Improving acoustics in public buildings

Good acoustics are also essential in public buildings. These are often classical buildings where little attention was paid initially to a good acoustic climate. In addition, public buildings often have many open spaces where reverberation can be a problem. Nevertheless, the right acoustic solutions can ensure that many problems are avoided. 

The importance of good acoustics in public buildings

Public buildings abound. In many cases, these are government buildings: 

  • libraries;
  • town halls;
  • station concourses;
  • swimming pools;
  • sport halls.

Consequences of poor acoustics in public buildings

What all the above buildings have in common is that they are usually very large and spacious and accommodate a lot of people. From an acoustic point of view, this can cause problems, especially in the case of historical buildings where little or no attention has been paid to acoustic solutions, or when they are given a different function as part of a conversion programme and therefore require acoustic adjustments.

Acoustic problems in public buildings

Both visitors and employees may experience a variety of complaints as a result of poor acoustics in public buildings:

  • The speech intelligibility between employees and visitors is very poor;
  • Even inside offices, employees have trouble understanding one another;
  • There is a long reverberation time caused by the hard surfaces reflecting sound;
  • In any case, there is a lot of noise (think of footsteps and voices, for example);
  • Flutter echo may occur in large halls (like in stations, swimming pools and sports halls).

Negative impact of poor acoustics in public buildings

These acoustic problems obviously have a lot of negative effects: 

  • visitors and employees get agitated and tired or avoid the building altogether;
  • productivity decreases;
  • motivation drops;
  • poor acoustics can cause health issues, such as persistent headaches, sore throats or difficulty speaking.

Modular solutions to remedy poor acoustics in public buildings

Many public buildings are now historical landmarks and, in many cases, listed heritage. This means that little or no attention was paid to acoustics when they were first erected, or that the acoustics had a different function, as is the case with former churches and chapels. Yet, it is often almost impossible to make major structural adjustments in historical buildings. 

Fortunately, the acoustic solutions offered by DOX Acoustics are very easy to implement and do not require major renovation work. Here are some examples: 

  • wall and ceiling panels that are secured directly onto the substrate;
  • suspended wall and ceiling panels for counters and reception desks such as ceiling islands and baffles;
  • seamless wall coverings such as Vibrasto;
  • flexible totems (ideal for conference rooms);
  • insulating glass partitions between spaces that enhance privacy.

Whether it’s for a new building or the conversion of a historical building, Acoustics as a Service (ACaaS) by DOX Acoustics is ideal for public buildings.

ACaaS for public buildings

ACaaS (Acoustics as a Service) consists of fully modular acoustic solutions that can be used in the most diverse situations. Based on a “pay-as-you-go” system, it ensures that you always pay for the right acoustic solutions that are easy to move or repurpose.

ACaaS is therefore not only ideal for new builds; it also offers many advantages for the conversion of (historical) public buildings:  

  • The solutions are fully modular and can therefore be moved easily;
  • The service undergoes regular evaluations and is adjusted accordingly;
  • Ideal when buildings are converted and/or structural adjustments are impossible;
  • Budget friendly because the costs can be spread out on an annual basis.

Do you have questions about acoustic solutions for a public building?

 Would you like more information on the possibilities and products offered by DOX Acoustics? A question to ask us? Don’t hesitate to contact us!


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