Customers First

June 5, 2006
Nordstrom relies on Celotex® acoustical ceilings to help project customer-oriented image

Customers First
Nordstrom relies on Celotex® acoustical ceilings to help project customer-oriented image

Project: Dulles Town Center
Location: Washington, D.C.
Architects: Callison Architecture, Seattle, WA
Contractor: IBEX Construction, Washington, D.C.

Nordstrom store managers encourage their sales staff to remember customer names and clothing sizes, to make customers feel important, and, above all, to keep them coming back.

These customer service policies are part of the legendary Nordstrom image, which also includes interior decor finishes designed to attract shoppers. This objective extends from the shine of the floor to the elegant yet affordable Celotex® Brand acoustical ceilings from BPB.

According to a Nordstrom spokesperson, “While our customers explore our store, we attend to the details that add value to the Nordstrom experience - spacious aisles, convenient restrooms, attractive décor, and plenty of amenities.”

The Nordstrom department store in Dulles Town Center is no exception. The department store anchors a 1.4 million-square-foot regional mall in northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., and a few minutes from Dulles International Airport.

The dramatic designs of the Celotex® Brand Baroque™ ceiling panels help brighten the spacious aisles, reflect indirect light, and enhance such elegant showroom touches like the live music played by a musician at a baby grand piano.

“The Baroque™ ceiling panels and the retail environment are a perfect match,” says BPB’s ceiling systems manager, David Todd. “The Baroque™ ceiling panels offer a rich look and feel in addition to quality acoustical performance without a premium price.”

The Baroque™ Customline® panels are scored to complement the suspension system and mask the metal grid, while the scoring patterns create lines that compel movement toward the ample racks of merchandise and latest fashions on fully coifed mannequins.

In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, the retail manager looks for every way to hold down costs while maximizing the store’s customer-friendly look. The Baroque™ ceiling system offers a .82 Light Reflectance that in combination with daylight from large display windows and programmable lighting controls can slash energy costs.

The light reflectance of ceiling panels is also important in the new regulatory environment for shops and restaurants in which several state governments have significantly reduced the numberof allowable watts per square foot permitted by the lighting.

The states are merely complying with what the U.S. Department of Energy mandated on July 15, 2004, a requirement that all states adopt an energy code that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999, Energy Standards for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

Dating to 1972, the Standard 90 Series has provided efficiency design criteria for a building’s walls, roof, windows, lighting, and mechanical systems. Some states, such as California, already have more stringent requirements.

These regulations may not seem like a blessing but lower wattage lamps and fixtures used in conjunction with high light reflectance ceiling panels have hidden benefits. The low-watt light fixture may cost more up front but it produces lower heat levels on showroom floors and that lowers air-conditioning costs. 

The architect or interior designer who specifies high light reflectance ceiling panels is using one of a growing number of strategies, which can also include installing fixture reflectors, that can further reduce the life-cycle cost of a new building.

The lighting must strike a balance between low energy-consuming dimmed background lighting to create the right ambiance leading up to the display cases while more expensive-to-operate spot illumination must showcase products to help sell them.

While the Nordstrom clientele need not dress up to shop there, the built-in beauty of a Baroque™ Customline® ceiling welcomes them by creating a dramatic entrance and a customer-friendly look while providing a track record of durability and cleanliness that is unsurpassed.

The Baroque™ panels finished texture is the most popular pattern produced by BPB, giving corporate officers and franchisees the comfort of knowing the ceiling will provide them the consistent image they want to maintain and the visual effects of their brand and identity.

IBEX Construction of Washington, D.C., built the two-story Nordstrom store for the existing Dulles Town Center shopping mall, which is owned by the Dulles Town Center LLC, partnered with Lerner Enterprises, based in Bethesda, MD. The retail store covers 144,000 square feet of a new wing in the Town Center, which is called the Town Court Wing. BPB supplied about 118,000 square feet of ceiling panels for the project.

The architect, Callison Architecture of Seattle, WA, is a designer of retail, hospitality, corporate, healthcare, and mixed-use destinations. “Callison designs attract the business, people, and activity that lead to sustained performance,” according to Tracey Compton, communications specialist for Callison.

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