Home > How Barrisol Recycled stretch ceilings cut carbon footprint and outperform traditional suspended ceilings

How Barrisol Recycled stretch ceilings cut carbon footprint and outperform traditional suspended ceilings

By: Caroline Szeremeta Category: Expert AdviceInsightsStretch Ceilings

Architects are looking for environmental improvements in the buildings they design and materials they specify. BREEAM, HQE and, in the US, LEED keep everyone on their toes. One way to improve the carbon footprint of any new build or refurbishment is to install a stretch ceiling rather than a traditional plasterboard or tile construction. And, through Waverley’s partnership with Barrisol, that choice is now simpler thanks to Barrisol Recycled membranes. 

What is a recycled stretch ceiling?

All Barrisol stretch ceilings are made of 100% recyclable membranes. What makes Barrisol Les Recyclés® membranes special is that 50% of the material is from recycled ceilings. The aluminium rail systems are also 100% recyclable and all Barrisol’s systems utilise recycled aluminium, gathered from its own material and other post-consumer aluminium products.  

Barrisol uses no water in the manufacturing and installation process and emits no CFCs or HCFCs. They are rated A+ for emission levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the quality of indoor air. 

Regulators and certification schemes recognise the high quality of the materials: Barrisol Recyclés® complies with European certifications (HQE and BREEAM) and to the US certification scheme LEED. 

Recycled sheets are available in four colours and with aesthetic perforations. With Micro perforations, these ceilings are ideal to optimise acoustics. 

How biopolymers make better plasticisers

All plasticisers used in these stretch ceilings are phthalate-free. However, Barrisol has improved plasticisers even further. The company is the first manufacturer to offer a plasticizing agent of vegetable origin 

30% of the total material in a ceiling is the plasticiser. With bio-polymers, this 30% comes from cereals and this will increase over time with continuing sustainable industry innovations. Barrisol constantly undertakes new research and pushes for more of its use in the supply chain. 

The biopolymer membrane complies with ODDY test, which means it is approved for use around art and museum display objects. 

What about installation and use?

One big environmental plus about stretch ceilings is that their installation requires just one trade on site. Installation is simpler, faster and uses on average around 20 times less material than a traditional suspended ceiling. 

All stretch ceilings, including the recycled membranes, are washable and do not need to be painted. They are flexible too – removable and reassembled at will, a well-installed stretch ceiling will last more than 30 years.  

How does the Barrisol recycling scheme work?

Any recycled material is only ever as good as its collection and processing scheme. Barrisol operates a simple and effective take-back scheme for all its used stretch ceilings. 

Barrisol-approved installers, like Waverley, will remove the old ceiling and rails carefully. Typically, they will build up a stock when they replace ceilings and return them in bulk to their factory in France for recycling and remanufacture. 

Since the scheme began, hundreds of ceilings in all kinds of colours and finishes have been taken back for recycling in this closed loop system. 

50% of any new ceiling can be made from recycled materials. Aluminium profiles are made from recycled metal, not just from their ceilings but other aluminium components, like off cuts and post-consumer aluminium scrap. 

What’s next for sustainable stretch ceilings?

50% recycled content is just the beginning. Both Barrisol and Waverley know there is much more to achieve to help their customers make all buildings net-zero. 

While PVC is 100% recyclable, research and development continues apace to bring alternatives to market, to reduce or even eliminate its use in sheeting. Two promising avenues are already on the market: 

  • Artolis Phoenix Renaissance – this is a 100% recyclable polyester textile with a biodegradable coating. Its exceptionally wide span and acoustic properties makes the material ideal for auditoriums and cinemas 
  • Ecolia – this is a wood and wool range. Launched within the last six months, Ecolia uses wood from certified sustainable forests and also offers great acoustics. 

All Barrisol’s innovations are being assessed by BRE Global Limited and as such, full EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) will be available. Results will be featured on the Greenbook website. 

Specifiers can also look at Barrisol’s product lifecycle analysis (LCA) which considers how stretch ceilings perform in different real-life installation scenarios. 

The company’s factory is independently audited. All components are CE certified: 

  • The sheet and harpoons are made at Barrisol’s factory in Kembs, France 
  • Aluminium profiles are locally sourced 
  • 100% of the electricity used comes from renewable energies. 

With the Barrisol® system installed by Waverley, architects and developers will deliver buildings with significant environmental benefits over traditional suspended ceilings. Contact Waverley to discuss how stretch ceilings can play a part in your journey to net zero buildings. 

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