Sound design takes acoustics into account in living and working spaces. Eliminating external sounds is important for buildings like hospitals, schools, homes, apartment buildings, offices and concert halls. The quality of internal sound is important as well in designing concerts halls and schools. New acoustical building materials like soundproof roofs and wall panels can help to reduce sound transmission and improve the quality of indoor sound.
Eliminating external sound
In homes, schools, hospitals and concert halls, external noise can be both distracting and harmful. Regular exposure to loud noise over 85 decibels can put people at risk of hearing loss. Even continuous background noise over 40 decibels can be harmful to health, increasing the risks of cardiovascular problems and heart disease. In schools, it hampers learning, and can lead to learning deficits for students.
In hospitals, noise has an adverse effect on both the emotional and physical well being of patients and their families. In fact, studies have shown that a quiet hospital environment is more conducive to healing. It speeds up recovery and also improves the quality of recovery. Architects, designers and contractors are utilizing new acoustic building products to reduce sound transmission. Ceiling clouds and decorative laminates can be used to reduce external noise and improve the quality of communications.
Acoustics for the workplace
With open plan workplaces becoming the norm, a range of workplace acoustics problems have surfaced. People have to work harder to focus on their job without being distracted and disturbed by extraneous sounds, phone conversations and general background noise and conversations. Workplace studies have found that noise is a major factor contributing to reduced productivity, higher stress and lowered job satisfaction among employees.
The lack of privacy also fuels concerns about having conversations overheard, making confidential discussions all but impossible. Designers are using sound absorption and sound blocking materials to create greater privacy for office workers.
New acoustic materials for sound design
New acoustic building materials like ceiling clouds, soundproof wall panels, and sound absorbing tiles all help designers to create a suitable acoustic environment for different types of buildings and interiors. These materials can help to reduce sound transmission from the outside, removing one of the major causes of stress in buildings like hospitals and offices.
Sound absorbing materials can also help to create quiet conversation zones in locations like airports, restaurants, hospitals and offices, where people can have private conversations without being overheard.
Sound and its presence or absence can have a major impact on our lives. External noise can be harmful in schools, hospitals, homes and offices. Architects and designers are taking sound design into consideration to create suitable acoustic environments for a range of buildings. Soundproof walls and ceilings can reduce sound transmission, to promote healing, learning and work productivity.