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CertainTeed® Ecophon® Gedina™ E Ceiling Panels Are Key Component in Acoustical Retrofit at Houston School


(Valley Forge, Pa.) – Ecophon® Gedina™ E ceiling panels from CertainTeed Corporation are playing a key role in increasing student concentration levels and productivity at Grace School, a private Christian pre-K-through-eighth-grade school in Houston. Built in 1975, Grace School has undergone several renovations over the past two years, including the recent acoustical redesign of 26 classrooms.

Houston design-build firm SLI Group, Inc. was hired by Grace School to redesign the classrooms, giving them a more contemporary look and purpose. This included Smart Board technology, energy-efficient lighting, green building products and a heavy emphasis on creating a quiet learning environment. The firm’s noise reduction strategy involved installing new carpeting, covering the original concrete masonry walls with gypsum board and installing acoustical ceiling panels. SLI Group selected Ecophon Gedina E ceiling panels for their balanced blend of Class A sound absorption, high light reflectivity, substantial recycled content and aesthetic appeal.

“We were looking for high-grade ceiling panels that would be environmentally friendly and also help reduce the noise in the classrooms, and the Ecophon Gedina E ceiling panels met our needs,” says Scott Hollingsworth, president of SLI Group. “When you’re designing for a classroom setting, the quieter the room is, the more clearly students can hear their teacher. The Ecophon Gedina ceiling panels played a key role in helping us create quieter classrooms.”

Initially, SLI Group did a test run, outfitting three of the school’s classrooms with their proposed new design. The new design significantly improved acoustics, and the school enthusiastically gave the design-build firm approval to use the same strategy with the remaining 26 classrooms. Castro Contractors, of Houston, installed nearly 16,500 feet of ceiling panels, purchased from Central Building Materials in Tomball, Texas. In the end, the project was a success, creating classrooms with a more up-to-date look and lower noise levels.

“We’re very pleased with SLI Group’s work, including the new ceiling panels in the classrooms,” says Tami Snell, director of operations for Grace School. “You can really tell there’s better sound quality within the classrooms now, which is very beneficial to our teachers and students.”

Ecophon Gedina ceilings from CertainTeed are manufactured from high density fiberglass so they are inherently resistant to mold and mildew growth as well as material sag. Panels have an industry high post recycled content of 70 percent and a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.85, which contributes to strong acoustical performance. Each panel has durable painted edges that resist chipping should the ceiling plenum be accessed. Edge details include trim and reveal edges to accommodate standard 9/16” and 15/16” suspension systems. Exceptional light reflectance is possible with a clean, monolithic surface that offers 84 percent light reflectivity. This helps create a pleasant, energy-efficient interior environment, with more natural distribution of lighting. For more information, go to

About CertainTeed
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010.