Today’s younger generations expect noise. We have grown used to open offices and noisy public spaces, however, it is taking its toll. Too much noise can lead to health issues, stress, insomnia and diabetes.
Nothing beats employing an acoustic engineer to help solve noise issues at a business. However, if you want to understand the basics – we put together a brief overview of what to consider.
The materials used in a classroom, public place, office or medical facility influence the acoustics. Large glass facades, hard floors and walls, bare tables and chairs reflect sound. Whereas soft materials such as seating upholstery, curtains or drapes, carpets and rugs produce a quieter atmosphere with a ‘muffled’ sound.
Sound absorption coefficient
How much sound material can absorb is known as sound absorption coefficient, alpha (aw). If the materials sound absorption coefficient is 0, then it is reflective. If the sound absorption coefficient is 1, then the material is absorbing. However, absorption is different at different sound frequencies.
All sound absorption products are not equal; they must be porous enough to allow air molecules and sound energy to permeate yet have enough density to prevent the same air and energy from coming back out.
Materials don’t only absorb or reflect sound, they also can diffuse or ‘spread’ sound. This ‘spread’ is called sound diffusion and relates to the surface texture of the material.
Diffusors randomly or accurately spread sound energy across an area. They do not absorb much energy. They work best in large open spaces where there is a distance between the diffusors and the listener.
A rough or uneven surface is a good sound diffuser. Soundwaves reflected from a rough or uneven surface are spread in many directions, and this helps to dissipate or break down the sound energy.
Sound attenuation is the ability of an object to resist sound transmission through it. The higher the sound attenuation, the less noise will transmit.
Every space is unique, and needs a different approach to acoustics. A highly reflective room with long reverberation times needs more absorption. A space that is ‘dead’ (too quiet) can use less absorption, and more diffusion.
Avenue Interior Systems products focus on sound absorption. The solutions provided by Avenue require the correct placement to ensure that your space achieves the best noise control result. For example, you may need a combination of wall and ceiling panels.
For more information about any products, please contact the team on 1300 827 177.