The acoustic environment can affect us without us being aware of it. Noise, as in unwanted sound, especially constant loud noise, could seriously interfere with the quality of life and work and sometimes even causes serious health problems.
However, absolute silence is not always the best acoustic environment, either. When being put in an environment that is so quiet you can hear the sound of your own breath and heart beats, the experience could become quite terrifying.
Good acoustic quality in an area means that the impact of desirable sounds outweighs the impact of noise. It could be achieved by enhancing the pleasant sounds and mask or reduce the unwanted sounds.
Here are 6 quick tips for designing an acoustically superior environment:
- Reduce sound reverberation time inside the room by specifying sound absorbing materials and by configuring spaces to dampen rather than magnify sound reverberation.
- Provide sound masking if necessary.
- Limit transmission of noise from outside inside by designing high sound transmission class (STC) walls between work areas and high noise areas inside and outside the building.
- Minimize background noise from the building’s HVAC system and other equipment.
- Provide opportunities for privacy and concentration when needed in open plan offices.
- Enclose or separate group activity spaces from work areas where concentration is important.
WBDG – Whole Building Design Guide
Report: Good acoustic environment…more than just freedom from noise by Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
DecorLini acoustic wall lining by Decor Systems helps absorbing reverberated noise and improve acoustic quality at JCU Lecture Theatre.