Modern and postpandemic-friendly with natural light, Brixmor’s newly remodeled offices include SONEX® AFS Ceiling and Wall System and SONEX Linear Absorbers
Located in the Plymouth Square retail shopping center in Plymouth Township, Pa., the newly renovated 45,000-square foot Brixmor office went from being a virtually unrentable basement space to a dream office. In addition to installing glass curtainwalls on two sides of the building to allow natural light into the space, the design team created an inviting environment for approximately 200 employees. Planned for postpandemic employee safety and comfort, the office was designed with touchless doors, larger work stations and alluring amenity spaces. In addition to making sure that the facility had good air quality, sound quality was also addressed with SONEX® Linear Absorbers and SONEX AFS Acoustic Plaster System from pinta acoustic, inc.
JKRP Architects had been working with the previous owner of the shopping center on an updated design for the building when Brixmor, which owns and operates nearly 400 retail centers across the country, purchased it. Once a basement bowling alley, Brixmor wanted to transform the lower levels of the space into offices. To get as much light into the space as possible, JKRP Architects updated the design to add glass façades on the north and west sides of the building. And interior design firm, D2 Groups, LLC, transformed three very separate levels into one split-level office space.
“The building was built in the 1960s with thinner slab construction. It was not built with acoustics in mind,” says Devon Gray, project manager for JKRP Architects. “The new Brixmor office space is located directly beneath an REI retail store where rolling carts sounded like a freight train. We knew we needed to bring in an acoustical consultant to perform acoustical testing and make recommendations.”
“All too often, clients don’t put acoustics in during initial design and construction,” says Josh Wilson, senior project designer from D2 Groups. “They wait until it’s a problem. Before the Brixmor space was remodeled, an acoustician from Metropolitan Acoustics in Philadelphia provided preconstruction testing and guidance on where acoustical treatments would be needed.”
The interior design team from D2 Groups contacted pinta’s representative, Jim Kolcun, at Applied Acoustical Group. After reviewing options, D2 Groups recommended SONEX Linear Absorbers to be installed above the workstations and in the cafeteria. The absorbers were suspended from the ceiling to create an attractive design element while maintaining the industrial open ceiling look. In addition, pinta’s SONEX AFS Acoustic Plaster Ceiling and Wall System was installed in the boardroom and other meeting rooms.
“We used pinta acoustic’s SONEX Linear Absorbers in another nearby project a few years ago,” says Wilson. “Brixmor’s team walked through that facility and were impressed by the look and function of the absorbers.”
“Our general contractor did the fit-out of the office we toured with D2 Group,” says Lucas Heverly, senior project manager, construction at Brixmor. “In addition to getting favorable feedback about performance from our general contractor and the occupants of the space, we liked the look of the baffles. When we were doing construction, the sound was reverberating off the glass curtainwalls, concrete and other hard surfaces. Once SONEX Linear baffles were installed, there was a noticeable difference with less echo.”
D2’s interior designer wanted a grid element hanging over the kitchen in the cafeteria. To build the grid, the team needed something constructable and wanted to use acoustic material to absorb sound reverberating off the hard surfaces in the space, including glass, polished concrete and exposed metal ceiling deck. Grey SONEX Linear Absorbers were used to create the grid-style pattern that blends well with the ceiling and creates an interesting design element. To absorb sound above the work stations, SONEX Linear Absorbers in 10- and 12-inch heights were hung in rows to create movement and interest without being visually overwhelming.
D2 was looking for ways to integrate the Brixmor brand that includes a distinctive X graphic. In the boardrooms and three other meeting spaces, the interior design team developed a ceiling design that played off the branding. The ceiling included recessed LED lights along a magnetic black bar. This lighting treatment was surrounded by SONEX AFS Acoustic Plaster System, which provides a monolithic look like gypsum board along with the added benefit of excellent sound absorption.
“We knew we needed an acoustical treatment in the boardroom and other meeting rooms, “says Heverly. “The boardroom has two glass walls and is large to accommodate a sizable group of people. It includes web conferencing equipment and speakers in the ceiling and walls. We needed to make sure that there weren’t any sound issues during important meetings and video conferences. SONEX AFS minimizes the reverberation in the room to maximize speech intelligibility.”
Across from another shopping center that the company owns, the new Brixmor office integrates two divisions into the same building for better collaboration and future growth. The office has been Fitwel certified and is being reviewed for LEED certification.
SONEX AFS Acoustic Plaster Ceiling and Wall System typically adheres to gypsum substrates, SONEX AFS consists of single- or double-sided fiberglass-mesh laminated to WILLTEC™ open-cell melamine foam panels, offered in a variety of thicknesses. Joints between panels are taped and finished, then base and finish coats of PA-85 plaster are trowel-applied, creating smooth monolithic walls or ceilings. Sound energy travels through the acoustically porous finish and gets absorbed into the WILLTEC panel core beyond, delivering exceptional NRC ratings within interior spaces.
SONEX Linear baffles absorb unwanted sound reflecting off glass, gypsum, polished concrete floors and other hard surfaces. SONEX Linear provides highly customizable options including sizes, profiles and colors. Made from pinta acoustic’s Class 1 fire-rated WILLTEC foam, the baffles are available in lengths up to 96 inches (2438 mm) with depths from 6 to 24 inches (152 to 610 mm). SONEX Linear Absorbers are easy to install using channel trim and acouSTIC™ adhesive.
For more information about pinta products or to find a representative, visit www.pinta-acoustic.com or call 1.800.662.0032 or +1.612.355.4200. To download “The Science of Better Acoustics” white paper, go to http://bit.ly/acousticscience.
Brixmor owns and operates nearly 400 retail centers across the country – centers where retailers and communities connect and thrive. The company is led by proven real estate professionals with deep industry expertise, retailer relationships and capital market experience. Brixmor believes that doing the right thing leads to environmental, employee and community well-being, as well as long-term sustainable growth. Brixmor.com
Through carefully designed and quality-built spaces, JKRP Architects connects the client’s vision to a living reality. The outcome is more than just a building – it’s an ongoing experience that we’re building together. Founded in 1984, JKRP Architects is a full-service architecture firm built on relationships. Based in Philadelphia and serving clients nationwide, the firm has become a part of the community. jkrparchitects.com
D2 Groups, LLC
D2 Groups, LLC is a creative firm of architects, designers, brand strategists, and MEP engineers. Founded in 2004 and located in King of Prussia, just outside of Philadelphia, we have forged client relationships both regionally and across the globe. At D2, we believe everyone is a creative, a leader, a strategist. Our studio is built on the philosophy that a collaborative and diverse team brings the most energy and the best results. Through research, innovation and tested processes, we design meaningful experiences and environments where people thrive and businesses work. d2groups.com
Applied Acoustical Group
Applied Acoustical Group has nearly 30 years of experience offering its expertise as a turnkey noise control engineering firm. The company subscribes to a solutions-based approach that solves problems within each of customer’s unique needs and constraints. Applied Acoustical Group will measure the noise problems and engineer a custom solution using many abatement methods and options. The company also offers installation. The company delivers sound studies, acoustical enclosures, sound walls and pinta foam products, for both industrial and architectural applications. appliedacousticalgroup.com