Demand for acoustic materials, such as Envirospray 300 is growing as the need for better sound environments is being felt in India.
Outside of concert halls and theatres acoustics is a little considered aspect of interior design. However architectural acoustics is an important aspect of any space’s design, be it an office or a classroom.
Interior space acoustics is the science of controlling a room’s surfaces based on sound absorbing and reflecting properties. Excessive reverberation time, which can be calculated, can lead to poor speech intelligibility. Interior building surfaces can be constructed of many different materials and finishes.
Rooms that are constructed from, or fitted out with reflective “hard” surfaces such as brick, gypsum board, glass, marble, stainless steel etc., once occupied and functional, usually suffer from high reverberation times that amplify the internal noise. This amplification in conjunction with an echo effect destroys sound clarity and creates most uncomfortable elevated sound levels.
Says Yanick Pierce, owner of Envirospray 300, “A typical example is a crowded restaurant, where diners have to shout to be heard and strain to participate in a conversation, while music does not stand a chance. To compensate for the resultant chaos a heavy duty sound absorber such as Envirospray 300 needs to be installed in ceiling and wall locations to remove the reverberant amplification and achieve a pleasant environment where speech is comfortable and music may be enjoyed.”
Ideal acoustical panels are those without a face or finish material that interferes with the acoustical infill or substrate. Some materials are fabric covered panels, perforated metal, Micore, etc.
An Australian company with an Indian presence now, Enviro-Acoustics has developed a unique acoustic product. Envirospray 300 (E300) is a spray applied sound absorber that is primarily used to achieve reverberation (echo) control in internal spaces where high clarity of sound is required.
Generally to achieve an audible positive result, a minimum sprayed area equal to 50% of the floor area must be applied to ceilings or walls. The thickness of Envirospray 300 may vary from 10mm to 75mm depending on the volume of the room, noise level and type of sound generated (live music / drama / dining / sports / PA announcements, etc.)
As E300 is spray applied, it has the ability to be retrofitted around existing services with no fuss. Available in two natural colours (steel grey and off-white), the final product may be dyed or painted to achieve a specific architectural choice.
E300 achieves the highest levels of Fire Resistance in comparison with most traditional absorbers, such as fabric wrapped panels, while also making a significant contribution to Green Star Ratings with an 80% recycled content / ultra-low VOC / Zero ODP. It is manufactured from natural recycled fibres and treated with additives for compliance with building code fire resistance requirements.
Reverberation Control is a non-optional ingredient for auditoriums, studios, music rooms, cinema halls, call centres, sport venues, airport halls or any place where sound clarity is essential.
However acoustic solutions are still not widely used in India, outside these specialised spaces. Moreover Pierce notes, “The introduction of poor reverberation control will result in ‘poor’ acoustics which sadly is highly prevalent and widespread in India as the venue occupants are not too discerning or informed. Furthermore, it is generally acknowledged that the traditional Indian is very tolerant of ‘noise’ and more is considered much merrier.”
He further explains that typically, good acoustics in residential situations and restaurants is an optional item, and mostly overlooked as it is an investment in a nontangible sector. “How much is a pleasant conversation with friends worth?”, asks Pierce.
But nowadays most Indians who have travelled abroad are aware of the emphasis that first world countries place on the comfort qualities of internal environments, and are demanding the same.
There are many cutting edge acoustic products now available in the Indian market. Sound absorbers come in all shapes and sizes: fabric wrapped panels, slotted timber panelling, curtains, glass wool batts, rockwool blankets, etc.
However Pierce cautions that every absorber type has a place and time where cost, looks and performance all converge to result in the ideal choice. Such a decision is the result of acute awareness of performance parameters and product knowledge and is often misguided due to budget constraints.
He predicts that this trend to have cost dominate all acoustic performance decisions is shifting upwards to incorporate the adage “you get what you pay for”. Well informed clients now demand top end acoustics for the best price.
Pierce remains optimistic for the future of the acoustic segment in India. “Excellent acoustics, once experienced will always remain a desired item. Hence as an increasing number of locations in India embrace the concept and benefits of sound comfort, an increasing number of Indians, once exposed to these venues, demand the same and vote with their feet or purse”, he says.
Text By Alyssa Lobo