The Good and the Not-So-Good: Open Ceilings

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Open ceilings are more common than ever in modern office design.

The industrial design trend is booming, and with it comes plenty of exposed materials, open plan offices and exposed ceilings.

Whilst it’s certainly a popular option, there are quite a few factors that you should consider before opting for an open ceiling in your office.

Here are some of the good and the not-so-good features of open ceiling design.

The Good

You Can Save Money on Construction Costs

Open ceilings are cheaper… at first.

Initial construction costs for open ceilings are about 15-22% less than for suspended ceilings, a 2008 study by the Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association found.

The initial saving comes about due to the use of less materials, less construction time and lower labour costs.

It’s Modern

Open ceilings appeal to current design trends.

A modern, industrial style gives your business a fashionable look, impressing customers, clients and staff alike.

It tells the industry that your business is in vogue.

This type of ceiling also offers more space to customise your design down the track if you are so inclined.

It’s a Mood Lifter

An exposed ceiling makes a room feel more spacious.

This often results in better lighting and better airflow, which has a positive effect on the mood and the health of your workers.

Studies have shown that a combination of improved light and airflow is conducive to a more creative and productive working environment.

The Not So Good

You’ll Pay More in Energy Costs

An open ceiling means a larger space.

Unfortunately, costs for heating and cooling can therefore increase.

Whilst construction costs may have been cheaper, this saving can well be negated by energy costs in the long run.

The increase in energy use also means a larger carbon footprint for your business, something to best avoid where possible.


Without a suspended roof to cushion sound, noise can carry further.

Unwanted noise can distract your staff, which can then mean a lower quality of work and lower productivity.

The effects can be reduced by using spray on acoustic materials, but these aren’t anywhere near as effective as a suspended ceiling.

There’s More Effort Involved in Cleaning and Maintenance

Exposed ceilings take more effort to clean and maintain.

The additional height, as well as tricky exposed piping, can pose a problem for cleaners, as well as those maintaining the ceiling surface.

An open ceiling also gathers more dust and grime, and therefore needs to be cleaned on a more frequent basis.