Dropped ceilings may have an improved return on investment (ROI) over open ceilings.
Effective building design requires balancing multiple objectives: aesthetics, acoustics, environmental factors, and integration with the building's infrastructure—not to mention cost of construction as well as long-term operation costs.
Drop out ceilings have a further advantage in that they can be mounted underneath fire sprinklers, thus hiding the sprinklers for a more attractive appearance. When installed underneath fire sprinklers, certain requirements for materials, applications, installation, and maintenance of drop out ceilings must be met in order to comply with fire safety regulations. (The white paper Drop-out Ceiling Panels–A Discussion on Their Use With Fire Sprinklers, referenced by the article, is available here).
To address fire safety, ceiling tiles made from mineral fibres, plastic, tin, composite, or fire-rated wood panels can be used within the construction to meet acceptable standards/ratings. Some tiles, in specific situations, can provide the needed additional resistance to meet the "time rating" required for various fire code, city ordinance, commercial, or other similar building construction regulations. Fire ratings for ceiling panels vary based on the materials used, the preparation of each panel, and the safety testing and third party evaluation done to determine where and how they can be safely installed. In the UK it can be required for the tiles from certain manufacturers to be clipped into the grid with special ceiling clips in order to provide a fire rating; there are special tiles designed for the underside of mezzanine floors however that can give a fire rating without being clipped.
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