Just the tonic

The new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children, which was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 3 July 2015, and consequently renamed the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, is a benchmark project for many reasons.

One is its size – being the largest hospital building project in Europe to date, and another its design for client NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde by specialist healthcare architects IBI Group (formerly Nightingale Associates) – which is colourful and brave in its use of internal ‘floating’ cantilevered pods, among other elements.

First impressions aside, it is equally ground-breaking in the background, being the largest off-cut recycling project to date by Armstrong Ceilings who diverted more than 10,000 m² or 35 tonnes of mineral ceiling tile off-cuts from landfill.

Main contractor Brookfield Multiplex had worked with Armstrong before to recycle 8,000 m² or 32 tonnes of Bioguard Plain ceiling tile off-cuts at Peterborough City Hospital.

It was also the largest project to date featuring elements from Armstrong Ceilings’ service and systems portfolio – not just tiles for acoustic and healthcare purposes, but also a variety of suspension and Dry Wall Grid systems with bespoke Axiom perimeter solutions – backed by the company’s 30-year systems warranty.

Such was the size of the project that it required two members of Armstrong’s Green Omega network of specialist subcontractors, especially recognised for their recycling expertise – Roskel Contracts and PFP.

The project was also noteworthy for Roskel Contracts, which installed the first, laboratory phase – 30,000 m² of Armstrong’s lifetime-guaranteed Dune Supreme Tegular mineral tiles on a Prelude 24 mm grid – as it became the first Green Omega member in Scotland.


Armstrong worked with Roskel Contracts to create 800 m² of exemplar mock-up areas of two sizes (600 mm x 600 mm and 1,200 mm x 600 mm) of the square-edged Bioguard Acoustic tiles which combine good sound absorption and attenuation to ISO 5 levels with antimicrobial properties.

PFP then had a team of up to 60 men on site for two and a half years, installing 110,000 m² of Armstrong’s Bioguard Acoustic mineral tiles and a variety of wall-to-wall suspension and transition systems.

The 140,000 m² of Armstrong wall-to-wall ceiling systems used at the new hospital also include the manufacturer’s pre-engineered aluminium perimeter solutions Axiom transitions, profiles and accessories.

In addition, in the cantilevered pods that are the most jaw-dropping element of the project, a 100 mm Axiom profile was coupled with a bespoke 225 mm Axiom profile and riveted together to create a 325 mm bulkhead/upstand at a custom length of 3.6 m.

This particular method took just 25% of the installation time compared to traditional plastering methods, prompting PFP to remark that this Armstrong system represented the next generation of building products.

A variety of Armstrong suspension systems were also used on the project, including 70,000 linear metres of the Drywall Grid System for use with plasterboard ceilings (including curved DGS around the nurses’ stations in the wards), 12,000 linear metres of Axiom plasterboard-to-tile transition trims in corridors leading off a central atrium, 10,000 linear metres of Axiom profiles (which help with ceiling level changes, floating ceiling construction and lighting integration) and 40,000 accessories including connecting brackets, clips and hanging brackets.

Along with the Armstrong Prelude standard and non-corrosive exposed grids which combine exceptional stability with installation ease, all of these systems were installed by PFP a year before tiling to minimise damage to services in the ceiling void.


Armstrong Ceilings
Armstrong House
38 Market Square
Uxbridge | UB8 1NG
0800 371 849