Architectural Acoustic Materials
Written by Kent Damschroder

The Waves and Vibrations of Sound

Architectural Acoustic Materials

Acoustics refers to sound, specifically how sound is transmitted and how the surrounding environment affects sound. Acoustics is also a specific branch of physics focused solely on sound.

Sounds are vibrations and the vibrations cause pressure in the air near our eardrums. Then the sounds travel through a hollow tube structure to the inner ear – the cochlea. Thousands of tiny hairs inside the ear are impacted by sound waves and they move back and forth in rhythm with the sound vibrations. This movement creates electrical signals that are sent to the brain via the auditory nerve. This all happens in a fraction of a second, so quickly we imagine it’s simultaneous with the sound.

So, how does our ear distinguish between loud booming sounds and high-pitched sounds like singing? Vibrations at slow speeds create low pitches while faster vibrations create higher pitches. In addition to the speed at which the tiny hairs vibrate and send electrical impulses to the brain, other nerves carry those impulses to areas of the brain that we interpret as happy, sad, frightening, etc. That’s why we may dance and enjoy music but be startled and scared by a loud noise. All this happens in fractions of a second, faster than we can perceive.

If sound is made by vibrations and waves, the materials around us influence those vibrations and waves. You’ve heard expressions about sound bouncing off walls. That’s exactly what happens. Have you ever been inside a room where your speech sounds hollow or echoes? Or rooms that are soundproof and incredibly quiet? Both of these are examples of the effect the materials in our environment have on the sound we hear.

When architects and designers consider what materials to use they must consider the intended use for a space. A concert hall requires different acoustical treatments than a library. The environment in an office building will differ from that of an indoor stadium. And, the types of materials used will influence the quality of the sound.

Manufacturers have spent years developing the finest acoustic products to meet the needs of businesses and organizations around the world. Midlantic Sales Group is proud to be the Maryland, Virginia and DC manufacturer’s representative for companies all over the world engaged in the use of quality acoustic products. Contact us online at https://www.midlantic-group.com/ or call 410-224-5665.

Architectural Products Acoustic Interior
Written by Kent Damschroder

Noise Pollution

Architectural Products Acoustic InteriorAcoustics are important for more than concert halls and theaters. Loud noise due to poor acoustics can negatively affect your health. When architects design with acoustics in mind, the well-being of occupants increases.

Offices

The change to the open office floor plan may have been hailed as a great innovation, but in practice it doesn’t optimize work production. The lack of privacy in an open floor plan increases employee stress. Simultaneous conversations, noise from machines, and people moving around are all distractions that reduce productivity and increase stress levels.

Classrooms

Many private and public schools were built prior to awareness and concerns about acoustics outside of the auditorium – some may argue even modern construction needs a greater emphasis on the issue. It’s been found the acoustics in the classroom, or the lack thereof, can make it more difficult for students to study and concentrate. Kids who sit in the front may hear what’s being said clearly, but the further back students are located the more difficult it becomes. Being in the back of the class makes learning doubly difficult for students with hearing loss or those who speak English as a second language. In addition, noisy classrooms can make learning more difficult for children with special needs, including autism and sensory disorders. Have you ever tried to read a book in a noisy café or public space?

Noisy classrooms are also detrimental to teachers. They may need to raise their voices to be heard, which adds to the noise and stress levels.

Hospitals

Sleep is one of the most important remedies for illness and injury. Patients in hospitals experience sleep disturbances due to conversations in hallways, flashing lights, doctors and nurses making their rounds, etc. Like teachers, nurses can experience increased stress levels from constant noise and experience decreased concentration.

Architects and designers can eliminate or minimize these distractions by planning for acoustic materials to be used in the construction or refurbishing of interiors. New materials and continued technological advances ensure there are efficient choices to meet the demands of each facility.

Companies such as Fellert developed acoustic solutions for walls and ceilings that don’t compromise quality or design. Fellert’s materials can be installed on flat, curved, or vaulted surfaces seamlessly. Midlantic Sales Group is proud to be the Maryland, Virginia and DC manufacturer’s representative for companies over the world engaged in the use of sustainable materials. Contact us online or call 410-224-5665.

Speeh Guad Building Materials Architects, Design
Written by Kent Damschroder

Speech Privacy – A Growing Need

Speeh Guad Building Materials Architects, DesignPrivacy in today’s world is an increasingly precious commodity; it’s a major factor in everyone’s lives. Social media can broadcast our every move around the country and across the globe and the smart phone camera provides instant news coverage never-before imagined. The lack of privacy has infiltrated workplaces as well and is wreaking havoc on worker productivity, stress levels and job satisfaction. Studies have found that lack of privacy is high on the list of worker dissatisfaction.

Business executives, lawyers, health care providers, and other professionals need and want privacy when talking to clients or patients. It can be difficult to safeguard confidential information within open concept floor plans.

The increase in converted factories, warehouses, and empty office buildings may be a boon for the real estate industry, but the large, open spaces created for the modern aesthetic contribute to noise pollution in the workspace. The deconstructed industrial look achieved with exposed brick and ventilation systems, metal and glass dividers only amplify the noise, causing it to bounce around.

Ways to combat the lack of speech privacy take several forms. Installing sound-absorbing materials is one way to reduce noise and increase worker concentration. Porous, soft materials such as fabric, mesh fabrics, sound-absorbing ceiling tiles and specially-designed wood panels are among the architectural solutions.

The gaps in lighting fixtures and ventilation shafts are often overlooked as conductors of workplace noise. One of the leaders in overcoming the speech privacy issue is Speech Guard™. They install a patented acoustic seal above light fixtures and over ceiling tiles to reduce noise while maintaining air flow.

Midlantic Sales Group is proud to be the exclusive manufacturer’s representative for companies all over the world engaged in the use of sustainable materials including Speech Guard™. Contact us online or call 410-224-5665.

Building Materials ,Architects, Design
Written by Kent Damschroder

Eucalyptus – Environmentally-friendly and Versatile

Eucalyptus may only be familiar to you for its pleasant-smelling oil, but the use of its wood in commercial building is on the rise. Native to Australia, eucalyptus is a fast-growing wood which can achieve growth of 6-12 feet in a single year. Some species can live as long as 1,000 years and depending on the variety, trees can grow to heights of 30 to 200 feet.

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Building Materials,Acoustic Interior
Written by Kent Damschroder

The Benefits of Acoustic Materials in Building

Theaters and concert halls are not the only locations that benefit from good acoustics. Soundproofing acoustics yields benefits for classrooms and offices as well. Excess noise can result in lower test scores for students and a decrease in productivity among office workers. Soundproofing an office can increase concentration, improve productivity levels, reduce the number of errors, and lower stress.

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Architectural Products Building Materials
Written by Kent Damschroder

Metal as an Architectural Acoustic Choice

Metal may not be the material that comes to mind in regard to acoustic management, but there are a variety of innovative products in this category which can be applied to ceilings, walls, and floors. Perforated metal is one type of product designed to absorb sound and reduce noise. Perforated metal reduces noise by dispersing it. It is especially effective for buildings in commercial districts.

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Architectural Products ,Building Materials
Written by Kent Damschroder

Technological Advances in Architectural Molding

Architectural molding dates back to prehistoric times. Back then it usually had a purpose much more integral to the structural integrity of the building than today where its use is now more decorative. Moldings (sometimes spelled with a ‘u’ as in ‘moulding’) have historically been forged from stone, wood or other materials that were naturally available. Throughout the millennia different cultures adopted different architectural approaches to the use of molding.

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Building Materials,Interior, Walls
Written by Kent Damschroder

Stronger Than Steel

The concept of sustainability is not new to us. It effects every aspect of our lives as more and more individuals, communities, and businesses understand its importance to the environment. There is a growing trend toward the use of bamboo and rattan in a variety of industries. While it’s in the nascent stages as a resource here in the US, China is the world leader in bamboo use.

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