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Background

 

Calderys' is a Worldwide business that provides a wide range of industrial services that include Engineering and Design, Logistics and Precasting. Their Wakefield location contacted iKoustic about their central meeting office based in their warehouse, and they would often use this space to conduct international conferences. One of the most pressing issues was the high level of reverberation and the resulting degradation of speech intelligibility which made it difficult to understand or follow telephone conversations as well as the ability to hold important meetings.

It is important to give focus on making sure there is adequate sound absorption in an office space so that there is little interruption to flow of conversation, these issues can be heard often at the customer end, something we often hear at first hand, and this can be hugely distracting with frustration recognised at both ends of the call. Depending on the severity of the issue this could lead to fewer sales by way of not being able to understand or hear correctly as well as being able to follow any given instruction due to the inability to communicate effectively.
 

  • Measured at 9.8m x 4.9m x 2.3m (height)
  • Highly reflective surfaces in a long room
  • 3 seconds estimated Reverberation Time

 

 

Solution

Our solution was to incorporate colour schemes present in their current interior design as well as providing something visually stimulating, all colours were chosen work in harmony with Calderys logo, something we had discussed further with coming away from the pure white panelling that is the default option with sound absorption so that it does not stand out. But, there is so much more you can do with Absorption to help create a brand identity with subtle touches, or if you are searching for the creation of complete bespoke and often wild designs, we accept these challenges at iKoustic with open arms.

We used our Brilliant Orange 3D Tiles to not only achieve something visually eye-catching but also to cover areas with a Class C Absorption rating - helping to minimise reflections in the room.
We also incorporated ways of balancing the internal colour pallet by wrapping our Soft Note™ 50mm panels in two shades of grey. These panels are a Class A Absorption rating to which properties give way to a highly effective material for reducing reverberation, and including our Soft Note™ 50mm in white on the ceiling to blend in with the painted ceiling interior, this is also a Class A Absorption material. With the addition of these materials, the effect reverberation has on speech intelligibility will be lessened as we have minimised the reflective surfaces and allowing any sound energy still bouncing off exposed surfaces to be absorbed eventually.

Due to the height of the space we were unable to create any hanging baffles, as a hung method these would require less wall panelling due to the increased exposure of the panels on all sides, so for example; when an acoustic panel is affixed directly to a wall or ceiling, almost 50% of the board is unable to reduce reflections.

 

All of the above was spaced out across the walls and ceiling to assure the best coverage against excessive reverberation.

 

Results

A formal Reverberation Test was not carried out, but a positive audible difference to the room has been remarked by members of staff including our main person of contact, Derek. The vast improvements made have allowed for their international conferences to be heard again with increased clarity and for their internal meetings to be more successful in retaining focus and understanding with each team member.

 

"The acoustics are vastly improved and have eliminated the echos that were causing problems. The appearance is great and I have received positive feedback from those that have used the room.’  & ‘It has made a noticeable difference when I talk in that room"