The Book of Acoustics

7.0 How to design with acoustics

7.2 6 rules for excellent acoustic design

Does achieving the ideal acoustic environment have to mean sacrificing form for function? This is a common concern among designers and architects new to acoustic design. However, the palette of choices is far more diverse than a collection of foam panels in three different colours.

There’s a variety of materials, colours, shapes and textures available to choose from on the market today, and the options are expanding every day. Once you understand the fundamentals of sound control and learn about the tools and options available, you will gain more confidence and creative freedom to achieve the acoustic performance goals of a space without sacrificing your aesthetic vision.

  1.  Start early
    Architectural and design choices made in the early conceptual stages of the design process impact on the amount of acoustic corrections that need to be made later.
  2. Design for function
    Different spaces have different acoustical goals. Always find out the present and future possible functions of the space, and design accordingly.
  3. Collect feedback
    To help clarify goals and assess results, collect feedback before and after a project. Take acoustic measurements and survey the people inhabiting the space.
  4. Understand the path sound travels
    Surface geometry and obstacles affect how sound behaves in a space. Taking time to assess the unique acoustic landscape will help you make wiser acoustic design decisions.
  5. Know your treatment options
    The more familiar you are with the solutions in your toolkit, the better equipped you will be to shape the acoustic environment according to your wishes.
  6. Make friends with an acoustician
    You won’t always know the answers. Find a professional acoustician you can maintain an ongoing dialogue with and bring in for extra support when needed.

The Book of Acoustics

This is a handbook for architects and interior designers who want to create acoustically beautiful spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more productive.