Published Tue, Sep 20th 2016

ROCKFON were appointed to provide acoustic ceiling solutions for a major refurbishment programme for the British Army Reserve. The British Army Reserve is the largest of the Reserve Forces in the UK with around 30,000 trained soldiers. ROCKFON outperformed its competitors on both aesthetics and acoustic performance to help revitalise army centres across the north east.

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The ROCKFON Blanka® dB42 ceiling was chosen to provide outstanding acoustic control in the drill hall. Local contractor Jason Frank from Decke (Newcastle) Ltd fitted the ceilings at Debdon Army Reserve Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne and explains what was required: “The army wanted a highly sound absorbent ceiling to curb the level of reverberation to ensure speech can be heard and understood. The drill hall does not receive any natural light, and the bright white surface of ROCKFON Blanka helps improve the lighting conditions.”
The drill hall is a large area of high activity. Regular drill practice takes place here with companies of up to 200 soldiers marching in response to drill commands which are characterised by their loud volume. The hall’s original interior was fitted with highly reverberant hard surfaces, which created an uncomfortable acoustic environment for the reservists. ROCKFON Blanka dB42 ceiling tiles are 40mm thick and offer Class A sound absorption. The ceiling’s high absorption controls the ambient sound level in the hall, preventing echo and increasing speech intelligibility. ROCKFON Blanka dB42 also offers high sound insulation, preventing noise generated in the hall from spreading to adjacent areas.
Light diffusion and light reflection were also necessary requirements for the ceiling in the hall. To create a uniform and regular spread of light across the room, the ceiling had to provide the right combination of high light reflection and good light diffusion. ROCKFON Blanka tiles provide 99% light diffusion and an independently tested light reflection index above 87%, thanks to its specialist super-white coating sourced from the US space industry.
Because of this unique coating, ROCKFON Blanka tiles have a smooth, matt finish that allows for easy installation. The tiles have no pattern which enables them to be installed in any direction, saving money and time, and reducing waste. Surface durability tests rate ROCKFON Blanka top of its class. The anti-static properties of the coating make ROCKFON Blanka resistant to site dust. The tiles are designed to be hard-wearing and can resist up to 100% relative humidity without losing their shape.
To complement the ROCKFON stone wool tiles, the ceiling at Debdon was installed on Chicago Metallic T24 Click 2890 ceiling grid from ROCKFON.  Made from galvanised steel, the 24mm grid is very strong and stable. It is fast and accurate to install thanks to a helpful audible ‘click’ which sounds when the components connect into position, enabling faster installation times on site. 
ROCKFON Blanka delivers all the unique stone wool performance characteristics you would expect from ROCKFON including outstanding acoustic performance and fire safety properties. ROCKFON Blanka tiles are produced from up to 42% recycled materials and are fully recyclable. When installed with Chicago Metallic® grid, the ceiling system has a 30-year warranty to ensure building owners a long product lifecycle.
CCF Newcastle supplied the project with ROCKFON Blanka and Chicago Metallic grid. CCF stocks a wide range of ROCKFON ceiling solutions across all its branches in the UK.
ROCKFON is well-known for providing an acoustic solution for any interior. To find out how ROCKFON can help you maximise the potential of your project, visit or email

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