All over the world on April 25, International Noise Awareness Day encourages people to do something about bothersome noise where they work, live and play.
This annual event was founded by the Center for Hearing and Communication, which reminds us: “Continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, but research shows that even below that threshold, noise instigates physiological changes. Blood pressure elevation, sleep and digestion problems, and other stress-related disorders are linked to environmental noise. Studies on children’s learning and behavior document find that noise poses great risks.”
Helping assess and mitigate these risks involves understanding the complex, three-dimensional, acoustical experience within and between rooms. This can feel like an overwhelming challenge – especially for visual learners and communicators.
The message can be lost during translation from quantitative acoustics metrics and their acronyms to the design and intersection of actual building elements, such as walls and ceilings.
Using color-mapping technology, we now can see a clearer picture of a ceiling system’s ability to absorb noise and its inability to block noise.
Show Me, Don’t Tell Me
Two years ago, Rockfon introduced this simple approach to Optimized Acoustics:
- Due to their light weight and many penetrations, acoustic ceilings cannot be used to block sound. Walls and plenum barriers are for blocking sound.
- Acoustic ceilings are for sound absorption. A Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70 is good, 0.80 is better and ratings above 0.90 are best.
- A wall Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 40 is good, 45 is better and ratings at 50 or above are best.
- Acoustic standards require these performance levels.
Because many of us learn better by seeing and hearing, Rockfon recently created a video showing the basics of Optimized Acoustics in a real-world application. The video’s background audio works with the narrated storyline and visual graphics for an immersive experience. This approach is clearly understood in 90 seconds, instead of reading pages of acoustic terms, acronyms and ratings.