Museum optimizes acoustics with Rockfon islands and baffles

November 12, 2018

Optimized acoustics, high light reflectance and enhanced aesthetics of Rockfon islands and baffles contribute to the modern look and performance of museum’s event space

Rockfon Islands and Contour baffles add depth and dimension to the conference hall

Rockfon® Islands and Contour™ baffles add depth and dimension to the conference hall

The newly-designed Canada Science and Technology Museum invites visitors to immerse themselves in Canadian science, technology and innovation through permanent, visiting and interactive exhibitions, as well as through school programs, workshops and special events.

Presenting a modern space for these special occasions, the museum’s updated event hall can accommodate up to 500 people in all seasons for banquets, conferences, presentations and receptions. Spanning nearly 5,000 square feet, the hall’s expansive space offers flexible personalization and plenty of natural lighting with the option for black out shades.

Optimizing acoustics for event spaces

When designing and building a multi-purpose event space, optimizing the acoustics for a variety of different functions can be especially challenging.

“Sound-absorbing elements such as Rockfon's Islands and Contour Baffles help control the build-up of noise during events like banquets and receptions, and prevent excessive reverberance during conferences and presentations,” explained Rockfon’s acoustic specialist, Gary Madaras, Ph.D., ASA, INCE, Assoc. AIA. “This increases speech intelligibility and mitigates the ‘Lombard effect,’ where people talk louder and louder to make themselves heard when trying to talk in noisy environments.”

To provide optimal acoustics in the museum’s event hall, general contractor Pomerleau Inc. worked with ceiling installing contractor Construction Integral MT Inc. Ceiling systems distributor Morin Bros. Building Supplies Inc. recommended a combination of frameless, acoustic, stone wool Rockfon® Island™ products and Rockfon® Contour™ baffles.

“Rockfon and Morin Bros. worked together,” said Yanik Morin, vice president of Morin Bros. “We were able to deliver the product in ‘impossible’ timelines. We had the support of the subcontractor (Integral), the G.C. (Pomerleau) and the owner (Ingenium). This is the perfect example of when all parties cooperate, we can get a solution that suits everybody.”

The white, 4-by-4 foot, Rockfon Islands are suspended horizontally in an attractive, widely-spaced, array in stark contrast to the blacked-out structure and mechanicals above. The white, 2-by-4 foot Contour baffles are suspended vertically in an irregular pattern within the array to provide visual interest. The modular format and lightweight materials contributed to a smooth and speedy installation.

Improving appearance and sustainability

Contributing to the elegant atmosphere of the space, the frameless ceiling islands and baffles feature a sharp, minimalistic edge and subtle bevel. Their smooth, white surface conveys not only a high-end aesthetic, but also supports a high light reflectance to maximize the event hall’s available daylighting.

High light reflection can improve energy efficiency by reducing dependence on electric lighting. Further contributing to building’s sustainability and environmental goals, Rockfon Island and Contour products contain recycled content.

Rockfon’s extensive portfolio of stone wool acoustic ceiling solutions has earned UL® Environment’s GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-emitting products. These environmental attributes are recognized by such programs as the U.S. and Canadian Green Building Councils’ LEED® Rating Systems, The WELL Building Standard, Green Globes and BREEAM International.

About the Canada Science and Technology Museum and Ingenium

Established and opened in 1967 as a Centennial project, the Canada Science and Technology Museum is responsible for preserving, promoting, and sharing knowledge about Canada’s scientific and technological heritage. After undergoing an $80.5-million renewal of its entire building, the Museum reopened its doors on Nov. 17, 2017, marking its 50th anniversary during Canada 150 celebrations. It features more than 80,000 square feet of redesigned exhibition space, including a 9,200-square-foot temporary exhibition hall to accommodate traveling exhibitions from around the world.

Canada Science and Technology Museum is part of Ingenium, a new national brand established to preserve and share Canada’s story of scientific and technological heritage. This corporate brand, which celebrates ingenuity, encompasses three national institutions—the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Under the Ingenium brand, these three museums are places where the past meets the future, with spaces where visitors can learn and explore, play and discover. Ingenium also has an eye to the future with a state-of-the-art Collections Conservation Centre under construction, digital and social media platforms, and traveling national and international exhibitions to educate, entertain, and engage audiences across Canada and around the world.

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