The problem with noisy cafeterias

Cafeterias are large, cavernous spaces that are usually made from highly reflective cinderblock or gypsum board walls, have easy-to-clean tile or surfaced concrete floors, are surrounded by windows and more often than not, hard board or steel ceilings. In order to maximize their use, they are often considered multi-function rooms that are used for lunch breaks, meeting spaces, auditoriums and social settings. The hard surfaces reflect the sound from voices, the clanging of trays and cutlery and general kitchen noise back into the room creating a din. In effort to communicate, the folks inside elevate their voices and the noise levels increase to the point where the room becomes uncomfortable. During school lunch breaks, these quiet caverns turn into a cacophony of yelling and screaming as the cafeteria fills with kids exposing teachers and guardians to excessive noise levels that can cause permanent ear damage.  For meetings, a PA system is used and no matter how articulate the speaker, it is practically impossible to hear what is being projected due to the competing echo and subsequent reverberant field caused by the hard reflective surfaces.

How can Primacoustic help you?

Applying Broadway™ acoustic panels over 15% to 22% of the wall surface will absorb excessive energy and reduce reverberation time from 4 to 6 seconds (typical) down to 1 second or less (0.7 seconds is ideal). Choice of remedial sound absorbers include Broadway wall panels, Saturna™ hanging baffles and Nimbus™ clouds that may be suspended from the ceiling. Primacoustic panels are available in a rugged polyester fabric coat or a Paintables™ white latex finish.  Placement is not critical – it is more about using available space and keeping the panels out of harm’s way. Mounting is easy and can be done by maintenance staff. Reducing the reverberant field is tremendously advantageous to everyone. Not only will it lower anxiety levels, it will enhance the effectiveness of the space to allow it to become a more productive asset.

Executive Summary

  • Reducing the reverberant field and improves intelligibility

  • Attenuates excessive noise level exposure for employees

  • Shows employees that they are important to management

  • Reduces employee stress and increases productivity

  • Lowers anxiety levels for kids and improves learning

  • Allows the cafeteria to be used as an effective meeting space

  • Optimizes communication and safety when evacuating