Sound protection

OWA - strong in room and architectural acoustics

Constantly increasing noise pollution in everyday life means that sound protection is becoming more and more significant in modern structural engineering. Therefore we offer a comprehensive product portfolio of modern acoustic solutions in the fields of room and building acoustics .

Additional information about this is available in our brochures Acoustics performance with mineral tiles and Acoustics performance in metal.

Frequency-related absorption values of OWA ceiling systems:

DS 9558_Mineral ceiling acoustics
DS 9358_Metal ceiling acoustics

Room acoustics

Sound-absorbing mineral tile ceilings for improved room acoustics.

Tailoring room acoustics to demand is a complex task that is playing an increasingly significant role in addition to other physical construction issues. The specifications of DIN18041 “Audibility in rooms” in particular mean that this topic is increasingly becoming the centre of attention of clients, planners and architects. In this context, sound-absorbing acoustic ceilings are important when it comes to realising sufficient room damping (reverberation time).

A balance of communication and concentration.

Offices with a feel-good factor become important assets when companies are competing for qualified employees. This conflicts with demands for flexible workstations and open office landscapes that ensure an efficient use of resources and encourage communication. Productive and focussed office acoustics create an atmosphere that promotes communication as well as concentration in equal measure. OWAcoustic ceilings make a significant contribution to this.

Architectural acoustics

Architectural acoustics examines how structural conditions affect the sound propagation between the rooms in a building.

Architectural acoustic tasks for the ceiling:

  • Increase the airborne sound & footfall sound insulation
  • Improve the sound reduction between neighbouring rooms
  • Reduce noise from the ceiling cavity

A defining feature of ultrasound is that it always looks for the simplest transmission path from A to B and this is usually the path of least resistance. For this reason, a holistic view of the given task is required in architectural acoustics, otherwise, the success of the optimisation measures always runs a certain risk.

Airborne sound insulation of ceilings.

Functioning and active airborne sound insulation prevents the sound energy from one room reaching the rooms located above or below it.

However, the sound that propagates in the room will always try to cross all room boundaries (walls, ceiling, floor, windows and doors) to achieve a propagation whereby the sound-insulating quality of the specific building component more or less permits this.

If the sound-insulation of a ceiling slab (reinforced concrete floor, timber beam floor etc.) should be increased, this can be achieved by means of a suspended OWAcoustic ceiling. The ceiling acts as a facing layer below the ceiling slab.

Laboratory tests in a test facility at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Physics (IBP) in Stuttgart in conjunction with a reinforced steel standard ceiling result in an improvement in airborne sound Delta Rw of 9 dB and a reduction in the level of footfall sound of Delta Lw of 16 dB.

Sound insulation between adjacent rooms.

In many buildings, the partitions between adjacent areas do not extend to the ceiling slab, but finish at the level of the suspended ceiling. With this procedure, you may be able to change the room dimensions if necessary by moving the partitions quickly and flexibly to the new profile of requirements.

With such a ceiling construction, special attention must be given to the transmission of sound through the ceiling cavity. If the ceiling with acoustic tasks is not planned well, an “acoustic shortfall” can quickly occur between the two adjacent areas. In this case, the necessary discretion between the rooms cannot be maintained.

Sounds from the ceiling cavity.

Sounds from water pipes, ventilation, air-conditioning and services of all types from the ceiling cavity can be greatly reduced by OWA ceilings. Depending on the model, the sound insulation of OWAcoustic tiles is between 16 and 36 dB.

Reports document the effect of a "loud/noisy" environment on people:

– In offices, 99% of those surveyed said their concentration is disrupted by noise. 1
This has a negative impact on health, stress levels and performance levels.

– In offices and open-plan offices, 20 minutes of working time are lost on average due to a noisy environment.
However, with optimised acoustics, focus can be increased by 48%. This reduces stress levels by 27%. 2

– Noisy environments mean that 79% of those surveyed leave a restaurant earlier than planned. 3

91% of those surveyed would no longer go to a restaurant because of noise. 3

Businesses with optimised acoustics realise returns that are 5-10% higher than those whose atmosphere is less calm. 4

1 SP Banbury & DC Berry (2005) Office noise and employee concentration: Identifying causes of disruption and potential improvements, Ergonomics, 48:1, 25-37, https://doi.org/10.1080/00140130412331311390 (retrieved on 04/01/19)
2 D. Sykes (2004) Productivity: How acoustics affect workers’ performance in offices & open areas
3 L. Nixon (2016) Speak Easy: hearing the views of your customers, https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk (retrieved on 04/01/19)
4 J. Treasure (2010) Sound Business