Combining ‘architectural elements’ with room acoustics has always been a challenge: Traditional acoustic absorption has typically been limited to wall-mounted panels. And for the architect, these traditional solutions tend to be boring. They have no flare! PrimacousticAccent™ panels open the door to greater creativity by allowing one to combine exciting shapes with traditional rectangles or squares as a means to add design elements to a room.
But in situations where wall surfaces may not be available, the most common alternative comes in the form of suspended panels known as ceiling clouds or baffles. These are generally 24″ x 48″ (60cm x 120cm) panels that are either suspended from the ceiling at one end like a flag or banner like the Primacoustic Saturna™ or ‘tabled’ by suspending it from four corners to create a cloud like the Primacoustic Nimbus™.
These acoustic solutions work extremely well but may not necessarily blend with the character or style of a given room. Primacoustic Acoustic Lanterns™ introduce a new approach whereby attractive ‘lantern style’ shapes are employed to allow the designer the freedom to add artistic flare all the while controlling the room acoustics.
Acoustic baffles are very effective at controlling sound and are particularly efficient in large rooms. This has to do with both where they are used and the available surface area.
Let’s examine the problem and the usual approach used to control the acoustics:
Sound travels in the form of waves. Disruptive high frequencies tend to beam like a flashlight and reflect off hard surfaces like a mirror. Sound reflects off the walls and ceiling causing a dense reverberant field. When the sound in the room is excessive, it makes communication difficult. To be understood, we tend to raise our voice and the problem gets worse. Hotel lobbies with lots of glass and restaurants with untreated ceilings are common examples.
Wall mounted panels are effective at absorbing noise in a room. When these are placed up in the corners, not only do they absorb direct sound but also capture the reflected sound off the ceiling before it has a chance to expand into the room. This effectively doubles the panel’s performance without any additional cost.
In rooms where wall surfaces may not be available to mount acoustic panels, suspending the panels from the ceiling provides an effective alternate. Hanging baffles are particularly effective as they absorb direct energy from the sound source, the reflection off the ceiling and absorb energy on both sides as both faces are exposed. You basically double the performance for free! This is why baffles tend to be the preferred choice in large commercial installations.
As with all Broadway panels, the Lanterns employ high density glass-wool to absorb sound energy. The sound in the room penetrates the panels causing the minute fibers to vibrate. This ‘thermo-dynamic’ energy transfer quietly does the work by reducing the ambient noise. This improves intelligibility, making the room more comfortable and intimate.