Acoustic Ceilings and Wall Panels

30 May

Acoustically poor environments can suffer from long reverb times which can make it difficult to understand speech. An example would be large sports halls or train stations but it can also affect smaller rooms too. Schools and Hospitals with long corridors are another classic example.

So what is reverb, well if you stand and make a noise, not only will some of the sound travel straight to your ears (direct sound), but some of it will also radiate out and bounce back at you from surrounding objects (reflected sound). Because most rooms have numerous sound-reflecting surfaces, like walls, ceilings, floors and furniture the sound will hit these surfaces and bounce back at you at a different time as the direct sound. If lots of reflected sounds arrive at the listener they may be unable to distinguish between them. The proper term is reverberation although some people like to call it echo.

There are a few different solutions to cure the problem with varying cost implications.

Starting with the simplest method of carpeting the area with a thick carpet, although this is not always possible in high traffic areas where a concrete, laminated or vinyl floor is required or maybe there is already a carpet fitted.

Ecophon Advantage

Ecophon Advantage 600x600mm ceiling.

The next solution would be to install a suspended ceiling with acoustic tiles. Some tiles are far better than others at absorbing sound so you need to be looking for ceiling tiles with a NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating of 0.75 or better. Typical examples would be Ecophon ceiling tiles which are made from glass fibres or Rockfon tiles which are made from rock fibres.

Whilst a suspended ceiling is probably one of the best and low cost ways to reduce the reverberation time, again it is not always possible, for instance in a sports hall where stray balls may hit the ceiling.

There may even be a suspended ceiling already fitted and it is still not reducing the reverberation enough due to the shape of the room, for example a room where the ceiling is very high. In this scenario the next best solution would be to fit acoustic wall panels.

Ecophon Wall Panels

Ecophon Texona Wall Panels

Ecophon are the leaders in this area and produce a range of wall panels suitable for almost any room, including high impact areas and in a range of colours. They also have an excellent article on their website which has a couple of recordings you can listen too so you can hear what a difference acoustics can make to an area. Just type in “Speech Clarity” in to the search bar on their website.


One Response to “Acoustic Ceilings and Wall Panels”

  1. peterwilson June 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Beautiful! If you are fond of contemporary products I’d advise checking the following website archiexpo com. Hope you enjoy it!

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