How to improve acoustics in a large room or public buildings
To people outside the building industry who may consider that acoustics is sound created by instrument, this is correct if you also consider that people are also instruments that generate noise.
Quite often in large commercial buildings such as public halls, restaurants and offices – you may be in a situation were you cannot hear yourself talk or are struggling to make out what other peopler saying and this is caused by poor acoustics.
Ambient noise or background noise can reach levels where it undermines the whole purpose of the room itself. And the reasons for this are usually to do with sound reverberation – something that can be addressed relatively easily using today’s advanced sound absorption solutions.
What is sound reverberation?
Definition of sound reverberation: the persistence of a sound in an enclosed space after its source of the noise has stopped, this is because of repeated reflections from the surface.
Sound reverberation is a problem when you have speech or acoustical sounds in a room and these sounds continue to reflect off the surfaces of the room for too long after the initial sound was made. The sound reflections mingle with the original sounds, getting louder as they combine, and confusing your ability to tell where the sounds came from. This experience can be compared to the way you hear sounds in a large, empty church or gymnasium.
Reverberation is a major problem inside schools, workplaces, hospitality venues and public buildings because of the materials that we often use in their construction, fit-out and décor. Many historic buildings such as churches and museums were, of course, built using hard materials including stone, brick and tiles, but in today’s architecture we continue to build this way along with more glass, concrete and timber.
How to manage reverberation in large rooms?
Even though it sounds like a lot of work, reducing the amount or hard surfaces in a room will ultimately provide benefits. Not only are carpets not durable enough for long-term use and curtains may affect aesthetics; adding them would compromise other goals as well! For example: if you have wooden floors instead they’ll last much longer than carpeting which can cause allergies among other things so don’t forget about this option when considering whether or not to reduce reflective elements within your room.
Sound absorption can be an effective and passive solution for reducing reverberation, echo’s and ambient noise. The first step is to have sound specialists survey your space in order gather necessary information about how you would like our product(s) deployed within the building or room.
Once that has been completed they will use their expertise with reverb calculations which are crucial when determining where exactly on site we should install them based upon desired outcomes!
The solution is often to install Absorber panels on walls and/or ceilings, perhaps in the form of baffles hanging from the ceiling. You can read more on how absorber panels work here
Where can sound absorbers make a difference?
Over three decades, Hush Acoustics has been tasked with improving the acoustic conditions in countless internal environments. In our experience reverberation can be an issue virtually anywhere: schools and lecture halls are two places we’ve seen it firsthand – but one place where this problem seems most prevalent is open plan offices; large spaces without sound absorption materials create more strain on those around them than if they were better- insulated or finished off nicely at ends so as not to overwhelm colleagues sitting close by.
In many situations even newer buildings will benefit from treatment which requires no disruption during business hours!
One application where reverberation can cause a particular problem is in schools, colleges and universities. Studies around the world have shown that excessive ambient noise combined with poor speech intelligibility can be highly damaging to learning due to the distraction and lack of engagement that results.
Amongst the educational environments that have benefitted from Hush Absorbers is Walsall College, one of the West Midlands’ largest providers of qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds and vocational education.
How acoustic consultants can help
Read some of the most popular case studies where sound reduction panels and absorbers have been an instant hit reducing reverberation in commercial buildings.