Product Review

Decorative Ceiling Panel Uses Recycled Content

Standard decorative ceiling panels are made using plaster in a relatively labor-intensive process, according to Brooks Williams, a marketing manager at Chicago Metallic. Monarch GE is made on an automated line in “a simpler, cleaner, more energy-efficient process,” said Williams, offering environmental and cost benefits. The bulk of the panels are tiny, lightweight, durable glass spheres manufactured by Poraver from 100% post-consumer recycled glass. (Although saved from the landfill, the beads are not without environmental costs—they are manufactured at 1,650°F, or 900°C, using significant energy.) Chicago Metallic takes back used panels and sells them to other manufacturers as crushed material to be used as a mastic.

Chicago Metallic offers Monarch GE in coffer, open-coffer, and flat-panel designs, and says that panels won’t warp, sag, or grow mold. The panels fit into a standard two-foot-square (0.6-m2) suspended grid; non-decorative filler panels are used for edges. Unpainted, they reflect 83% of the light that falls on them, helping spread daylight through a room, and they hold paint well without trapping dirt. For rooms with sound-deadening needs, Monarch GE includes a drop-in acoustic coffer that keeps the decorative profile of the Monarch GE while offering greater sound absorption.

Published March 1, 2008

Roberts, T. (2008, March 1). Decorative Ceiling Panel Uses Recycled Content. Retrieved from