Using Art for Office Space Acoustics

CAN Community Health is a not-for-profit comprehensive care clinic with 34 offices located throughout Florida and South Carolina to provide medical social and educational services. Recently CAN Community opened their new facility headquarters in Sarasota Florida, where the team at Commercial Acoustics was hired to advise on as well as fabricate and install soundproofing and acoustical solutions for their unique office space.

Acoustic Panels in the Office

The new CAN Community main office is a large, modern space with high ceilings, glass storefront executive offices, industrial concrete flooring and an exposed metal deck. The large volume and hard, sealed finishes maximized the sound intensity, allowing conversations to resonate at length creating a cold warehouse feel which became an issue for their workforce. Understanding the company’s branding efforts and strong ties to colorful, decorative finishes Commercial Acoustics recommended the addition of art-wrapped acoustical panels. These wall-mounted panels would serve a dual purpose, adding a creative aesthetic to the office space while functioning to reduce reverberation.

The solution was a huge hit. To create art-wrapped acoustical panels high resolution images are required which can range from a company’s logo, to jobsite or team images, abstract art images purchased online or in this case motivational quotes that were created by the CAN creative department. These images are then printed on acoustically-transparent fabric to maximize effectiveness. The panels ranged in size from 2’ x 2’ up to 4’ x 10’, all 2” thick with an NRC value of 1.05.

CAN Comm Art Acoustic Panel

Acoustical Specialists from Commercial Acoustics worked with the architectural team to determine the target reverberation times and performed an on-site consultation to review various design options and panel layout.  By completing the analysis, fabrication and installation under one roof the client received substantial cost savings. As CAN Community found out firsthand art-wrapped acoustical panels can be placed strategically throughout an office to add an eye-catching, reverberation reducing feature.

When Is it Best to Use Acoustic Art Panels?

A common theme we’ve found with many clients is that there is a single budget for art during tenant improvement, but no additional funding for acoustic treatment. By combining both line items into a single budget, you can treat the acoustic issues in your space without requiring additional funding.

Acoustic Art panels are best used when there are high, reflective surfaces in a space that results in long reverberation times. This is common in rooms without acoustic ceiling tiles or carpeting, since there is very little surface area to absorb sound waves.