What Does Green Architecture Sound Like?

What Does Green Architecture Sound Like?

What Does Green Architecture Sound Like?

What Does Green Architecture Sound Like?

August 11 2016

Design and architectural professionals who are dedicated to sustainable design demonstrate concern for health and safety, productivity, environmental responsibility and optimal usability.

The tightly woven relationship between acoustics and sustainable design has become increasingly evident in recent years. As design and architecture professionals strive to incorporate sustainability into their projects, there is a tremendous need for accurate, reliable information. Recognizing the significance of sustainable design and the integral role of acoustics, we must embrace the movement and encourage others to do the same.

At the heart of sustainable design and acoustics are fundamental concerns for environmental impact, profitability and health and safety. Accounting for acoustic conditions can greatly increase the overall comfort level of a space, while poor acoustics can result in dangerous, unhealthy environments. Acoustics can be applied to almost every design project with obvious benefits, including functionality. Building and design professionals can apply acoustic solutions to most projects with ease and the selection of effective, recycled acoustic products has never been better.

Considering acoustics is paramount to the profitability and overall integrity of numerous industries and to the collective health and safety of those who live, work and play within the spaces created by building and design professionals.

Sustainable design means far more than just using recycled materials. A design professional must consider:

Efficiency: While many take energy efficiency into account, human efficiency is also very important to sustainable design. Since employees are usually a company’s most valuable resource, creating a space in which they can maximize their productivity is key. Many studies over the last 10 years convincingly document that noise is the main impediment to workplace productivity.

Health & Safety: Hearing loss (from noise exposure) is one of the leading occupational hazards – and is 100% preventable. Employees that suffer from hearing loss are 55% more likely to have a workplace accident. Other health problems associated with noise exposure include headaches, tinnitus, high blood pressure, heart problems, and respiratory ailments.

Comfort:Occupants in a noisy space can feel irritable, distracted, anxious, hostile and annoyed, sometimes without consciously making the connection to noise.

Functionality/Building Longevity: For a space to be successful, it MUST function. An acoustically correct environment is paramount to the functionality of most spaces. You must consider acoustics in any space where:
  •  Speech intelligibility is important (classrooms, courtrooms, boardrooms, etc.)
  • There is a PA system (airports, gymnasiums, public buildings, etc.)
  • Speech privacy is important (open offices, call centres, etc.)
  • Confidentiality is important (doctor’s/counsellor’s offices, HR, police facilities, etc.).
  • Music is important (performance spaces, concert halls, recording studios, etc.)
  • Both speech and music are important (worship centres, ballrooms, theatres, multi-purpose rooms, etc.)
  • A quiet atmosphere is important (libraries, museums, healthcare facilities, etc.)
  • Noise build-up can be problematic (restaurants, lobbies, shopping centres, etc.)

This also applies to building longevity. If a space does not function, how can you hope for building longevity?

How the Building Impacts the Environment

The operation of the facility should not the environment. Although controlling/limiting light pollution is very important, noise pollution can be far more annoying and harmful. Additionally, noise is much more difficult to limit.

Use Recycled (Sustainable) Materials

There are many recycled/sustainable acoustic products that work as well as non-recycled acoustic products. Acoustic products can account for a large percentage of the materials in a space. Often, most of the ceiling, most of the flooring, and some to most of the wall surfaces are acoustical.

Add a comment