We are endless supporters of Architects, Interior Designers and Office Planners. Without their vision and decorative talents the world we live in might still be the dismal and dreary boxes of the past.
But it is not enough to simply name a room on a blueprint, floor plan, or door and then have that room actually be what it is named.
Form and function must work hand-in-hand in the designed spaces we work, live and play in. Form alone will always require acoustic remediation.
Without sound and vibration control, the daily use (or intended use) of a given space will be severely compromised. A boardroom that sounds like you are in a warehouse is hardly a boardroom. A performance room where the performance is unintelligible is hardly a performance room!
These rooms may well have been envisioned to be the intended name on the door, blueprint or floor plan, but due to poor acoustic considerations, they rarely live up to the nameplate.
When is a room not a room?
This is not an existential mind game – it’s just common sense! Designing for the eye alone will always require some amount of acoustic ‘fixing’ and therefore cost.
Look around you. Offices today are usually constructed using only five materials: drywall, glass, cheap ceiling tile, stone floor tile or industrial carpet glued to the concrete slab.
Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) measures how absorbent a material is; 0.0 being 100% reflective 1.0 being 100% absorbent. The higher the number, the more absorbent the material is.
Drywall, stone floor tile, and glass are all nearly perfect acoustic reflectors, with a typical NRC of around 0.05 – 0.10.
Carpet glued directly onto a concrete floor slab has a typical NRC of around 0.25.
Cheap ceiling tile, used in most drop ceiling installations, has a typical NRC of around 0.40.
This gives the sound in a standard office a substantial reverberation time.
But, there is a material that is 100% clear that we can place in front of glass panels and windows to absorb a significant amount of sound. There are wall many materials that can be a substitute for drywall that look great but have absorbency as a quality. There are high quality ceiling tiles that actually are ‘acoustic’.
For these options, contact us.
To read the full article by Peter Harper, click here.