Sounds Like A Plan: The Need for Acoustic Consultants
So your finished project looks great, but how does it sound? Your response may be, “Come again?” or, “Say what?”
It is usually no surprise that when it comes to building an auditorium or concert venue, the project would require a noise specialist or acoustician. With the influx of demand for open creative space, there is an increased need for such services to ensure security and privacy in some professions that were previously occupying the more typical, compartmentalized office layout.
One of our 2014 projects involved a utility field that ran noisy equipment throughout the day. With its close proximity to a residential neighborhood, the client needed a solution to create sound barriers that were not only efficient noise buffers, but were also aesthetically pleasing. We relied on previous noise studies done on the property and worked with a few manufacturers of sound walls to come up with a custom look that would be functional and blend in with the overall look of the site.
Another recent project involved a facility with sensitive laboratory equipment that was positioned close to an airport. Not only did we need a way to buffer noise of aircraft activity for the occupants, there was also the risk of exterior glass being compromised with the vibrations of helicopters. Appropriate measures were taken in order to prevent negative effects of the surrounding use.
In some offices, confidentiality can be an issue, so studies are completed to ensure private conversations are kept private. With the mentioned examples, consultants such as Newson Brown Acoustics, have provided the expertise needed from the onset of the job. In other cases, noise abatement can be resolved internally. When tenants wish for the ever-popular open space floor plan, the issue of noise becomes a topic of conversation.
In a recent project, Environ designers remedied this problem in an open-ceiling conference room by specifying an upholstered wall system with acoustic, tackable panels designed to reduce noise. Not only did it absorb sound, but the design solution doubled as an artful decorative piece. Other solutions might include suspended materials from the exposed ceilings. Whether by utilization of an acoustic consultant, or innovative techniques developed by a design team, the consideration of noise abatement is always sound practice.