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The acoustics of a room isn’t something that you generally notice — until you do (but never in a good way). So the acoustics are poor? Big deal! Unfortunately, it is a big deal, especially for commercial spaces.
Poor room acoustics can lead to communication difficulties, distractions, reduced productivity and even negative health consequences. In fact, one study found that “noise negatively impacts a majority (69%) of global employees’ concentration levels, productivity and creativity.” But it gets worse. The same study found: “The research indicates noisy offices cause increased levels of stress and anxiety, with 50% revealing noise levels would impact their decision to accept a job.”
Not only will your company be less productive, creative and innovative, but poor acoustics will even hurt your hiring practices.
Yet, managing room acoustics while focusing on design aesthetics requires a delicate balance. Luckily, acoustic ceilings created with ceiling baffles manage noise and improve acoustic performance as well as enhance the room’s aesthetics. The end result is a beautifully functional design.
But, what do ceiling baffles do?
Ceiling baffles are panels suspended vertically from a ceiling. They can be made with a variety of materials and create unique designs that complement the room’s aesthetic while they act as a functional element.
Ceiling baffles provide design flexibility along with acoustic support, making them a great solution for any space.
Acoustic baffles aid in noise control by disrupting a sound wave’s ability to travel through a space. Reducing reverberations and echoes with ceiling baffles creates a more comfortable environment. Acoustic baffles can be made from a variety of materials that work to reduce and control noise.
The usage of a room should be heavily considered when choosing ceiling baffles, their configuration and their placement. Large, open rooms with high ceilings will require a different strategy, and possibly a different product, compared to smaller areas set up for collaboration. For example, classrooms will have different acoustical needs than auditoriums. Because of this, usage is a significant consideration when choosing a ceiling baffle.
The layout of a room needs to be accounted for as well. Your design has three options for layout: standard, adaptive or custom solutions. Standard layouts are just that — they follow the status quo. Adaptive layouts can adapt to any space and help you achieve bold, beautiful results in architecture and interior design. Custom layouts are created specifically for your unique space and need to ensure the best possible fit.
Today’s ceiling baffles come in a wide range of different styles and colors, so there is something for every design. From undulating steel powder-coated panels to PET felt-covered panels, these noise-reducing elements will not only fit with the design but enhance and, in some cases, guide it.
Ceiling baffles are installed below the structural ceiling in a way that conceals the plenum — the space between the baffles and the structural ceiling. Installation time greatly depends on the type of building and chosen baffles, as well as where the baffle’s acoustic control is needed and how large the area is.
Materials and Colors
PET felt feels and looks like wool, but it’s actually made from recycled water and soda bottles and contains up to 50% recycled content. Due to its easy maintenance and durability, PET felt is a great material that will stand the test of time because it isn’t made with organic material that can degrade. The malleability of this material allows it to be formed into different designs and colored to match the needs of the room. Because it is 100% recyclable, it is a sustainable material and environmentally friendly choice.
Steel or Aluminum
Steel or aluminum ceiling baffles lend a modern, industrial edge to a design. They do have acoustic capabilities, but they won’t absorb sound as good as PET felt.
Ceiling baffles come in colors ranging from Heather Gray to Lemon and can even reproduce the look of wood grain for a rustic look without the weight of wood. Powder-coated steel ceiling baffles are also available in Jet Black and Arktura White.
The amount of ceiling baffle configuration is extensive. Ceiling baffles can be grouped into designs, organized in neat rows, placed in a grid or arranged in a seemingly random pattern.
7 Unique Ways to Design With Acoustic Ceiling Baffles
Still a little baffled? We can help with some visual aids.
These seven projects will show you how to incorporate ceiling baffles to create a ceiling that will provide acoustic comfort and stunning beauty to any space.
1. Create a Sense of Motion
Undulating like waves of sand over the expanse of a room, Atmosphera® Adaptive Analog 3D fins add a bold design element while controlling sound and reverberations. This ceiling baffle system is available in powder-coated steel, creating a smooth flat finish, as well as Soft Sound® material that adds acoustic comfort by absorbing even more sound.
Another way to create the illusion of movement on the ceiling is to design with a repeating pattern of colors. Atmosphera® Adaptive Versa 3D features undulating linear baffles that have the power to infuse a sense of movement. To add even more depth and motion, you can play with the colors, choosing from an expansive color library to mix and match in order to achieve the perfect design.
Not only does Atmosphera® Adaptive Versa 3D flow seamlessly through the space, its new inverted t-grid framing system allows for easy installation. And because the t-grid is now encased in the same Soft Sound® material as the fins, the flow of the design isn’t interrupted with incongruous installation materials.
2. Keep It Simple and Sustainable
Ceiling baffles manufactured with PET felt are not only sustainable but they can also be used in a wide variety of dynamic ceiling designs. When you want to keep it simple, choose SoundEdge® flat panels, which are available in a multitude of lengths and depths and are suspended from the ceiling to easily enhance acoustic performance and design. Use the simple geometry of this flexible system to compose dynamic and impactful configurations.
3. Design in a Narrow Space
In this multi-layered vertical structure, SoftGrid® Square baffles help to control noise with Soft Sound® material. These ceiling baffles are the ideal choice for long and narrow spaces with their perfectly spaced perpendicular panels that can be connected together to appear as a monolithic plain.
4. Add Color and Movement
Today’s gyms and wellness centers have become much more than a place to work out. They now encompass a whole realm of wellness services, and their innovative designs need to reflect this new role. Atmosphera® Adaptive Contour ceiling baffles in blue powder-coated steel allow you to define the amount of movement in the fins to meet your design needs in a large, open space. And if you need acoustic support, they come in acoustic Soft Sound® fins, as well.
5. Create Seamless Spans
SoftGrid® Switch ceiling baffles create a ceiling that draws the eye upward and adds interest to a space. They are manufactured with Soft Sound® material, so you’ll get enhanced acoustic comfort, while their modular design and continuous aesthetic means you can control reverberations in any size room.
6. Create Simple and Streamlined Design
The scalability of SoundAngle®’s simple and streamlined design allows you to dramatically reduce noise from all directions. Its many configuration options mean that you can accommodate existing structural elements or design from scratch. Available in a variety of colors and even wood-grain textures, this V-shaped ceiling baffle system will add comfort and style to your design.
7. Play With Contrast
SoftFold®’s sculptural faceted forms allow you to play with the contrast of light and dark with interweaving panels that create interesting shadows and bright spots. This combination of design and functionality creates a powerful element in a space that needs to make a statement.
Find the Right Baffles for Your Project
There are a number of ceiling baffles available on the market today, so it can become overwhelming and, frankly, baffling. But when you work with the right partner, they can make the process easy and smooth.
Arktura proves products that are unparalleled in quality and design and has a team of experts that makes choosing the right baffle for your project a breeze.
Contact the experts at Arktura today for help incorporating ceiling baffles into your design.