Specifying ceiling materials to achieve the best level of sound absorption is the correct starting point. However, ceilings alone are not truly capable of blocking enough noise between rooms to provide privacy and avoid annoyance. Additional steps need to be taken, either with the walls or with the plenum barriers, for effective sound insulation and to ensure background sound levels are within the desired range.
A quick read through any hotel’s online reviews will reveal the most common complaint the hospitality industry struggles with is noise. As anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel knows, the sounds of doors slamming at all hours and boisterous hotel guests in hallways are frequent barriers to getting a good night’s sleep while traveling.
It is intuitive the acoustical environment plays a key role in the wellness, education, and productivity of building occupants. Sound is all around, and the acoustical environment impacts everyone, whether consciously or not.
Typing the word “privacy” into a search engine yields a lengthy stream of entries describing the many ways in which privacy can be violated, including reports of hackers acquiring credit card information, law enforcement agencies mining social networking sites, and voice-activated electronics with the ability to eavesdrop on their owners.
With mounting recognition of the need to support focused work and promote wellness, many organizations are looking to provide building occupants with improved speech privacy, noise control, and acoustic comfort.