A Sound Design: Creating an Acoustically Harmonious Space
With all the demands associated with a new project – complicated schedules, rising costs, and delivery coordination– it can be a real challenge for owners, architects and specifiers to keep acoustical performance a priority for their builds. It takes a keen sense of planning along with in-depth knowledge of the product market in order to create a space that manages to satisfy both the acoustical needs of the occupants and the logistical concerns of the builders and distributors.
Below is a list of a few best practices that L&W Supply’s associates keep in mind when approaching how to get the best acoustical performance out of your space, and how your distributor can help you arrive at the correct materials:
Thinking Beyond the Ceiling
Acoustical ceilings are not the only method for achieving a particular NRC rating in a space. Acoustic baffles, wall panels, and modular add-ons are all great methods for controlling sound absorption in a room without having to alter the ceiling system in a significant way.
Take for instance, a standard drop-ceiling hallway where space is tight – like a school hallway. Normally, you’d try to control sound by focusing on the ceiling system. However, with the advent of tougher acoustical wall solutions – such as impact-resistant acoustic panels – you can achieve a particular acoustic performance while protecting it from damage over time.
SounDesign, a company based out of South Carolina, is well-known for their acoustical products and custom solutions. In particular, SounDesign Acoustical Wall Panels are a good example of a product that can be used to create additional control over the acoustic environment. Made from fiberglass or perforated mineral fiber, these types wall panels are designed to be absorbent and reduce reverberation in a space without having to alter the ceiling system.
Don’t Discount Certain Materials
Metal and wood are not typically thought of as materials with strong acoustic properties. Metal, in particular, can add a great deal of reverberation to a room and impact the occupants ability to communicate. However, with the advent of new acoustical solutions, it is easier than ever before to add a dynamic look to your space without sacrificing its acoustical performance.
Huddl Design is a custom solutions design-build partner that has been pioneering the use of alternative materials in their wall and ceiling products with the use of materials such as metal, fabric, and acoustic PET (recycled plastic water bottles). They represent a company that keeps acoustic performance and occupant comfort a high priority with their ceiling and wall products. Huddl’s custom decorative metal solutions can add metal ornaments to a space without significantly altering the acoustics. They work by custom-fitting metal sheets, panels and framework to any existing structure, carefully balancing any desired application and room type to achieve a particular NRC rating.
Huddl Design features many different acoustical products that are designed to add flair to a room while also strengthening its acoustic performance. Huddl Design’s FACET acoustic panels and the QuietCore 3D Wall Decor series are both dynamic additions to a wall system that help reduce unwanted noise while adding a splash of color or design to your space.
Work with the Right Distributor
It isn’t easy to achieve the optimal acoustical performance in a space. It requires consistent engagement with multiple suppliers across each aspect of the design, including the wall, ceiling, and the floor systems, and it is important that as a customer, you feel as though you are partnering with someone who has a deep understanding of the market landscape.
By working with a knowledgeable, responsive distributor, you can help reduce friction in your project and ensure that you are getting the best acoustical performance possible. L&W Supply’s longstanding relationships with industry-leading manufacturers such as USG can be a valuable asset when you’re trying to finish a complicated project, pick the right materials, or for assistance at the bidding stage.
Across L&W Supply’s branches, there are sales reps and product experts who are ready to help answer your questions and help you track down the right materials. These products can be found at many of our branches, particularly at our Florida and Carolina teams. If you have any questions, or are in the process of bidding on a job, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of L&W Supply’s branches for more information.
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