When you think of commercial interior design, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s a worksite, hotel, or an abandoned brick building that someone turned into that hot-spot brewery you can’t stop going to. But beyond the great-tasting beer or trendy hotel room is something even more important to make the space enjoyable: we’re talking about how sound behaves in the space, AKA “acoustics.”
Did you know that just like visual aesthetics, sound can influence how we function and feel in our surroundings? It’s true! Acoustic design allows for the optimal management of sound through the consideration of how objects within the space reflect, absorb, and transmit sound waves.
The tricky part is that every space (and building) is unique. Different spaces have different acoustic goals, from the quietest commercial environments like libraries and hotel rooms to noisier areas like concert halls and nightclubs. Designed with a variety of goals in mind, sound-absorbing products can help you create the perfect ambiance.
How Does Commercial Sound Absorption Work?
We’re not trying to get too technical here, but we promise this is important! Noise doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It lives within the context of the spaces it inhabits. The sounds we hear are caused by vibrations traveling through the air and interacting with whatever they come into contact with.
Need us to simplify it a bit? No problem…While hard and shiny surfaces like floors, windows, and desks reflect and amplify sound, softer materials have insulating properties that absorb it. There are also a few other names thrown around that are used to describe sound-absorbing materials, including sound dampening and sound deadening.
There are many different types of sound-absorbing products that incorporate one or more elements of the “ABC” strategy we’ve mentioned in our previous blogs: Absorb, Block, and Cover. The right one(s) for your job site depends on several factors, including the specifics of your space, the sound requirements for the work being done there, and the desired aesthetics.
Examples of sound-absorbing acoustic products include the following:
- Acoustic wall panels, such as our ecoustic® Collection
- Acoustic tiles, including Scala Wall Tiles
- Acoustic floor and desk screens
- Acoustic ceiling products
- Acoustic hanging screens
- Acoustic lighting products
- Acoustic rugs
In addition to absorbing sound, acoustic products can be used for other purposes, including blocking and directing sound (such as in theaters and auditoriums).
What Are the Benefits of Using Acoustics in a Commercial Industry?
We figured in order to really get our point across, we’d throw a pretty impressive stat at you. Here it goes: According to a workplace experience survey from the Leesman Index, nearly three-quarters of employees feel that managing noise is an important quality found in effective workspaces. However, only 30 percent of respondents report that their workplace’s noise levels are acceptable. This gap, even though it might not seem that large, can compromise everything from productivity to overall job satisfaction to even employee well-being.
However, the benefits of commercial sound absorption products don’t end at improving all of the above. Noise management through acoustic design can also lead to the following benefits for employers, customers, and visitors:
- Enhanced comfort
- Increased privacy
- Less stress
- Better entertainment
- Higher productivity
6 Expert Tips and Tricks to Creating the Perfect Space for Working
Interior designers use many commercial business noise reduction strategies. Here are six of our favorite proven tips and tricks to improve your workspace’s acoustics:
- Add high-quality acoustic solutions, such as commercial acoustic panels, tiles, acoustic floor coverings, and more.
- With the right combination of acoustic materials, you can achieve your goal of reducing unwanted sound. To complement sound-absorbing panels and other acoustic solutions, choose naturally porous materials such as window drapes, carpets, textiles, and mindful furniture, which help prevent sound waves from bouncing around hard, smooth, and reflective surfaces.
- Introduce greenery, which is not only aesthetically beautiful but also has natural stress reduction and sound-absorbing properties similar to sound-dampening panels.
- Don’t forget the ceilings! Many people are aware of the sound absorption properties of rugs and carpets. However, acoustic ceiling treatments are not only highly effective for noise reduction but also surprisingly easy to apply and affordable.
- Strategically use wall partitions, which provide privacy and visual interest while boosting acoustic absorption.
- Dedicate quiet spaces. In some office environments, noise is unavoidable. Designating quiet areas for meetings, lunch breaks, and other purposes can create noise-free (and stress-free!) zones.
Contact Unika Vaev for Your Commercial Acoustic Designs
Is your commercial space living up to its potential? If you haven’t considered its acoustics, the answer is probably “no.” Enter Unika Vaev’s selection of high-quality, customizable, and sustainable industrial sound-absorbing products and diffusive acoustic solutions for sound attenuation and more.
If you’re ready to upgrade your workspace for superior comfort, productivity, and aesthetics, our design team is ready to start creating.