To achieve ‘better acoustics’ and fulfill the objective of designing with the occupant in mind, one must turn their attention to the sound present in the space and look at it through the lens of both architectural acoustics and psychoacoustics.
When individuals reside in condos or apartments, they do not want to hear conversations happening in the next unit. This can be accomplished by constructing adequate walls to sufficiently block the sound.
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.