In Chaker’s article, she quotes Princeton, New Jersey Architect T. Jeffrey Clarke on the subject saying: “If you have a large room with big windows, a high ceiling and a minimalist kind of look, you’re going to have a problem, guaranteed.
“Homeowners and architects are sometimes so focused on the nitty-gritty of a construction project that something intangible, like the acoustics, often gets ignored.”
The science of acoustics is an extremely sophisticated one, and understanding the nature of different noise has helped engineer some insanely effective soundproofing products for indoors and outdoors, and for different noise sources.
Sometime a noise barrier is necessary to keep the offending noise out of a space, or to contain it within. For instance, a home office can use a noise barrier material installed under the drywall, or on top of the drywall. Noise absorbing materials are the ticket to peace in hard surface spaces where reverberant sound is a problem. Home theaters can benefit from noise absorbing panels just to keep ambient noise levels to a minimum so that the sounds you want to hear from the theater’s sound system come across crisp and clear.
But noise absorbing material can become a necessity in other rooms, particularly in large, open spaces with lots of hard surfaces. Sound absorbing material can be worked into the décor of a room quite nicely – The R-Lounge in Los Angeles, for instance, hung fabric-covered panels of noise absorbing material in its ultra-chic, hard surface outdoor smoking patio with amazing results.
And when Reno, Nevada-based Decorative artists Bryan Melillo and Bruce Czopek were called in to create some space-appropriate, noise absorbing panels for a home theatre in Lake Tahoe, they created a series of original movie poster-style paintings directly on top of four large QuietFiber panels that addressed the home theater’s subtle reverberant noise issue that was interfering with the room’s acoustical performance.
Interior designers and architects are learning all they can about new soundproofing and noise abatement solutions to keep up with the growing demand among homeowners to resolve noise issues within their residential space. And as in anything else, an ounce of prevention…
When noise abatement material is worked into the architectural design of a home, solutions can be addressed before the house goes up, and this is where the most cost-effective noise insulating and noise barrier solution is going to take hold.
Retrofitting after construction is complete can be messy and expensive, but it is definitely do-able. There are new noise barrier materials that can go on top of an existing wall to avoid messy drywall tear-outs and the associated expense, this solution can be pricey too.
There’s probably no turning back from our love of hard surfaces in our living spaces, not only for aesthetic value but also because they’re hypoallergenic and easy to clean. And, thanks to some amazing noise abatement solutions available today, they’re getting much quieter.