Installing Suspended Ceiling Systems
- CSI Division:
- Division 9 - Finishes
- Metal Acoustical Ceilings
- Last Modified:
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Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.
We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
INSTALLING SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEMS
THOUGH THE INSTALLATION OF SUSPENDED CEILINGS IN HISTORIC BUILDINGS
IS NOT IN GENERAL CONFORMANCE WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S
GUIDELINES, IT IS A COMMON PRACTICE IN MANY GSA BUILDINGS. THIS
TYPE OF WORK SHOULD ONLY BE PERFORMED IN A MANNER WHICH IS FULLY
REVERSIBLE AND CAUSES MINIMAL DAMAGE TO THE EXISTING HISTORIC
A. This procedure includes guidance on installing a
suspended ceiling system to support various types of
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be used
along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the
1. Historic Structures Precautions
3. Quality Assurance
4. Delivery, Storage and Handling
5. Project/Site Conditions
6. Sequencing and Scheduling
7. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed along with
recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation
A. Product Data: For information only, submit two copies of
manufacturer's product specifications and installation
instructions for panels and for suspension system,
including certified laboratory test reports and other
data as required to show compliance with the
specifications. Distribute one additional copy of each
installation instruction to installer. Submit 2 copies
of manufacturer's instructions for cleaning ceiling
including precautions against materials and methods which
may be detrimental to finish.
B. Shop Drawings: Submit shop drawings indicating
appropriate methods for attaching to historic materials
C. Samples: Submit 3 sets of 12" square samples. In each
set of samples show the full range of exposed color and
texture to be expected in the completed work.
D. Design Data/Test Reports/Certificates: Submit certificate
from manufacturer that material and finish meet specified
1.03 PROJECT/SITE CONDITIONS
A. Space Enclosure: Do not install ceiling until space has
been enclosed and is weather-tight and until work above
the ceiling has been completed and until satisfactory
conditions of temperature and humidity will be
A. Ceiling Panels: Type, size and color as directed and
approved by RHPO. Provide panels with formed edges
appropriate for specified mounting method and meeting all
B. Suspension System:
1. Comply with ASTM C635, Heavy Duty unless more
stringent requirements are specified herein.
2. General: Provide heavy duty grid, direct hung,
intermediate duty system consisting of 1-1/2" x
3/4" channels @ 4'-0" o.c. each way, hung from or
attached to structure, cross tees, and other
components necessary for a complete installation
including (as applicable for conditions) inserts,
anchors, hangers, edge moldings, trim, clips,
springs and other required accessories or as shown
on the drawings.
3. Where ceiling panels abutt walls, beams or other
surfaces or as detailed, provide finish channel
wall molding in not less than 16 gauge (.05") -
finished as specified for panels.
4. At light fixtures, diffusers or other interruptions
of the ceiling where panel edges might otherwise be
exposed, provide edge trim as required for neat
5. Detail suspended ceiling to preserve exterior
appearance of window. Keep dropped ceiling a
minimum of 3 feet back from window. Do not allow
suspended ceiling geight to encroach move than 12"
on top of window height.
A. Verification of Conditions: Examine each space and
verify that existing historic features and equipment
installed above the ceiling will not conflict with
ceiling installation of access. Notify the Contractor in
writing of any unsatisfactory conditions. Do not proceed
with the work until conditions have been corrected.
Commencement of ceiling installation shall indicate
acceptance of condition of area.
A. Planning: Unless otherwise shown, plan each layout to
balance border widths at opposite edges of each ceiling
area. Avoid use of ceiling plans wherever possible.
Consult the RHPO for resolution of conflicts or where
deviation from the reflected ceiling plans is necessary.
1. Plan installation of ceiling supports to minimize
damage to historic materials. Include protection
of character defining elements.
B. Hanger Supports and Inserts: Where cast-in-place
concrete is indicated to support ceiling, furnish
required inserts at the commencement of formwork. As
placement of concrete or metal deck (as applicable)
progresses, verify that hanger supports are properly
located and secured.
1. Protect historic finishes and elements when
installing suspension system. If alterations of
historic materials and finishes are required, work
shall be reversible and cause minimal damage.
Character defining or ornamental elements shall not
3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: Install materials in accordance with manufacturer's
printed instructions, and to comply with governing
regulations, fire resistance rating requirements as indicated
and industry standards applicable to the work.
A. Install suspension system in accordance with applicable
provisions of ASTM C636 except to the extent that more
stringent requirements are indicated or required for
compliance with governing regulations or fire resistance
ratings. Suspend ceiling hangers from building
structural members only. As the work progresses verify
compliance with all tolerances specified in ASTM C636.
NOTE: PLAN INSTALLATION OF CEILING SUPPORTS SO AS TO
MINIMIZE DAMAGE TO HISTORIC MATERIALS AND FINISHES.
B. Installing Ceiling Panels:
1. Install panels, in coordination with suspension
system, with edges concealed by flanges of
2. Install hold-down clips as recommended by panel
manufacturer as indicated or required.
3. Install moldings and trim as specified as work
progresses. Miter corners accurately to provide
4. Scribe and cut panels for accurate fit at borders
and at interruptions and penetrations by other work
through the ceilings.
A. Following completion of work, verify that panels are
properly seated with no cracks between panels and
suspension flanges. Replace scratched or bent panels.
Clean dirty panels in accordance with manufacturer's
B. After 30 days, inspect the installation and clean, adjust
or replace any missing or defective work.