. The intent is to assure occupants they can feel confident in their surroundings while working in the space.

Bringing the outdoors in is an important theme. To introduce more natural light into the space, existing offices along perimeter windows were removed. Other biophilic design elements in the Lab include numerous hanging plants, warm wood tones, and deep, earthy colors.

Ceiling and wall products from the Armstrong 24/7 Defend portfolio are installed throughout the space, with the goal of reassuring those retuning to work that they are surrounded by materials and systems that work 24/7 to keep them safer and healthier.

Armstrong Living Lab

Armstrong Living Lab

Armstrong Living Lab

Those products include both AirAssure™ gasketed ceilings to reduce air leakage through the ceiling plane and VidaShield UV24™ self-contained UV air purification systems to maintain indoor air quality. Total Acoustics™ ceilings, including AcoustiBuilt™ seamless acoustical ceilings that look like drywall, provide a combination of sound absorbing and sound blocking. Environmentally, all of the ceilings in the Living Lab are part of the Armstrong Sustain® portfolio and meet the highest sustainability standards in the industry today.

The Living Lab has earned a WELL Health-Safety Rating Certification seal from the International WELL Building Institute™. It achieved 17 credits including two innovation credits. It also earned an Air Quality Recognition Award from HVAC provider, Trane™, for its clean air.

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