Acoustics is about soundproofing and much more. Acoustic design for homes, workplaces, healthcare facilities, classrooms, stores, and restaurants improves the functioning and efficiency of the buildings while making them more comfortable for the people who live and work there. New acoustic building products like sound wall panels and ceiling clouds add to the design elements of any building, integrating function with aesthetics.
Understanding sound control
Acoustics is about sound control. Soundproofing helps to block unwanted sounds from the outside, or from surrounding rooms and spaces. Sound control also helps to ensure that sound travels within a room where it is meant to be heard. This can mean that a lecture or a music concert can be heard clearly and without distortion or interference within the designated space.
Soundproofing can block or eliminate harmful and loud noise. Loud sounds can be harmful to human health. Continuous exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss. And continuous exposure to community noise over 40 decibels increases the risk of heart disease. An estimated 15% of all Americans, from ages 20 to 69, suffer from some hearing loss due to the loud sounds encountered at work or leisure.
Acoustical ceilings and soundproof wall panels
New acoustic building products help to control sound. They can eliminate outside noise, improve sound quality within a room, lecture hall or concert space, and prevent noise leakage between rooms.
Acoustic ceiling products when used in schools and hospitals can enable the buildings to perform their functions better. Acoustic ceiling panels in schools allow children to hear the teacher more clearly, which helps then to learn and perform better.
And acoustic building products in hospitals can create a quiet environment that is conducive to faster and better healing.
Soundproofing can use four different strategies, singly or in combination: adding mass, damping, decoupling and filing air gaps. Some of the methods used by designers and architects for sound control include:
- Adding partition walls
- Using acoustical accent clouds as design elements
- Acoustical ceilings that absorb and damp sound
- Acoustical wall panels that absorb sound
Sound control is an important element of building design. New acoustic building products can play an important role in making buildings more effective, as well as healthier and more efficient.