Architectural acoustics plays a vital part in an interior, but how can you make it look good?

Architectural acoustics plays a vital part in an interior, but how can you make it look good?

Sound can be a strong factor in the overall experience of a space and without proper consideration, sound can become noise. Acoustic comfort therefore plays an integral role in creating a pleasant and acceptable experience for occupants. Vtec Group provides a range of design flexible acoustic panels and systems that support the design of successful interiors in terms of both aesthetics and acoustic design.

So, what are the main areas or types of space that require the right balance of design, in terms of both beauty and acoustic experience?

Lecture Spaces
Speech Clarity

The understanding and comprehension of speech depends largely on the acoustic properties of a space. Vtec see the importance of this in education and office settings where listening and speech, play important roles. In lecture spaces for example, speech clarity needs prominence over any background noise. Specifiers therefore need to accomplish the task of both absorbing reverberation whilst reflecting desirable sound to allow speech to reach the rear of the space clearly. Industry recommendations for spaces where speech intelligibility is required, suggests a reverberation time of 1-1.5 seconds. To effectively treat these spaces, designers and architects need to manage reverberation, reduce echoes, balance absorption and reflection, often incorporating the acoustic consultant’s criteria into the overall design.

Vtec’s MaxiBeam, MaxiBeam Soft, Soft Panel and newly-launched EchoTone all offer acoustic capabilities. MaxiBeam which is a lightweight beam system, can achieve acoustic capabilities and is still incredibly design led. MaxiBeam is frequently installed under Acoustic Backing Board. The acoustic absorption varies according to material, centres, beam height and void depth, and Acoustic Test Data shows an NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) ranging from 0.25 - 0.85. Their soft acoustic panels like Soft Panel (providing NRC of 0.70 - 0.90) and EchoTone - 100% recyclable PET fibres (an NRC of 0.40 - 1.0), both provide a broad range of colours to choose from to enhance your design, which enable delivery of bold and creative options.

Where Acoustics are integral to the design, but there are budget constraints, MicroSlat delivers on the visual appeal of wooden slats but with cost effective finishing options. It is lightweight and modular in its design and recommended for projects that want the feel, quality and visual appeal of real wood but without the cost. Rapid to install, MicroSlat is combined with a premium grade integral acoustic backing behind the slats. Acoustic Absorption varies according to absorbing material, slat sizes, slat spacings and slat depths and can be between NRC 0.35 – 0.90 .

There is zero compromise on design, over function with any of these systems. Lightweight and easy to install, Vtec’s systems support bespoke and exclusive options that whilst beautiful help to solve and reduce sound and noise challenges.

Healthcare Spaces
Quiet Zones

Reducing the intensity of sound and how it is reflected and absorbed is essential in spaces where maximum silence is needed for concentration and restorative purposes. You will find this most often in hospitals, museums and classrooms. In healthcare buildings, acoustics help deliver a therapeutic influence to patients, minimising their recuperation and recovery times. The main targets to address in these spaces is reducing external noise from other rooms and noises from machinery. Sound minimising and vibration control is therefore needed. Industry recommendations stipulate that in these settings, roughly the equivalent of 80% of a floor area needs to have sound absorption elements incorporated.

To treat these common concerns, Vtec recommend incorporating acoustic panels via walls or ceilings to assist in mitigating unwanted noise and sound distraction.

MaxiBeam is one recommended option as it is a lightweight beam system that is acoustically diffusive and when used with EchoTone - premium grade acoustic panels, this provides absorption too, with an NRC rating from 0.25 - 0.85. These systems support designers and architects with any creative and imaginative scope to produce design structures that are simple or complex. MaxiBeam helps to truly define an interior with beautiful visual impact. Importantly, for spaces such as aforementioned, there are antimicrobial laminate finishes to the system that support better hygiene. This can help reduce time or difficulty spent cleaning these systems.

Performance Space
Rooms for Music & Drama

The most well-known consideration of a space is for auditory purposes. Listening, comfort and support are key elements. Audiences need to hear music, there must be a balance between vocals and instruments, performers need to hear themselves and others clearly, and external sounds need to be minimal. All these factors help to create the basis for a cohesive soundscape.

Vtec recommend in these spaces for sound to be reflective and have a "flat" reverberation which is commonly known as a "warm reverb". Typical reverberation times for band spaces is 0.8-1.0 seconds, and choral spaces 1.0-1.3 seconds. To assist in the volume of a space Vtec suggest featured acoustic floating rafts and suspended ceilings near audience sections. At stage areas, acoustic panels can be used to diffuse and scatter the sound.

Their hero system for sound success is Supacoustic, a perforated acoustic panel system that is completely customed in design and finish per project. The panels come in 10 different perforation styles and are backed with premium grade acoustic fabric backing. Dependant on the void depth and perforation option, the Noise Reduction Coefficient varies between 0.45 to 0.90 NRC. Ceilings, Suspended Rafts and Walling Systems can all be achieved via Supacoustic, with sound absorption at the heart of its design and purpose.

To integrate the beauty of wood and sound performance with stunning featured ceilings or walls, SupaSlat delivers this winning combination. The SupaSlat system is a modular slatted wood panel system produced in any size or shape. It has the perfect blend of charm, warmth and the beauty of wood. Designed with an integrated acoustic textile into the rear of the panel, SupaSlat has an NRC rating of up to 1.0 dependant on its configurations.

Say goodbye to prosaic grey elements. Functional spaces, great looks and acoustic performance can all work in harmony! Vtec enable specifiers to be completely confident that the integrity of their design is not compromised when considering sound reflection properties.

At Vtec they are the manufacturers of their systems, so they understand the complexities of walls and ceilings and the importance of quality soundscapes. Vtec coordinate with M&E teams to ensure perfect integration of all services using 3D Modelling. Design is at the core of what they do, and they make it easy for Architects and Designers by providing solutions and ideas for every project. Their dedicated project managers walk each step of the journey with their clients providing on-going support and feedback. With their light weight easy to install systems they enable specifiers to provide superior visual appeal and authentic noise control. Together, Vtec make it easy to create excellent interior spaces with high performance sound quality.

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Vtec Group

Vtec Group

Vtec are specialists in supporting the transformation of commercial spaces with their exceptional wall and ceiling systems, designed to fulfil both visual and acoustic requirements.

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