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Understanding Acoustics: How Materials and Shapes Affect Workplace Acoustics

Walking my dog on beautiful fall day I came across this band shell.
From experience, we can look at this and guess how sound will be affected by the shape and materials.

If I sat my boy Oz in the middle of the shell and got him to bark, everyone “down range” of the shell would hear him very clearly. The shape and the materials concentrate sound and focus it in a specific direction.

Now, think about a high-end law firm lobby. Painted gypsum ceilings, glass conference room walls, maybe even a curved glass wall.

How would the results be different? As you plan spaces and choose materials, think about the band shell and where reflective sound will be an issue. Choose materials that will either diffuse sound or absorb sound. Careful selection of materials and shapes is a big part of understanding acoustics and setting an office design project up for success.

The results can be beautiful and acoustically pleasing!

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