Decoustics® custom wood Solo planks are providing the stunning ceiling highlight, utmost safety and superior acoustics to the newly opened International Terminal of Calgary Airport
Stepping off a plane and into the new Calgary International Airport (YYC) is a transformative experience. Whether you are returning home or visiting this western Canadian metropolis for the first time, it is apparent from the first step that this is a special airport. Natural materials, including wood, metal and stone channel the essence of the surrounding region, while expansive windows show off views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Much like its renewed and internationally acclaimed airport, Calgary has transformed itself in recent years. While this Canadian city remains steeped in the western culture that earned it the nickname “Cowtown” due to the famous Calgary Stampede, it has now also cemented itself as a hub for energy, financial and technology industries. With global ambitions in mind, the city has rapidly expanded its international presence and YYC is a testament to this commitment.
Design Intent and Sustainable Building
The newly opened International Terminal spans over 2,000,000 square feet and cost an estimated USD $1.12 Billion. Featuring 24 new gates, streamlined customs and connections services, advanced screening and boarding processes, 50 new shops and services, this modern terminal is a sprawling space.
Shaping the project were two major design themes: regional connectivity and intrinsic sustainability. A key aspect of the design process was to specify and install a unique, custom ceiling system that would assist with wayfinding, help manage acoustics and mitigate noise, and reflect the beauty and essence of this region. Furthermore, it also needed to contribute to the sustainability and carbon footprint of the terminal design, which uses geothermal cooling and heat, rainwater harvesting and an innovative building envelope to achieve LEED Gold status – a mighty feat for an airport of this size.
Inspired by Calgary’s rich natural resources and some of the oldest parks and biggest Douglas Fir tree sanctuaries in the country, Decoustics (custom acoustical product engineer and manufacturer) worked diligently with their client Dialog Design (integrated design firm) to realize their vision for this spanning ceiling, while achieving the desired design intent and performance objectives. To reflect the essence of this region, Decoustics’ Solo planks were manufactured using Douglas Fir natural wood veneer all of which was responsibly sourced according to the criteria set out by Forest Stewardship Council®, and are FSC® 020536 certified by the Rainforest Alliance. In addition, Solo planks are manufactured using over 80% recycled content propelling this project closer towards reaching its sustainable building certification.
“Acoustical ceilings reduce noise providing a stress-free travel experience”
Acoustic Comfort Delivers Stress-Free Travel Experience
Extensive research has been conducted on the topic of noise pollution in the last 40 years and architects are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of designing spaces with adequate acoustical performance. High-level noise poses adverse effects on person’s physical and mental health including loss of hearing, interference with sleep and speech, inability to concentrate and increased levels of stress. Today noise control is a major factor in the planning process and architects, acoustical engineers and transportation planners are searching for creative ways to eliminate or greatly reduce noise levels. The challenge lies in attaining desired sound levels while simultaneously maintaining or enhancing the visual environment.
Decoustics has been perfecting the art of decorative acoustical solutions and the science of noise mitigation for over 40 years. The range of custom products offered by Decoustics delivers exceptional acoustical performance reaching industry’s top Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) levels while combining both the art and science of acoustics.
Inside the YYC’s International Terminal, Decoustics custom engineered over 200,000 sq ft of acoustical Solo wood products which are providing the stunning ceiling and wall highlight to the large departure halls, retail concourse and luggage areas. Even though the appearance is created seamless and monolithic, Solo planks are uniquely perforated for high sound absorption and come with factory-attached acoustical fleece. Reaching NRC rates of up to 0.95, Solo planks help manage acoustics and mitigate noise, leading to a stress-free and anxiety-reducing travel experience.
“Human health and safety is the greatest priority”
Human Health and Safety is Top Priority
Striving to deliver the best product on the market, Decoustics invests many resources into research and innovation. Continuously subjecting their products to rigorous testing ensures that the finished product delivered attains the highest performance.
Many other building products are constructed utilizing a range of chemicals confirmed to emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) such as Urea Formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. Indoors the VOC concentration is up to ten times higher than outdoors and is proven to cause short and long-term negative impact on the human health. From allergic skin reactions, headaches and respiratory tract irritation to injury as harmful as visual disorders and memory impairment, this is no small matter to be overlooked.
Exploring numerous options Decoustics has come up with a way to deliver safe products and the YYC International Terminal was no exception. Products were manufactured with No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) and discharge minimal VOCs. Above all, Decoustics not only obtained component certification, but assembly approval for their products, achieving the highest Class A fire rating on finished product (composite test). This test result guarantees the lowest level of flame spread in case of an emergency, making them a reliable choice for a busy public space such as this airport. All-around top performance products focusing on human health and safety is Decoustics’ ultimate goal.
“Custom solutions to meet the most unique design challenges”
Custom Solution for a Unique Space
From conception to final product installation Decoustics developed custom solutions to consistently deliver quality and functionality. Covering 150,000 sq. ft. of naturally curved ceiling, wooden Solo planks were installed on a unique, customized accessibility suspension system and created the illusion of floating panels.
Calgary Airport’s expansive ceiling bays go up to 320 ft. in length and 25 ft. in width, they are gradually curved, incorporate hundreds of light fixtures of varying lengths and change in elevation by 8 ft. from one end to the other reaching trialing heights of 60 ft. from the floor level. Installation with such complex project parameters poses many challenges and can be very costly and time-consuming. To facilitate this process, Decoustics delivered a premium package of products which made installation as efficient as possible. In addition to Decoustics’ unique suspension system, all Solo plank products were custom engineered and manufactured for a precise fit, and delivered on site a finished product ready to be easily installed.
Covering another 50,000 sq. ft., Decoustics’ Solo planks are also seen throughout the airport in different finishes and installations, such as triangular-shaped ceilings at food courts and waiting areas, and transitioning from wall to ceiling in the hallways.
The end result is nothing short of spectacular. Built with today’s passenger in mind, YYC International Terminal is a forward thinking, innovative and beautiful facility that tells the story of Calgary, Alberta and Western Canada. Breathtaking views, innovative technology, exceptional acoustics and warm ambiance created by Decoustics’ natural wood veneered ceilings and walls deliver an enjoyable, safe and stress-free travel experience for the airport’s 13 million annual passengers.