Case Study – Naples Flatbread

commercial acoustics absorption panels naples flatbread

Naples Flatbread, a modern restaurant serving up artisanal flatbreads, recently discovered they were suffering from a sound problem. In addition to their restaurant services, the trendy location is equipped with a stage and offers live music to guests as they dine. Nearly all restaurants experience some type of soundproofing or acoustics problem, and hosting live music only adds to the need for expert sound treatment. Naples Flatbread found their sound solution with Commercial Acoustics.

Commercial Acoustics sent their acoustic experts to consult with the owners of Naples Flatbread. A clear height of 30′ combined with the number of sealed surfaces that restaurants require was causing something of an acoustic nightmare for the restaurant. The technicians analyzed the restaurant, considered its layout, and calculated the exact amount of absorption necessary for the space

Our acoustic experts determined that 75 acoustic panels would considerably improve the acoustics in the restaurant, effectively solving their sound problem. Commercial Acoustics manufactured all 75 panels, each measuring 2x4x2″. The experts then developed the ideal layout for the panels, installing 50 to the restaurant’s walls and the remaining 25 to its ceiling.

Commercial Acoustics was able to fully remedy the acoustic problem Naples Flatbread was experiencing. The restaurant is now the ideal location for guests to enjoy both their flatbreads and their live music events, without the burden of a noise problem.

Isolating Vibrating Machinery

Commercial Acoustics Isolating Vibrating Machinery

From factories to schools to offices, nearly all buildings contain some type of mechanical equipment. While necessary to keep operations running smoothly, mechanical equipment tends to generate a lot of excess noise. These types of machines vibrate as they operate, creating a type of noise that can be both heard and felt by building occupants. This is because vibrations move from the machines to various building elements, traveling throughout the building’s structure and spreading noise as they go.

Constant vibrations rumbling in the background make for a distracting environment in which employees and students have difficulty focusing and are therefore less productive than they could be. This common noise problem can be resolved with soundproofing techniques like sound isolation. In this case, sound isolation means separating the offending equipment from the building’s structure in order to prevent vibrations from being transmitted from the machine to structural elements. Resilient mounts can be used for this purpose by isolating vibrating machinery from the building’s structure. This solution works best when equipment is located close to columns or load-bearing walls, as these structures offer better support for the resilient mounts.

Typically, mechanical equipment is bolted directly to the floor, allowing vibrations to easily jump from the machine and attach to structural elements, sending additional vibrations throughout the entire building. By relocating this type of equipment so that it can be mounted to a column or load-bearing wall with a resilient mount, structure-borne noise can be diminished. While machinery treated in this manner will still project some amount of airborne noise, the removal of the structure-borne noise is typically enough to render the remaining airborne noise unnoticeable.

Noise from mechanical equipment may seem impossible to resolve, but with the proper soundproofing techniques, the noise problem can be eliminated without much interruption to the building’s daily use. If you’re concerned about mechanical noise becoming an issue in one of your projects, reach out to Commercial Acoustics to learn more about resolving this type of noise problem.

Understanding Speech Privacy

soundproofing and sound masking for open offices

What is Speech Privacy?

Speech Privacy can be defined as the inability of an outside listener to understand a conversation between two or more separate individuals. Effective speech privacy is an essential aspect of any office as it allows employees to:

  • Conduct confidential conversations without being overheard
  • Ignore distracting conversations
  • Understand in-person and phone conversations more clearly

Measuring Speech Privacy

Speech privacy operates on a scale of 0% – 100%, where 0% means perfect privacy (no communication) and 100% means perfect communication (no privacy). Most offices aim to achieve a speech privacy level of 5%. At this level, most speech will be unintelligible to an outside listener, though some words may be understood.

Achieving Speech Privacy

In order to achieve the desired level of speech privacy, there must be a careful balance between the noise created by the speaker and the ambient noise in the room.

When the speaker’s voice is louder than the ambient noise in the room, the speech becomes non-private, rendering it intelligible to all those within earshot.

When the speaker’s voice is much lower than the ambient noise, the intended listener will be unable to understand the speaker.

When the speaker’s voice and the ambient noise are equal, speech privacy will be at its most ideal level.

Direct Speech Paths vs. Reflective Speech Paths

Open office plans allow for direct speech intrusion paths, meaning speech will travel directly from the speaker to the listener. These paths may be blocked with the introduction of screens. Screens can be anything that blocks the sound’s path including acoustical products, furniture and cubicle walls.

Enclosed plans allow for speech intrusion through shared walls and doors, flanking, and sound leaks (cracks) in the building’s structure. These paths may be closed by sealing sound leaks, installing carpeting and softer furnishings, and installing acoustic panels to walls and ceilings.

If you have concerns about speech privacy in a current building project, contact Commercial Acoustics or leave a comment below!

Guidelines for Worship Center Sound Treatment

acoustics for worship center

Sound treatment is critical in faith and worship centers, as these locations tend to rely heavily on both speech and music. The centers must be properly outfitted with acoustical equipment to increase speech intelligibility while simultaneously enhancing the quality of musical components.

The equal importance of music and speech quality creates a challenge for architects and consultants working to achieve proper hearing conditions in worship centers. Consider these guidelines when working on worship center acoustics to create the perfect balance.

Floor Plans

Develop a narrow floor plan with a high room volume to support lateral sound. In wider plans, sound tends to feel as though it is coming from far-away, which hurts acoustics.

Elevate Pulpits

Pulpits, podiums, lecterns or any other platform on which a speaker or performer stands, should be raised and near a wall.

Avoid Concave Ceilings

Ceilings should not contain any type of dome or other concave shapes. These types of shapes focus sound energy, weakening volume.

Seating

Seats should be arranged as close to the speaker’s platform as possible. Carpets and cushioning can be used in seating areas to improve absorption as well as reduce foot-traffic noise.

Sound Reflecting Materials

Any new building should be completed with sound reflecting materials such as concrete or thick plaster. Include multiple irregularities like bumps and indents to improve reverberance, diffusion and lateral reflections.

Music

The choir, organ, and organ console (if present) should be clustered together to create balance. Refrain from using carpeting, cushioning and other sound absorbing materials in the choir area.

Minimize Background Noise

Mechanical noise can be seriously problematic during meditation, prayer and other silent moments in the worship center. Mechanical systems and pipes should be outfitted with soundproofing material and quieter systems should be installed when possible.

Speaker Systems

A central electronic sound-reinforcing system should be installed to enhance speech intelligibility and ensure the sound comes from the speaker’s location to create a sense of unity.

Proper speech intelligibility combined with musical clarity helps to create the ideal worship center environment. Consider these guidelines the next time you provide acoustical consulting or treatment to a worship center.

Did one of these ideas help you with a project? Let us know in the comments below!

Auditorium Acoustics: 8 Factors to Consider

auditorium acoustics

Have you ever attended a lecture or a play in an auditorium and barely been able to make out what the speaker was saying? Chances are the problem was poor acoustics.

Next time you provide acoustical consulting for an auditorium, make sure to consider these 7 key factors:

1. Location

For new auditoriums, the building should be planned as far away as possible from any potential noise sources such as highways, train tracks or industrial areas.

2. Buffer Zones

Isolate the auditorium from the rest of the building and potential noise sources by creating buffer zones.

Hallways and lobbies should separate the main auditorium from restrooms, mechanical equipment, dressing rooms etc. Surrounding space should be used for storage or offices that will be empty while the auditorium is in use.

3. Doorways

All doors should be solid-core, with airtight seals to inhibit outside noise from slipping in.

4. Reverberation

To combat reverb in a large room:

  • Build with sound absorbing material and include sunken panels, undulations and other small irregularities in the walls
  • Sound reflecting materials should be used for the bulk of the building process (thick wood, thick gypsum, concrete)
  • Hang thick, fabric curtains along walls to minimize hard surfaces
  • All aisles should be carpeted to reduce foot-traffic noise
  • Always use fabric seating. Avoid metal and plastic.
  • Create a checkerboard pattern alternating between sound reflecting and sound absorbing materials along the ceiling.

5. Background Noise

Install sound absorbing duct liners and mufflers to reduce HVAC noise.

6. Balcony

Balconies should be included to reduce the distance between the farthest seats and the stage. The overhang should be of small depth and be fitted with sound absorbing material

7. Sound Systems

Speakers should be placed just above and in front of the proscenium opening or arch. The controls for these speakers should be positioned in a central location of the seating area rather than in a separate room in the back of the auditorium.

8. Orchestra Pits

If the auditorium has an orchestra pit, soundproof curtains should be installed that can be opened and closed as the conductor chooses to control the noise level.

General auditoriums play host to a wide range of performances and events which will have no chance of success if audiences aren’t able to hear them. Consider this list the next time you’re working on a general auditorium to create the ideal acoustics.

Have any other tips about auditorium acoustics? Leave them in the comments below!

 

Classroom Noise Distracts Students

classroom acoustics

Classrooms, especially grade school classrooms, are notoriously loud. We tend to credit the noise to students giggling with their friends and playing with their iPhones under their desks, but they may not be entirely to blame when it comes to tumultuous classrooms.

Think back to the last classroom you were in. What did it look like? Chances are there were tiled floors, cement walls, and endless rows of metal desks – the kinds of surfaces sound waves thrive on.

Sound waves deflect off of these hard surfaces, sending noise flying in every direction. This commotion makes it difficult for students to hear and encourages them to add to the chaos rather than strain their ears to listen. If you’re a teacher or educator looking to quiet your classrooms’ noise problem, you need to hear about these sound solutions.

Wreck the Reverb

Acoustic Absorption Panels are the simplest solution to any classroom noise problem. These durable panels can be installed in as little as fifteen minutes; perfect for teachers on a time crunch.

How It Works: Hang your panels around the room, placing a few on each wall. As sound waves are generated from students chatting, tapping their feet and clicking their pens, they will start to fly around the room and crash into any available surface. As the waves hit the panels, they will be absorbed by the acoustical fiberglass and fabric, silencing them and stopping them from further bouncing around the room.

Ease the Echo

Echo occurs as noise bounces off of a surface and returns to the listener as a secondary sound. Bare rooms with hard surfaces, like classrooms, are likely to experience a good amount of echo. For educators on a budget, absorption foam is an affordable solution with high-cost results.

How it Works: Absorption foam is a lightweight product made from open cell polyurethane, allowing for quick and easy installation. The foam can be hung along walls with any construction adhesive approved for foam and can be installed in less than fifteen minutes. The highly-engineered material traps sound waves as they hit, diminishing echo and improving the listening quality of the room.

Loud background noise distracts students and makes hearing difficult. Help your students succeed by treating the noise and providing a quiet learning environment you can all enjoy.

Have a question about the acoustics of your classroom? Let us know in the comments below, at Commercial Acoustics, we’re always here to help!

Save Time & Money – Choose Wall Blokker Over Layered Drywall

Soundproofing is an obstacle general contractors face during both new construction projects and renovations. The mistake of installing 2 or more layers of drywall is commonly made when combating this issue in the hopes that the extra layers will provide a sufficient sound barrier. Multiple layers of drywall may muffle some sound but will not make any drastic impact on noise control.

Drywall, while an extremely useful building resource, is designed for the construction of walls, not for blocking noise. Typical drywall contains a solid gypsum core that vibrates as it encounters sound waves, allowing noise to pass through easily. Not only does layered drywall do little to block out sound, procuring and installing the extra material is expensive and time-consuming.

Wasted time and money can be avoided by installing Wall Blokker underneath one single layer of drywall. Wall Blokker is specifically designed to block airborne noise as well as decouple drywall from underlying studs to decrease structure-borne noise in both walls and ceilings. It is easy to install and requires less time and effort than purchasing and layering extra sheets of drywall.

Most importantly, Wall Blokker will reduce 75% of airborne and impact noise, something no amount of drywall can do. In addition to its impressive noise blocking abilities, Wall Blokker offers barriers against moisture and air, making it a 3-in-1 solution.

Choosing Wall Blokker allows for the construction of a significantly quieter structure with less material and labor than layered drywall.

soundproofing walls sound barrier

 

Stop Apartment Noise Disturbances Before They Begin

apartment soundproofing multifamily

From luxury suites to affordable complexes, one of the main factors to consider when building apartment homes is sound. Living wall-to-wall with your neighbors can make for plenty of noise disturbances so it comes as no surprise that a quiet and private living space is of value to most apartment dwellers, and they’re willing to pay for it. Yet many apartment buildings overlook this fact when designing their buildings and end up with dissatisfied tenants upset about excessive noise seeping in from neighboring apartments.

If soundproofing is considered during development these issues can be avoided, making the building a more compelling living space for potential renters.

There are many ways for developers to include soundproofing in the design of their apartment complexes. Below are 4 ways to protect an apartment from noise disturbances during the building process.

Insulation

Installing insulation is already a necessary aspect of building a living space, so why not use it to combat noise disturbances? This high-quality insulation is designed specifically with soundproofing in mind and can be used in both interior and exterior walls, ceilings, and attics. By replacing typical insulation with this soundproofing version, the building will become a much more desirable living location.

Sound Barriers

Another soundproofing option is to install a sound barrier below the surface of an exposed wall or ceiling during construction. High-quality noise barriers are able to reduce noise by up to 75%, keeping tenants from hearing their neighbors and their neighbors from hearing them. It also helps protect against unwanted moisture and improves HVAC efficiency, making it an extremely useful addition to any apartment building construction project.

Sound Dampening

One of the most common noise complaints from apartment home tenants involves their upstairs neighbors’ every movement. To stop this issue in its tracks, consider sound dampening during initial construction. The Floor Blokker can be placed onto bare floor surfaces and then covered with carpeting, reducing ceiling noise flow between apartments.

Decoupling

To greatly reduce sound in high-cost environments like luxury apartment complexes, decoupling is an option to consider. This system can be used to reduce noise and vibrations carried from one apartment to the next via walls or ceiling.

If precautions are taken early on, soundproofing can be seamlessly woven into the construction process. The reduced noise disturbances and increased privacy will not go unnoticed by tenants.

Have a question about one of these products? Leave a comment below and let us help!

Commercial Acoustics Hosts Homebrew Hillsborough

commercial acoustics soundproofing presentation homebrew hillsborough in tampa florida

This past Friday Commercial Acoustics had the pleasure of hosting Homebrew Hillsborough’s monthly coffee networking event.

By holding events like this one, Homebrew Hillsborough works to create collaborative environments for local businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and flourish together.

Hosting this month’s event was an exciting opportunity for Commercial Acoustics.

commercial acoustics coo presenting soundproofing products like mass loaded vinyl

The meet-up began with a tour of our factory, led by Nathaniel Lamb, our Chief Operations Officer. Nathaniel walked our visitors through our factory and offices, giving them a feel for our day-to-day operations and allowing them to get to know our team.

commercial acoustics ceo presenting soundproofing curtains

Following the tour, Walker Peek, our CEO, discussed the ABC²s of Commercial Acoustics:

 Absorption

  • Echo & Reverb Control
  • Baffles, Clouds, Panels

Blocking

  • Soundproofing Membranes
  • Floor Underlayments
  • Wall Underlayments

Cover

  • Sound Masking
  • Ambient Background Noise

Consulting

We greatly enjoyed hosting Homebrew Hillsborough here at Commercial Acoustics and look forward to their future events!