Acoustic design has a profound impact on how people feel in a space. It can help create excitement, focus the mind or even build intrigue. By considering a room’s purpose and the sounds that will fill it, you can influence the occupant’s experience. To support a positive environment, it is important to select building materials that contribute to a good acoustic design, and therefore the overall comfort of the space.
As one of the largest areas in a room, the ceiling has a pivotal role to play in acoustic design. Utilizing the right sound-absorbing ceiling solution for the space helps meet acoustic building requirements and even green building criteria. Stone wool ceiling tiles from Rockfon® are naturally excellent sound absorbers. Their fibrous structure allows them to absorb and dampen sound waves. Available in a variety of sizes and edge types, Rockfon acoustic ceiling tiles feature Noise Reduction Coefficients (NRC) from 0.60-1.00. Metro Interior Distributors carries a wide selection that ensures contractors and builders will be able to create the optimal acoustic experience in every space, from museums to offices and everywhere in between.
Project Spotlight: The International Spy Museum
With a theme of “hiding in plain sight,” the International Spy Museum located in Washington,
D.C. required all aspects of the design to contribute to a sense of secrecy and intrigue. While the exterior features dramatic columns and a backlit metal panel skin, the interior has a focused atmosphere throughout the multi-purpose space.
To create that quiet focus, the design needed a highly sound absorptive ceiling solution. Because the space includes many hard surfaces across a large area, an NRC of at least 0.85 was required to help create a comfortable acoustic experience. Among the Rockfon ceiling tiles installed were Rockfon Alaska® and Rockfon Koral™.
Rockfon Alaska’s smooth, white surface reflects 86% of available light and provides high sound absorption (NRC = 0.90). This made it an ideal choice for the hallways throughout the building. With a cleanable surface and NRC of 0.85, Rockfon Koral was installed in the building’s restrooms.
All of these Rockfon stone wool ceiling products also offer high fire performance and have earned GREENGUARD® Gold Certification for low-VOC emissions. Products with this GREENGUARD® certification contribute to indoor air quality and support LEED criteria. Stone wool’s natural properties for resisting moisture and humidity also are critical attributes in museum installations with sensitive climate-controlled protection.
The new building opened in May 2019, and its total construction costs were estimated at $162 million. The project and its team have been honored with a 2019 ENR MidAtlantic Best Projects Award in the Cultural/Worship category, an American General Contractors’ Build America Award for New Construction, and several Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Awards.
Optimizing Acoustic Absorption
When it comes to selecting the appropriate ceiling tile for a space, consider how loud the sounds are inside the room. Will there be excitable schoolchildren or noisy equipment? Then, think about the occupants’ sensitivity to noise. Are patients trying to rest? Students trying to study? Additionally, review applicable building standards and guidelines that outline the acoustic requirements for specific spaces.
With these elements in mind, select an NRC rating that best fits the space. The higher the NRC, the more sound absorption.
For example, the International Spy Museum has the potential for heavy foot traffic but the goal of a quiet experience. So, a high NRC is needed to absorb sounds and reduce reverberation times. In a classroom full of kids, a restaurant packed with diners, or an open office with collaborating employees, ceiling tiles with high NRC ratings are also needed.
Metro is the Rockfon Distributor in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
Metro Interior Distributors offers a wide selection of Rockfon tiles and suspended ceiling supplies for commercial contractors and builders in the greater New York City region. Contact us today to discover why Rockfon’s high-quality products may the best value for your next project.