Reinforcing the role of acoustics within the human experience

Submitted by Katy Tomasulo on Mon, 01/13/2020 - 21:38
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"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Unfortunately, this can lead to acoustics getting overlooked or devalued, often in favor of visual aesthetics and other traditional design imperatives. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"When this happens, design teams often make compromises to incorporate acoustics within the constraints of a project to achieve its aesthetic goals. This may lead to beautiful buildings, but without appropriate sound absorption or isolation, excessive noise and privacy issues will become a problem. In an office, this impacts worker productivity and satisfaction. In hospitals, it could mean compromised patient care. In schools, it may lead to diminished teaching and learning effectiveness. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Despite their focus on timelines and costs, an owner\u2019s ultimate measure of success is occupant satisfaction. If noise complaints force you into retrofitting a space with an acoustical solution, you\u2019ll not only suffer significant, non-budgeted costs but also risk the relationship you and your firm have with the owner. You could even face costly litigation if your building doesn\u2019t meet industry standards or occupant needs. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"You can avoid the headache of dealing with these issues when you start thinking beyond minimum code requirements. Once you do that, you\u2019ll be able to focus on the role that acoustics can play as a key design imperative inextricably linked to the comfort and well-being of a building\u2019s occupants. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"When acoustics are treated as such, you can:"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"Embed human comfort into every project"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"When acoustics are considered a design imperative at the beginning of a project, you can embed this critical aspect of human comfort without having to compromise. Establishing acoustic performance criteria early in design enables you to select and specify the appropriate acoustical products and systems that balance material preferences and budget demands. This means you can deliver aesthetics and acoustics that meet an owner\u2019s requirements while also enhancing human experience and comfort. "]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"Enhance the invisible dimensions of design"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Although materials like metal, wood, or concrete are visually striking when used in exposed-structure or open-plenum designs, they absorb sound quite poorly, leading to noisy environments that annoy and distract from their purpose. Address this invisible aspect of design with sound-absorptive materials that marry visual beauty with optimized sound performance. You\u2019ll not only execute your ultimate vision for the space but also deliver building performance that supports and satisfies its occupants. "]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"Optimize acoustics for integrated building systems"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Optimizing acoustics across ceiling, wall, and floor systems will typically require you to engage with multiple suppliers, each with varying levels of expertise, responsiveness, and product performance. Instead of stretching yourself too thin, work with a qualified acoustician and a single manufacturer to design and deliver acoustically effective systems that meet code in real-world environments. You\u2019ll reduce time and resources spent on administrative tasks and avoid potential non-compliance costs, allowing you to focus on design while addressing occupant experience and satisfaction. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Acoustics should matter to your materials manufacturer. Be sure to partner with a manufacturer, such as USG, that incorporates acoustical performance considerations earlier in the design process as a critical design decision rather than an afterthought. You\u2019ll account for acoustic quality as well as sustainability, form, style, materiality, color, and integration of lighting, mechanical, and plumbing. This will grant you newfound flexibility to balance and allocate budget requirements with optimal aesthetic and performance outcomes."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[0],0,"By incorporating USG\u2019s extensive portfolio of sound-absorbing products and systems designed to enhance acoustic comfort and privacy for use in a variety of environments, you\u2019ll ensure that critical acoustic design elements remain intact throughout the design process. Learn more about USG\u2019s acoustic offerings "],[0,[1],1,"here"],[0,[],1,"."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[0,2],2,"AIA does not sponsor or endorse any enterprise, whether public\n or private, operated for profit. Further, no AIA officer, director, \ncommittee member, or employee, or any of its component organizations in \nhis or her official capacity, is permitted to approve, sponsor, endorse,\n or do anything that may be deemed or construed to be an approval, \nsponsorship, or endorsement of any material of construction or any \nmethod or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any \nmaterial or product."]]]]}
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When acoustics fall to the wayside, costly retrofitting may result. AIA partner GAF offers strategies for integrating acoustics into the design process.
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In office environments, inadequate sound absorption or isolation can lead to excessive noise, which can impact worker productivity and satisfaction.
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