Ideas for Noise Reduction through Workspace Design
Office spaces can get really noisy. Whether you’re working in an open space or a private office, the sounds around you can get on your nerves. Having a large, cleanly designed office space can cause more problems with acoustics due to the nature of the bigger space. Luckily, there are many solutions to solve problems with office noise.
In basic terms, an acoustic panel is a sound-absorbing panel that is used to reduce echo and reverberation. An acoustic panel can take many different shapes and forms. One of most common options might be seen is in a concert venue or a large restaurant where there are problems with poor acoustics. These panels help regulate the three principles of acoustics: absorption, diffusion, and attenuation.
Vertical versus Horizontal
Vertical panels and horizontal panels actually serve different purposes with sound absorption. Horizontal panels absorb direct soundwaves, keeping your space far quieter. Vertical panels are often seen in commercial spaces because they are best known for lowering background noise. This happens because it doesn’t directly absorb the sound, but instead stop it from echoing throughout the space.
You can put panels almost anywhere within a space, but knowing some specifics can make your noise reduction at its best performance. Start by thinking about what the space is used for. Is it a large, open office space? A conference room? Then ask yourself what you notice about the acoustics of the space. How many hard surfaces are there? What size is the room? Seeking out professionals for help is a great idea to get the best use of acoustics. In the meantime, here is some advice about the placement of the panels.
In tighter spaces, like conference rooms, offices, breakrooms, the sound waves bounce off the walls. Sound will typically bounce off of hard surfaces in your space. That’s why conference rooms can be particularly tricky. For these types of rooms, both vertical and horizontal wall mounted panels are usually the recommended choice depending on the size and acoustics of the room.
Large spaces and open rooms
Sound waves in larger spaces are tricky because they can easily drop dead before reaching a hard surface, depending on the placement of hard surfaces and location of the noise. It’s not uncommon that the noises will drop off before echoing about the room. Instead of hitting walls like small spaces, they often hit the ceiling. Keep in mind how far your wavelength has to travel before hitting a wall. While vertical panels are a great choice for these rooms, hanging panels from the ceiling are often more effective.
You don’t have to sacrifice your workspace design to include acoustic panels; instead, try hanging them from the ceiling, or incorporating them into a modular wall or artistic statement piece. There are even certain lighting installations that incorporate acoustic panels to create a beautiful design element that still helps with sound management. They are easy to manipulate into a stylish art installation.
Whether that takes the form of a wall with wavy tiles or geometric shapes, your options are practically limitless. Panels can also come in almost any color you can think of. Despite knowing the difference between horizontal and vertical panels, don’t let that stop you from creating an eye-catching design. Panels with fun design are a great alternative to cubicles. With a fun design, your office will look even better than before. That’s a promise.
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