24 October 2017

Optimizing acoustic performance vs. cost

Educational article by Rockfon’s acoustic specialist, Gary Madaras, Ph.D., Assoc. AIA, featured in CISCA’s Acoustical Interior Construction magazine

Plenum barriers offer an option for high acoustic performance and lower cost, while remaining adaptable to changing floor plans and user needs.

Construction choices affect acoustics

Building owners, architects and contractors make a decision during construction to either:

  1. Stop the interior partitions at the height of the ceiling – in an attempt to be more affordable and adaptable; or
  2. Extend the walls full height – providing sound isolation, speech privacy and ultimately, high productivity.

Rockfon’s acoustic specialist, Gary Madaras, Ph.D., proposes a third option:

  1. Plenum barriers – providing both high sound-blocking capacity and easy relocation of walls at a lower cost than full height walls.

Read more about this additional choice in “Plenum Barriers: Optimizing Acoustic Performance versus Cost ,” a new article by Madaras published in the Ceiling & Interior Systems Construction Association’s (CISCA’s) Acoustical Interior Construction magazine’s summer issue.

Performance-driven, cost-effective solutions

Lightweight stone wool plenum barriers can be installed quickly, saving labor and construction costs compared with full-height walls. These plenum barriers are oriented vertically and located inside the plenum directly over the interior partitions.

When the performance of the stone wool plenum barrier board is combined with the performance of the suspended acoustic ceiling. Together, they equal the performance of the partition below the ceiling to meet acoustic standards and guidelines.

If you have questions about how to effectively use plenum barriers and ceiling systems for optimized acoustics, please visit, follow us on LinkedIn, or call us at 800-323-7164, email or click here to find a representative in your area.






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