The Book of Acoustics

9.0 Troubleshooting

9.1 Acoustic design do’s and don’ts


  • Plan for acoustics as early as possible during the conceptual design stages
  • Bring in the competence you need to do the job properly
  • Learn the basics of sound behaviour and propagation in indoor spaces
  • Follow the ABCDs of sound control
  • Learn space acoustic requirements before beginning a project
  • Specify the amount and performance of the material according to the intended and future purpose of the space
  • Consider the acoustic impact of other material and objects in the space
  • Understand the difference between absorbent and reflective materials
  • Learn the basic types of acoustic treatment materials and what they do
  • Remember to check the performance rating of treatment materials at the frequency range of interest
  • Place acoustic panels symmetrically and spread them out to improve their effectiveness
  • Consider the geometry and volume of the space you are treating


  • Sacrifice function for art when selecting and placing treatment material
  • Forget to consider space planning
  • Over or under specify the amount of treatment needed
  • Forget to involve a professional acoustician if the pre-conditions are difficult or the client requirements are high
  • Place acoustic treatment too high where sound will take a longer time to reach them
  • Leave two parallel walls untreated
  • Forget to comply with relevant codes of practice

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.