Infographic: Your Quick Guide to Successful Sound Design

January 11, 2016

Take a look at how to use Optimized Acoustics successfully in classrooms, open-plan offices and patient rooms.

Rockfon Sonar, Infinity, Sonar dB, and 4000 Tempra grid products installed in meeting room.

Aercoustics meeting room installed with Chicago Metallic 4000 Tempra grid, and Rockfon Sonar and Infinity

Achieving optimizing acoustics with your next project

Now that you've learned about Optimized Acoustics, it's time to put it into use. We've taken the guesswork out of it with this handy infographic. It's a great reference for your next project.

There’s a good reason why acoustic requirements are becoming more stringent when it comes to designing and constructing public spaces.

Noisy environments affect:

  • Student comprehension
  • Office worker job satisfaction 
  • Patient recovery time

What is Optimized Acoustics?

It's using a ceiling system to optimize sound absorption (NRC) and, where needed, using walls or plenum barriers to block sound (STC). The result? Designs that comply with standards and achieve the best sound experience for the real world.

NRC – Noise Reduction Coefficient measures sound absorption

STC – Sound Transmission Class measures sound blocking

Schools and classrooms

For classrooms, the Optimized Acoustic approach recommends:

  • A sound absorption of NRC 0.80 or higher
  • A sound blocking rating of STC 50 – use full-height walls to achieve this

Tip: Rockfon® Koral™ stone wool ceiling tiles achieve NRC 0.85.

Open office

For open-plan office ceiling design, the Optimized Acoustic approach recommends:

  • A sound absorption of NRC 0.90
  • Blocking parameters like CAC and STC are irrelevant because there are no walls

Tip: Rockfon Sonar® stone wool ceiling tiles achieve NRC 0.90 to 0.95. If a suspended ceiling is not possible, consider overhead sound control like Rockfon® Contour™ baffles or Rockfon® Island™ solutions.

Hospital and healing rooms

For healthcare patient rooms, the Optimized Acoustic approach recommends:

  • A sound absorption rating of NRC 0.90 or higher
  • A sound blocking rating of STC 45 – use full-height wall or lightweight plenum barriers to achieving this

Tip: Rockfon® Medical™ Plus stone wool ceiling tiles are ideal for achieving an NRC of 0.90.


1 Seep, B., Glosemeyer, R., Hulce, E., Linn, M., & Aytar, P. "Classroom acoustics: A resource for creating learning environments with desirable listening conditions". Melville, NY: Acoustical Society of America (2000).

2 Brill, M., Weidemann, S., & BOSTI Associates. "Disproving widespread myths about workplace design". Jasper, IN: Kimball International (2001).

3 Sadler, B.L., DuBose, J.R., Malone, E.B., & Zimring, C.M. "The business case for building better hospitals through evidence-based design". Health Environments Research and Design Journal (2008).

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