Archive for category Absorption
Reclaiming historic spaces and updating them for modern functions is a bit of a balancing act. Often, the aesthetics of the space are tantamount, and should be minimally impacted by the materials and methods used to bring them up to modern standards. Acoustic treatments are no exception, and it is usually best if the materials blend into the space – or at least don’t detract from the overall “vibe.”
When this old factory was converted into a multi-function space with a restaurant and brewery, there were concerns about the build-up of sound. As is often the case, the rustic patina of the concrete and brick surfaces were a focal point in this space, leaving the ceiling as the primary treatment location.
The solution was to install 2″ Tone Tiles® directly to the ceiling. This solution allowed for the sound build-up to be absorbed, while blending into the whitewashed ceiling structure. The rustic charm of the room was maintained, while having a modern, intimate acoustic profile, which is more conducive to gatherings and functions.
Here are a couple of fresh install photos – courtesy of SLS Productions in Michigan. For this fellowship hall at Kalamazoo Missionary Church, a mix of standard Sonora® Panels and Sonora® Lite PVC encapsulated panels were used. The Steel Grey Sonora® Panels, installed on the wall, are the standard 6-7# density panels that have become ubiquitous in so many churches and schools throughout the country for improving speech clarity and taming harsh reverb times.
For the ceiling of the room, Sonora® Lite Panels were used. Notice how the white PVC covering and clear washer plates help the panels blend aesthetically into the ceiling. These lower density (1.65#) PVC encapsulated panels could be thought of as a ‘direct mount’ cousin of our Cloudscape® baffles and are an excellent budget friendly choice when treating ceilings. The final results turned out great and all were pleased.
When the University of the Pacific reached out to help tame the acoustics of their makerspace called “The Cube”, many different concerns were underlined about the space, its uses, and the problems they faced.
These concerns covered more than just the room dimensions – size, height, HVAC, glass walls, etc…. there were functional requirements for collaboration, classes, and workshops. The overwhelming acoustic problems involved the near constant noises generated by the vast array of equipment in this space – sewing machines, large format printers, plotting cutters, 3D printers, scanners, and every other modern tool for allowing the creative minds at their school to create. It was a cacophony of stepper motors, fans, and moving parts – which made collaboration very difficult.
The other parameter that needed to be maintained was the ability to reconfigure the layout of the equipment without affecting the acoustic treatment in the space. This removed almost all of the walls in the space as possible locations for treatment. This left the ceiling as the only viable space left for treatment, but with an array of lights and exposed HVAC systems, there were few treatments that would be easy to implement and still be effective.
The decision was made to creatively weave Cloudscape® Baffles into all the spaces available in the ceiling. Dodging duct-work and suspended lighting rails was made possible with careful planning and execution – and the results were immediately notable. (Also noticeable was that the baffles had very little impact on the lighting which is vital in any makerspace.)
“…The sound baffles you recommended finally got installed in my makerspace about two weeks ago and I wanted to send a quick thank you since they’ve made a very noticeable acoustic difference to the room, and it’s a lot more pleasant in here now. “Chris Crawford – Innovation Spaces Manager (University of the Pacific)
Controlling sound in a cafeteria with a corrugated metal ceiling isn’t the easiest thing to do, but the Sonora® Lite panels can be direct mounted using clear mounting pucks. These clear pucks work like big transparent washers, allowing for a clean and easy install to any surface which you can screw in a fastener. Sonora® Lite panels are also an economical choice so you can get a lot of coverage for your budget.
This solution provided immediate improvement, and the students (and staff) were happy to have a better acoustic environment, along with adding some color to the stark white ceiling.
It’s good to have options in ceiling treatments. Some environments have high ceilings that benefit from vertically-hanging baffles, while other environments have lower ceilings in which clouds are more appropriate. In some cases the aesthetic will dictate which product would be best – but what if there was one product that could do both?
The Fireflex™ Wave has a unique, undulating shape that adds visual interest along with acoustic absorption – but it has another feature which few materials can boast. Due to the Class 1(A) melamine foam construction, the corkscrew mounting hardware can be installed wherever it is needed – including on the edges.
By installing the hardware on the edges instead of the face, you are given the option to also hang the Waves in a vertical orientation as baffles. The wave shape works well aesthetically in either orientation – horizontal or vertical.
In rooms with a lower ceiling, the horizontal orientation of clouds provides more headroom while the undulating shape optimizes the Wave’s surface area for absorption. In larger spaces with high ceilings, you can add more absorptive surface area by hanging the Waves as baffles, and provide a more organic look than you get with flat baffles.
When overhead acoustic absorption is required, turn to Acoustics First®.