Background sound is an intrinsic part of our daily experiences, yet its fundamental role within the built environment is often overlooked. This omission is most apparent in noise mitigation projects where building professionals exclusively rely on absorptive materials and partition assemblies. This singular focus on objective physical acoustics fails to consider the human (psychological and physiological) component—specifically, that occupants can perceive a space with a higher controlled level and spectrum of background sound as ‘quiet.’
Designed by Snøhetta, the new timber office building for trekking and travel company ASI Reisen, situated in Natters, Austria, is inspired by a symbiosis between nature and humanity. Surrounded by a lush exterior, the four-story structure combines timber frame construction with solid wooden elements to optimize material use and allow for the greatest amount of open floor plans.
As new construction techniques and certifications become more widely used, specifiers must be aware of the many factors impacting the transmission of sound in buildings. It is important to take sound isolation into account when designing multifamily residential buildings to ensure the long-term comfort and satisfaction of building occupants.
Headquartered in Irving (Texas), oil and gas company Pioneer Natural Resources was ready for a new facility, but not a new hometown. The company decided a custom-designed, newly constructed building would best suit its business needs and forward-thinking corporate culture, while bringing together its North Texas employees in one building. To help achieve the project’s goals, the building interior was designed to optimize sound and light reflectance with acoustical ceiling systems.
The Northshore School District, Bothell, Washington, needed to expand to include a new North Creek High School (NCHS) on a 25-ha (61-acre) site. The district partnered with Dykeman Architects to turn their vision of a flexible, innovative learning center for 1600 students into a reality. Single leaf sliding doors support the collaborative culture at the school, provide space savings, daylighting, and sound attenuation.