Acoustic integrity is becoming an increasing focus of many of our projects. With a slew of research supporting the fact that excess noise can increase stress and reduce productivity, employers and educators are seeking ways to address unwanted noise. Acoustic baffles are just one of the tools in our armoury.
What are acoustic baffles?
Acoustic baffles are free hanging sound absorbing panels. They hang vertically from ceilings and can often be found in rows.
They’re ideal for large communal areas, particularly those with high ceilings and lots of hard surfaces for sound to bounce around. School canteens, office cafeterias and leisure centres are just a few examples.
How do they work?
Sound tends to get “stuck” around ceilings because there’s not much in the way of soft furnishings to absorb of diffuse the sound waves. By suspending baffles from the ceiling, they are in a prime position to absorb both direct and reverberant sound.
Because both sides are exposed to the elements, baffles can effectively absorb twice the amount of noise, thanks to the increased surface area.
When sound waves strike the baffle, the pores and/or fibres within the specially engineered baffle vibrate creating friction. Enough friction is created for the conversion of sound energy to kinetic energy. This kinetic energy dissipated quickly, leaving no sound waves – and no sound!
Why we love acoustic baffles
- They really work! They massively reduce the levels of reverberation making it easier for people to hear each other, bringing the overall volume down.
- They come in a wide range of options in terms of shapes, styles and colours making them really versatile for spaces of all different sizes.
- When used well, acoustic baffles can really enhance a space, becoming a beautiful design feature, not just a practical solution.
- They can be incorporated with relative ease into an existing room, so you don’t need to wait until you’re tackling a complete refurbishment to improve your acoustics.
The importance of installation
The acoustic optimisation of a building can be complex. There are various factors to take into account and positioning of the baffles is key to a project’s success. It pays to work with an expert who can come and assess the space in question and recommend the best solution for you. They can then take care of installation, to ensure the resulting performance is as effective as possible.
Having installed acoustic baffles in numerous commercial projects around East Anglia, our team is ideally placed to help. We are used to combining baffles with other acoustic solutions too, so will be able to advise if there is an alternative solution more suited to your space.
Check out our Council Offices case study for a great example of acoustic baffles in situ.