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The ABC of Acoustic Design: The Basic Design Principles

A comfortable acoustic environment is a must for places like offices, restaurants, auditoriums, museums, hospitals, schools, and more. There are multiple factors that contribute to noise pollution in a commercial space which then directly affects the health and productivity of everyone using these spaces. There are countless factors that affect the acoustic design of the space like the size of the room, floor covering, ceiling types, space usage, desk materials, and the list goes on. With so much at stake, you just cannot ignore the acoustic design of your setting. You need to find the right balance between sound and noise. Below are a few design principles that you need to consider while planning the acoustic design of your space. 

 

The ‘ABC’ Model

Get started with the ‘ABC’ model of acoustic design, where A stands for sound absorptive material, B stands for sound blocking, and C stands for covering intruding noises like speech within a space. Sound absorptive materials help control the amount of reflected sound within a room whereas sound blocking materials help in blocking sound between rooms or spaces. 

 

Absorb

If you need materials or solutions that will reduce the level of echo and sound waves that travel within your space, then sound absorption products are just what you need. They help in minimizing noise by absorbing sound levels through the use of porous materials that can be used in floors, ceilings, walls, furnishings, accessories, and more. You can absorb sound in your space with the help of fabric wrapped acoustic panels, wood-fiber panels, acoustic foam panels, bonded acoustical cotton panels, and polyester acoustical panels. 

 

Block

Sound blocking refers to products that help in stopping or reducing sound transmission. These solutions are used inside the wall or ceiling as part of the construction material and can be really dense or heavy. Sound can be blocked by adding or increasing the mass and density of the walls to make them heavier. You can block sound in your space with the help of acoustically enhanced gypsum boards, vinyl sound barriers, and sound isolation clips that prevent sound from transmitting through walls and ceilings. 

 

Cover

It is extremely important to design a room where there is very little background noise. You do not want the room to be too quiet because that can cause your employees to be less productive. A slight extra sound is never a bad thing, but too much or too little sound is when there could be an issue. Background music and nature sounds are some of the ways that you can cover the noise and create organic sounds that people are accustomed to hearing.