Architectural Acoustic Shifts and Trends: Things to Consider

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    When you walk into a church, university, or conference room, have you ever considered how the audio sounds in different areas of the space? The only reason the audio is well heard in every corner of the space is because of the engineers that designed it around that specific architecture.

    Some of the most interesting shifts we’ve seen in the engineering are related to the materials in the environment. Newer buildings are being designed to stray from carpeted floors, acoustical ceilings and acoustical valuable furniture. Instead we are seeing hard surface floors, higher ceilings and more natural light.

    This is where acoustical materials are being used in more interesting and unique ways. One of these creative acoustic barrier methods is ceiling clouds. Ceiling clouds are typically acoustic materials suspended from a ceiling some distance (often variant) to float in the upper ceiling space. Many materials, shapes, and forms are being made and used to develop better acoustics for more open and reflective spaces while allowing designers to have fun making a unique look for their clients including wave forms, customizable shapes, patterns and colors. The exciting thing about acoustic materials is they are becoming far more architecturally minded, particularly with design aesthetic considerations. Architects are beginning to use acoustic materials primarily for their look and feel rather than their intended acoustic qualities.

    Room modeling with sound studies are important and part of our process at EDE. Room modeling during the design phase can take advantage of room shape and finishes to incorporate more of the acoustics into the actual building design itself. This is particularly helpful for architects and other clients to better understand the importance of the design acoustically. Of course, we here at EDE also design retrofits every day and are happy for the challenge.

    What’s on the horizon? We’re certainly excited while getting geared up for the Acoustical Society of America’s Spring 2015 conference and look forward to gather lots of new ideas to bring back to our customers!


    EDE has become one of the nation's top multimedia design / build agencies because of our people, experience and corporate integrity. Completing hundreds of outstanding projects, we consider what has been done to challenge what can be done. EDE offers professional design, engineering, fabrication, installation, commissioning and maintenance for: Audio, Video, Lighting, Control, and Communications Systems.

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