We have greater awareness today than ever before of the impact noise has on our daily lives. It’s not surprising that the old ways of controlling noise no longer work in today’s high-performing spaces. In response, the rules are changing as well. Building standards and guidelines are evolving with more stringent acoustic requirements, and building occupants are starting to demand and expect more.
Evidence of these rule changes is all around us. An increasing number of building types now include acoustic requirements; for example, LEED® v4 has sound absorption requirements for reverberation control in building types such as open and closed offices – a significant change from the previous version of the rating system. Guidelines that already had acoustic criteria have now made them more stringent; for example, the Facilities Guideline Institute increased the amount of sound absorption required in healthcare facility corridors by 33 percent in its latest version.
In order to achieve the best acoustic experience in today’s buildings, designers and architects need to consider the elements that contribute to real results. Designers need to consider the fact that every structure, surface, fixture, material and even gap plays a role in the way noise will be experienced within a space. This makes it all the more important for designers to implement good acoustic design from the start. For the best results, that means turning to your ceiling panels to do the bulk of the sound absorption work.