Tag Archive: gym acoustic treatment

  1. Can Awful Acoustics in Restaurants Alter Taste?

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    Have you ever been to a busy restaurant that was so noisy you could barely hear your friend across the table? From an acoustics standpoint, restaurants are tricky spaces; the hard surfaces of the tables, bar, and floor are carefully designed to match the menu and overall aesthetic, but they can make a quiet Tuesday lunch sound very different from a packed Friday night.

    Positive young people enjoying a food and smiling at the tavern

    It’s no surprise that crowded, noisy atmospheres result in dissatisfying customer experiences. In a recent Zagat survey, noise level was the second most common complaint of restaurant goers after bad service. Additionally, a Consumer Reports survey of almost 50,000 readers reported that one in every four dining experiences warranted a noise complaint.

    Customers aren’t the only victims of sound pollution; the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) monitors volume to protect employees from environments that could cause hearing loss over time. OSHA’s standards include a maximum noise level of 90 decibels per every 8 hours and 95 decibels per every 4 hours. Oxford University experimental psychology professor Charles Spence noted that noise levels in many restaurants hover around 100 decibels.

    restaurant 1

    Recent studies have found that not only do bad acoustics hurt our ears, but they can also affect the way we taste our food. A 2010 study in scientific journal Food Quality and Preference found that participants perceived saltiness and sweetness more strongly when eating with quiet or no background noise, compared to participants who ate the same foods with loud background noise. A 2012 University of Manchester study found that people enjoyed their food more when they also enjoyed the background noise (pleasant music, for example), while participants who ate with 80-decibel white noise in the background reported dulled flavor perception.

    We’re learning that existing background noise, and the acoustical products used to counter it, have the power to transform the dining experience. Acoustical experts should be consulted at the start of any restaurant building or remodeling to harness this power. Products like fabric wrapped fiberglass or echo elimination panels can minimize the noisy cocktail party effect we’ve all experienced.

    Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. has 35 years of experience in improving surface acoustics. Managing volume can be difficult in a continuously changing environment like a restaurant. At Acoustical Surfaces Inc., we offer a variety of mounted wall panels, silk metal, and ceiling-hung baffles to knock out the unwanted noise and offer a more pleasant experience for your customers and employees.

    To learn more about our acoustical surface offerings and our proven restaurant industry success, please contact us to consult an acoustical expert.

     

  2. What’s That Noise? Gymnasiums

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    In this ongoing blog series, the acoustic experts of ASI will detail common noise concerns of different environments and offer solutions to resolve any issues. This month’s edition of What’s That Noise? focuses on gymnasiums—wide-open spaces that are highly conducive to generating echoes and reverberation.

    gymnasium_exercise_room_acoustics

    Upon entering a gymnasium, the first thing that people notice—almost immediately—is the noise. At any given time, there are dozens of unwanted sounds fluctuating throughout these recreational facilities. Squeaking sneakers, booming voices and footsteps, and piercing music are only some of the sounds you’ll encounter regularly.

    Gymnasiums aren’t limited to just exercise and sporting events; these multi-purpose spaces often serve as venues for banquets, concerts, performances, and business conferences as well. Regardless of their specific purpose, all gymnasiums are constructed similarly; they are always composed of wood, painted concrete or cinder blocks, and metal roof decks—all of which are highly reflective surfaces.

    When you combine large gym spaces, reflective surfaces, and a lack of absorptive surfaces (e.g. carpet, furniture, drapery or ceiling tiles), this results in excessive echoes and reverberations. With little to no absorption in the room, sounds constantly bounce around until running out of energy.

    This noise problem is especially troublesome when gymnasiums are for conferences or instructional events; speech intelligibility in the room suffers greatly since people hear sounds that have been reflected several times. This delayed response causes a lot of confusion, as people have difficulty distinguishing one sounds from another.

    How Can I Resolve the Problem?

    To facilitate appropriate noise abatement, many gymnasiums are treated with hanging baffles or absorptive wall or ceiling panels. Baffles are ideal for this application, but it’s important to observe and take note of the fire suppression sprinklers; installing baffles in a location that’s inhibiting the coverage of the fire sprinklers is a huge safety concern.

    Acousitcal Surfaces, Inc. (ASI) has led the soundproofing industry for over 30 years. People frequently rely on our sound expertise to solve noise problems in various settings.

    In gymnasiums, our Echo Eliminator™ Acoustical Panels are a great resource for noise abatement for walls or ceilings. These panels are cost effective, lightweight, and easy to install. Our Echo Eliminator™ panels are sold in 2×4 panels and are available in 10 different colors in both 1” and 2” thickneses. In addition to possessing exceptional absorptive properties, these panels are also Class A fire rated to provide added security.  It is also important to know that these panels are generally in stock and because they do not need to be made/fabricated, we can generally ship an order in just a few days.

    ASI’s PVC Wrapped Acoustical Baffles are also a popular choice for gymnasiums (with high ceilings and no fire suppression systems). These high-performance baffles are composed of heat-sealed polyethylene (PVC) with a fiberglass fill, making them absorbent enough to cut down reverberations. Our baffles are available in sizes up to 4’x10’, as well as various colors to compliment the design of you gym.

    Learn more about noise abatement by contacting Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. today.


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  3. Gymnasium Acoustics and Noise Treatments

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    Noisy gymGymnasiums are huge echo chambers. A gym’s noise production, transmission, and effects, also known as your gymnasium acoustics, can have a more negative impact than many realize. From the sharp sound of a coach’s whistle to screaming crowds that cheer on the home team, gym acoustics not only create noise levels that make communication difficult, but can also result in noise related hearing loss. Treating a gymnasium will also have the unexpected benefit of cutting down on noise throughout an entire building.

    Why so noisy?

    It’s all about echo and reverberation. You’re probably familiar with an echo, from the sharp slap of a book dropped in an empty hallway to your voice responding back to you as you yell across a vast canyon. Well, gym acoustics are a bit like that vast canyon. As noise travels in this “canyon” we get reverberation that is very noticeable in such a large, voluminous space. When reverberation occurs in a hard surfaced room (like your gym) the sounds can actually increase in intensity, lasting for several seconds. This can hamper communication and contribute to even higher noise levels as everyone gets louder and louder trying to be heard. (You can read more about reverberation and other acoustical terms here).

    What to do and what to use?

    Due to the typical room structure of a gymnasium, we recommend that gym soundproofing be focused on walls and ceilings. Adding sound absorbing materials is the best remedy and there are a variety of gym acoustic treatments available to help you improve your gymnasium’s acoustics.

    One option is the Sound Silencer™, which can be applied directly to both walls and/or ceilings. This product is extremely durable and very effective at sound control management.

    Another great choice is the Echo Eliminator™. These recycled cotton panels can be applied directly to a wall or used as a baffle, suspended from your gym’s ceiling. They come in 10 great colors, one of which is sure to complement your school colors! Check out this blog post describing one school’s unique way of soundproofing their gymnasium so that noise was reduced while also being visually appealing. The Echo Eliminator also makes attractive hanging acoustical baffles that may count towards making your school LEED® certified.