RICHMOND, VA - In the past, the most positive reactions to acoustical products were elicited when the treatment is easily camouflaged into a space. Unfortunately, this is because architectural acoustics is often an afterthought and acoustical treatment is retrofitted to accommodate the existing visual appeal of a facility. The way we think about and use noise control products, however, is changing and this movement is reflected in the range of artistic and dynamic acoustical products now available.
The general public is becoming increasingly aware of the need for noise control for healthy, comfortable environments. A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University shows that one in five Americans now has significant hearing loss and Government agencies are now offering incentives for improved acoustics such as the LEED credits given by the US Green Building Council. In a time when population density is increasing and more people want to live in cities, living and working conditions can only get louder. Long story short, the market for noise control and soundproofing products has never been better and acoustics is now taken into consideration from square one, when a building project is conceived.
This being the case, architects and contractors alike are looking for noise reducing materials that will not only improve sound, but also serve as an architectural component or design statement. Acoustical Solutions, Inc. has added numerous acoustical products to their inventory in the last year to accommodate this demand, and the response has been impressive.
"People aren't ordering cut and dry with a model number anymore, they want to have a conversation about how products can be made uniquely for their application", says David Ingersoll, sales manager at ASI, "contactors and designers want custom solutions, and we work with them whenever possible".
A popular trend at the moment is adding images to acoustical wall panels. Businesses can print images and logos for a showroom or a family can get portraits or movie posters done for their home theater that will improve sound quality. AcoustiArt and AcoustiDesign panels both use acoustically transparent inks and fabrics, which do not interfere with the reverberation and echo-reducing capabilities of the acoustic wall panel. A more permanent way of using customized images is a printed stretch wall. AcoustiGraph Stretch Wall Systems have the same noise reduction capability of a panel, but are built on site. These stretch walls can be made to any size or shape, curved or flat, and create a dramatic finished product that improves sound quality and serves a structural purpose as well.
For those that already have acoustical treatment installed, a way to retrofit with images is also offered with HushTone Printed Screens. These use the same acoustically transparent ink on a screen that is either hung strategically over wall treatment, or applied as a stretch wall over the treatment. This is an economical alternative to permanently wrapped panels or stretch walls.
Aside from images, acoustical products have recently taken on new shapes and placement to absorb noise from above. AcoustiCanopies, AcoustiClouds, and Whisperwave Baffles and Clouds are all examples of treatment with eye-catching shapes that are sure to be a conversation piece. AcoustiCanopies are free form arched ceiling banners. These aluminum structures are fabric wrapped with the acoustical capability of traditional banners, but create a breathtaking and finished look. AcoustiClouds can be made in almost any shape, and arranged in a variety of layouts for a customizable cloud design that absorbs noise made by reflective ceilings. Whisperwave Baffles and Clouds are wave-patterned foam structures that absorb sound while being suspended from the ceiling either vertically or horizontally. They can be made in varying sizes and lengths, with an organic design like no other acoustical treatment previously available.
The irony of these new products is that they are still camouflaged. Many would not be able to identify them as acoustical treatment, but instead of blending in they add to the look of the treated space.
About Acoustical Solutions, Inc.:
Since 1989 Acoustical Solutions, Inc. has provided the detailed expertise needed to serve the noise control community. Acoustical Solutions, Inc. works with a wide variety of customers from commercial and residential development to worship facilities, recording studios and home theater designers. Acoustical Solutions, Inc. offers the industry's most comprehensive selection of noise control and soundproofing products, including a full line of indoor and outdoor industrial, commercial, environmental and architectural noise control products. For more information please visit www.AcousticalSolutions.com, call 1-800-782-5742, or see our media kit.