Achieving Effective Acoustics in Hospitals – Block Noise and Cover Noise WITH Acoustical products and materials

Achieving Effective Acoustics in Hospitals – Block Noise and Cover Noise

Block Noise

Traditionally walls are used for blocking noise. While completely they will not prevent transfer of noise from a side to another, walls will lessen its volume when it passes through. The Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of the wall denotes how well it lessens airborne noise. The rating of this must be “real-world” instead of lab-tested. The interior windows and doors STC rating must at least comply with the wall standard.

But, blocking includes more than walls since not only does noise travel via air; also it can pass via, over, around, and under obstructions, and through ways of penetrations. Structural elements, like ventilation ducts, should be properly located and treated for preventing cross-talk from one room to another. To the doors addition of sweeps or gasket material can be done based on the speech privacy level required while they are closed.

Also blocking of noise transmission can be done via a layout well-planned. Make sure machines (e.g. ice dispensers or medication) and areas of high-activity are alienated from areas needing quiet, like patient rooms.

Cover Noise

Majority of people know at least few factors of these initial two strategies and suppose they will attain the preferred levels of noise control and speech privacy if they just build “adequate” walls or provide “sufficient” absorption. This viewpoint is typically connected with the opinion that efficient acoustics can only be attained when in the space the general volume is low to the maximum extent possible.

But, similar to other ergonomic factors like temperature and lighting, actually there is a zone of comfort for the sound volume. This zone of comfort can be attained by regulating the noise floor. This is the level of constant background sound characterizing the space. If this floor is low it is easier to hear noises and conversations, also those that are comparatively less in volume or emerge at a significant distance from the hearer.

Providing a more consistent and higher baseline level of volume can effortlessly be attained by installing a system of sound-masking in the space. This is the least understood or known method of noise control, though extensively it has been used for decades, mainly in commercial offices.

A system of sound-masking comprises of loudspeakers in series, installed in a pattern like a grid over the ceiling, and a process of controlling their output and zoning. The sound distributed by the loudspeakers is unobtrusive and continuous, preserving the noise floor at a proper volume. When correctly implemented, it is very effective at concealing speech. Any noises lower than the masking sound level is also covered up. Besides, it lessens the impact of boisterous noises by decreasing the extent of change of volumes from baseline to peak.

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4 steps to soundproof your room!

Does your new office seem too loud for you liking? Is the new mini studio you set up in your home suiting your preferences? If your answer to these question is not a firm yes, it is about time you started thinking about sound proofing.

Soundproofing your interiors can help enhance the quality of the sound in the room and you will have the best acoustic experience you can possibly have. It will also help brighten your mood or provide a calm atmosphere for you to rest after a, possibly, long tiring day. Before setting out to soundproof your room or building, there are 4 steps you need to know.

  1. Soundproof doors

    Doors are a way through which sound can enter or leave the room. If the doors are not sealed properly, sound waves will find its way to enter or leave. Thus soundproofing doors is critical. Seal the doors using door sweep seal. This will prevent sound from passing through the gap between the floor and edge of door. Door sweep seals are metal strips with a flap to block noise. This will allow door to open and close as per usual. Soundproof doors are usually heavy and expensive. Door sweep seals provide your normal hollow-core door with sound blocking abilities.

  2. Soundproof mat

    You no longer need to bother about acoustic foam being blown into interiors of your home’s walls from your attic or about gluing cork-backed drywall on to walls. Adhesive backed soundproof mats are attractive soundproof materials that can be purchased with ease and attached to the walls like wallpapers, as simple as that.

    If you don’t prefer adhesives, you can use area rugs, used as wall hangings, that will help reduce sound.

  3. Carpets

    Place carpets on the floor of your room. This can reduce noise level of the room to an extend. If you use heavy carpet padding as underlay, it will significantly reduce noise levels. If the room is on upper floor then usage of carpets will help block sounds coming from the level below.

    If re-carpeting your room, use deluxe carpet pads

  4. on the floor before placing the carpet above it. Sound travels through almost any medium of construction and floors are no exception. Thus soundproofing floors will help in soundproofing.

  5. Soundproof windows

    Windows in a room you are soundproofing should also be dealt with. Like doors, windows are also a way through which sound waves can enter or leave and thus should be taken care of. If windows are not made soundproof, then every soundproof method you adopted in the room would go in vain. Soundproof windows can be installed behind your windows to make it soundproof.

Now that you know the 4 steps to soundproofing the interiors of your rooms to suit your needs, you can go ahead and do it. It is advised to consult a acoustics engineer or an interior designer to do the job for you to ensure high quality soundproofing. Visit for more details on soundproofing and expert assistance on soundproofing techniques.

Soundproof healthcare facilities to ensure confidentiality of patients’ data.

Imagine this scenario. You are at your doctor’s office. You are there for consultation and after some tests, the doctor called you in to inform the results of diagnosis. Whatever may the disease or your problem be, you wouldn’t want a bunch of strangers sitting outside to hear your private conversations with the doctor. It is unnecessary and embarrassing. If your doctor’s room is not soundproof, chances are that the patient waiting outside, unintentionally, heard the confidential conversation between you and your doctor.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that was enacted in the US in the year 1996 by the then President Bill Clinton is adopted by healthcare institutes in India as well. HIPAA safeguards the confidentiality of patients. Healthcare providers that are in compliance with HIPAA take measures to protect computer equipment, software, hardware, etc from environmental and natural hazards and also from unauthorized intrusion and access of patient data. But this ensures only safety of patient data saved in electronic form. But the information can still be leaked through thin walls.

Medical practices think about protecting the information saved in electronic form rather than preventing the leakage of information through walls or other materials, by soundproofing the walls.

Sound control basics.

Soundproofing can be done by simply replacing the ceiling tiles with soundproof tiles, or adding curtains to windows to absorb sounds. For this, it is important to understand the physics behind sound production and absorption.

Sound control ability of a material is measured using two different ways: STC and NRC. STC or Sound Transmission Class, is a rating that measures the ability with which a material can attenuate sounds. The higher the STC rating, the better the resistance of a material to sound waves.

Noise Reduction Coefficient or NRC, represents the amount of sound energy absorbed by a material when sound waves are incident on them. 0 represents complete reflection and 1 represents absolute absorption.

Methods of soundproofing

There are several methods for soundproofing. Some of them are listed below.

  • Use sound-reducing ceiling tiles instead of traditional ceiling tiles. Sound-reducing tiles absorb and block sound, thereby reducing sound.

  • Use window stripping and weather stripping. Window stripping will block sound from entering the interiors and weather stripping prevent the escape of sound waves.

  • Use carpets and wall coverings that will absorb sound.

  • Installing acoustical insulation in wall cavities is the best way to soundproof healthcare facilities. This will help increase the STC value of the wall assembly. Higher STC means better resistance to the travelling of sound from one room to the other. Acoustical insulations based on fibre, like monoglass, has high STC rating.This will ensure that the conversations you have with your doctor in private, will remain private.

Soundproofing doesn’t completely guarantee the confidentiality of your data. Leakage of data through oral communication is a chance and can’t be avoided by soundproofing rooms. Older healthcare institutes and facilities are in uninsulated buildings and are prone to leakage of private conversations. In such places, soundproofing can play a good role in ensuring confidentiality of data.

Smart homes that are smarter than ordinary homes!

After reading the title, you must have been wondering what a smart home is and how is it different from any ordinary home. Smart homes are homes where you can perform various tasks with just one touch of your finger. You know how smart phones are more than just a phone, in the case that they provide you with more features and services than a normal phone and even senses some of your actions to perform tasks. Interior of smart homes are designed to operate in a similar way. They are more than ordinary homes in the kind of services they provide the residents. There are also things a smart home can do on its own by analyzing activities of humans and surroundings.

The brains of any automated system are microprocessors. Microprocessors are processors that incorporates all the functions of CPU (Central Processing Unit) on a single or a few ICs (Integrated circuit). It can be programmed to perform multiple tasks according to the instructions received. Microprocessors were invented in 1970 and the first automated system was designed in 1975 but it weighed a lot. Due to rapid advancements in technology, light weight, high efficiency automation systems are available.

A simple example of an automated system is an air conditioner. We can set the temperature to a desired level and the air conditioner will work accordingly maintaining the temperature throughout the duration of its usage. Your home will have at least one of the common automated systems. The truth is, you were familiar with home automation even before clicking on this article but simply didn’t realize that it was automated to suit your needs.

In a smart home concept, terms such as “Home Automation”, “Internet of Things” and “Connected Devices” are used interchangeably but they are different from one another.

  • Home automation is where electrical devices of a home are connected to central unit that automates them based on input.

  • Internet of Things (IoT), connects devices to a network, thus enabling them to communicate with each other and carry out tasks without having to input data.

  • Connected devices that are connected to sensors and internet and are able to assume what a user needs and perform accordingly. They are ‘intelligent’ devices that are programmed first but later learns and adapts and eventually interact with the user.

When you combine these three, you get a smart home. In the modern world, smart homes can be controlled using a phone or a laptop. Home automated devices probably seem expensive at first, but the perks that come along with it are worth the money. An actual smart home will know who you are, what you want and act accordingly without you having to tell it.

Smart homes also help you save money in a way. HVAC systems and lightings may be connected to sensors and when you leave the room, they will turn off automatically. Imagine, while you are at work, you realized that you had left the garage door open or a light on, would you prefer to leave it like that, go back to your home to turn it off, or turn it off by simply clicking on your phone?

Despite the cost, it is the services that it offers that attracts consumers to smart homes. While interior designing your home, you can include sensors and other devices for home automation without affecting the interior aesthetics. While redecorating your home, you can add acoustic ceiling tiles or acoustic panels to cover up the wirings that drags down the appearance of your interiors.


Is Home theatre Projector a better option?

LCD, LED and Plasma Tvs are of course an asset to our home and interiors due to many reasons. Due to production capacity of these devices, the prices of these Tvs are at an all-time low these days. Thus home theatre systems have become inexpensive and affordable. This is a good time to invest on these televisions, if you are a starting enthusiast.

Theatre projectors are also preferred in home theatre systems by some people. TV based screens or theatre projectors, which is better, is a topic to debate on. Some enthusiasts argue that theatre projectors should be used to achieve an experience that is closest to what we get in a movie theatre while another bunch state that TV based screens have better resolution when it comes to HDTV.

If you are smacked right in the middle of them and is confused whether you should go for your original plan of buying a TV or scratch it and buy a theatre projector, you have opened the right article.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of theatre projectors that you would want to know.

  • Light and inexpensive

    Projectors are light and inexpensive. They can be moved from one place to the other easily since they are portable. They are cheaper than LCD televisions. But nowadays, the price of LCDs are reducing and soon LCD Tvs will be cheaper than theatre projectors. If the price gets lower and lower, people will prefer LCD, LED and Plasma televisions over projectors.

  • Adjustable

    Projectors are adjustable and hence the size of the viewing screen can be changed. You can fill a whole white wall with your projector. Projectors come with guides that will direct you on how to use them for best viewing.

  • Lifespan

    The lamps and bulbs used in projectors will have a life of 2000 to 8000 hours. Cheaper projectors will have bulbs with lifespan 1000 to 3000 hours. If you are a frequent viewer, this is a point you should consider.

  • Visibility

    For better viewing, some projectors need low lighting levels. Thus, during day time, the projector may need some adjustments for better viewing. This is not needed in the case of LCDs, LEDs and Plasmas.

These points will help you decide to go for Televisions or rethink your choice. After choosing the right video system, choose a good Audio system for the best Audio-Visual Experience. Choosing the best Audio-Visual system will also not ensure a good home theatre system. The acoustical properties of the room, proper soundproofing and lighting, etcetera are some of the things you should consider. Do your research and learn about all the aspects you need to consider for a good home theatre system.

Learn about Structural Insulated Panels or SIPs

Structural Insulated Panels or SIPs, are composite building material used in the construction of homes and other building. It consists of two layers of structural board sandwiched around a layer of rigid core with insulating properties. The board can be plywood, Magnesium Oxide board (MgO), sheet metal, cement, or Oriental Strand Board (OSB). The core is either Extruded Polystyrene Foam (XPS), Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS), Polyurethane foam, polyisocyanurate foam or composite honeycomb (HSC). Most commonly used SIP is EPS sandwiched between two OSBs.

The structural properties of SIPs are the same as I-beams or I-columns. This is due to the fact that binding the foam core with stiff exteriors gives a structural durability across the length and breadth of the panel similar to that of an I-beam. SIPs can withstand racking, flexing, and also axial and shear weight pressures. If built appropriately, it can withstand high wind and earthquakes.


SIPs can be installed easily which makes it possible to finish the work within days when it normally takes weeks to finish wall and roofing works. One requires only basic woodworking talents and not that of professionals, to install SIPs and thus cost of installation can be reduced further. There are businesses that provide pre-designed packages for home with wall and roof insulated panels that will help reduce costs. There companies that use equipments that can be controlled using computers to cut boards depending on the instruction given directly from the CAD (Computer Aided Design) software.


  • Homes will have tighter building envelope and walls will have better insulation, if the home is built using SIPs.

  • Construction time is less.

  • Can be used as wall, floor, and roof. It is advantageous to use SIPs as floors when the space below is non-insulated.


  • Cost of SIPs are high compared to other materials.

  • Total life-cycle of buildings constructed using SIPs are low compared to conventional framed buildings.

  • SIPs have low noise control ability because of low mass and high stiffness.

Ecological footprint

Wood resources are preserved when SIPs are used instead of them. Wood used for making OSC is hardwood, which can be planted and grown within years. Energy utilization is also minimized because of its insulating properties which in effect transfers into preservation of energy sources. Also, the foam core in SIPs are made of materials that are environment-friendly.

SIP Product Diversity

Different producers have their own unique variants for their SIP panels. High-end panels in which the core is polyurethane is one example. There are also additions to SIPs. Vertical joint connectors that display locks used to draw boards closely together is one example. Producers can construct SIPs for round wall structures and more such customized building components.

SIPs have advantages and disadvantages like any other material used for construction. It is up to us to decide which material to go for depending on our needs.

5 solutions to make a top notch Music Room

A music room is basically a room specially designed to play music or musical instruments. For better listening experiences, it is desired that the acoustics of the room should be fine-tuned to meet the expectations. What most of us are unaware of is, that everything in the room, from the walls to the furniture, contributes to controlling the sound in the room. Thus, it is important that we choose the furnishings carefully for better quality music to make listening enjoyable.

Here are 5 solutions to make sure your music room serves its purpose.

  1. Seating

    A music room is often, a room for people to relax, and enjoy and thus should have seating arrangements. The seating should match the décor of the room. It can be anything from a couch to a wooden chair. Seating may be accompanied with tables containing eatables and drinks.

  2. Lighting

    Lighting plays an important role in deciding the ambience of the room. Depending on the mood that should be created inside the room, arrange proper fixtures and lighting accordingly. You can also use special lights to highlight the musical instruments or audio systems inside the room.

  3. Accessorizing

    Decorating the room can be as interesting as listening to music. Pick a theme for your music room and add accessories appropriately. For instance, you can choose 80’s pop music as the theme. Posters, music records, or accessories from that era can be collected and skilfully arranged in the room which will considerably improve the aesthetic appearance of the room as well put you in a good mood. Also, make sure to buy the best audio systems, like speakers, that will make the listening experience divine. If you are playing an instrument, good quality of mic and speakers should be used and placed correctly so that the music is distributed evenly across the room.

    Another important aspect of the interior of a music room is the acoustic properties of the room. Echoes and reverberations should be controlled for the best listening experience.This can achieved by using acoustic panels. Acoustic panels are available in different colours and styles that will suit any kind of interiors. You can have acoustic panels custom styled with art or posters to go with the theme of your music room.

  4. Wall Art

    A music room needs to be sophisticated and classy depending on the style of music being played. An elegantly framed sheet music can be an appropriate wall art. This is attractive and stylish as well as gives an idea about the type of music to the newcomers.

  5. Instruments

    What matters the most is the quality of instruments used in playing the music. Appropriate soundtracks and sheets of music should be available. Keep the instrument clean and tuned to its best before playing. There should be provisions to keep the instruments safe for them to last long.

Further, you can use your imagination and creativity to come up with ideas to enhance the appearance of the interiors. Visit our site for more information on interior designing and different acoustical products available.

Design team of a restaurant

Designing of a restaurant is an important task that needs to be carried out with utmost precision and knowledge about every aspect from trends to the factors appealing the consumers. Various professionals that include the design team of a restaurant are as follows.

There are a few more experts that handle more complex jobs like landscaping, acoustics and so on. Let us dig deeper into these professions and their role in designing a restaurant.

General contractor

A General contractor is someone who provides labour force for construction purposes. This includes plumbers, painters, electricians etc. It is important that you get the best construction crew available at an affordable cost.

Interior designers

Interior designing is a profession that is often looked down on by people who are unaware of the effect the interiors of a place has. Interiors of all places from a home to an office to a hangout place, plays a significant role in the optimized functioning of that place. In the case of a restaurant, good ambience and splendid interiors will attract customers, thereby increasing business and bringing in more profit to the place.

An interior designer designs the interior of a place to suit the consumers tastes and needs with certain constraints like space and money. He/she consults with the customer, analyses the space and comes up with a colour theme and design for the place. If the customer approves, the designer will proceed with the design or else it is reverted back to the drawing table. The interior designer will also help select the furniture for the room. From the owner’s point of view, he/she should be clear about his views, tastes and ideas in designing the interiors of a room. The interior designer should be made aware of the real life practicalities and complications in running a restaurant so that they shouldn’t come up with ideas that will adversely affect the smooth running of a restaurant.

Food service consultant

If there is any uncertainty in how to proceed any task, hire a food consultant. If you have money to start a restaurant business but has few knowledge about it, to ensure its proper functioning, it is necessary that you consult a food service consultant. The consultant will brainstorm and provide you with ideas, concepts, and solutions after adequate research and analysis. Before hiring a consultant, learn the kind of services provided by him and the cost so that by the end of it all, the cost is affordable. The bills can be paid in sections or at the end.


An architect is a person who deals with the engineering aspects of construction of a restaurant like ventilation, heating and cooling systems. After acquiring the labours required for the work and deciding on the work to be done, it is the architect’s job to coordinate all concepts and put into action.

Like any group work, the members have to work to the best of their abilities and also cooperate with other group members, supporting them so that one’s weakness strength is compensated by another one. This can be achieved by a skilled leader.

Role of curtains in soundproofing

Curtains have been a part of interior designing process since long. We all know how a properly styled curtain can enhance the appearance of a room or how it can control the lighting inside a room and also how it provides privacy but what most of us do not know is the soundproofing capability of curtains.

How does a curtain help in determining the acoustics of a room? To what extend do curtains contribute to soundproofing a room? This article will answer the questions that rushed into your mind after reading the title.

Physics behind why curtains can be used for soundproofing

Curtains are mostly made of cloth or other materials that can absorb sound. Since curtains are soft, sound hitting on them will not bounce off but instead be absorbed into it. This will prevent sound waves from reverberating and tampering incident sound waves in the room. It also, to an extend, blocks external noises from entering the room.

How well can curtains absorb sound?

The sound absorption property of curtains are limited. They only reduce the noise level in the room and do not block it from entering or leaving. This may not be sufficient for most applications. For better absorption of sound, one can go with acoustic blankets. Acoustic sound blankets can absorb sound to reduce noise or absorb and block sound. They use fibreglass absorber quilts for better absorbent properties. But if you only want to reduce noise for a better sleep or the sorts, you can go with curtains, which are more economical.

Types of curtains

Curtains range from fairly thin curtains that can reduce noise to acoustic and theatre curtains that can block out a considerable amount of sound. There are curtains that come with different layers like vinyl or foam that can help reduce noise. Curtains with multiple layers will have the best results, even if they are thin. Double curtain set-ups are becoming a popular trend due to the fact that they can further reduce noise.

Things to consider while buying soundproof curtains

Specifications like blackout and heat reduction are there while shopping for curtains but rarely do curtains talk about how much noise they reduce. See in specs whether there are words that will help you determine whether the curtain has good soundproofing.

First and foremost, see how close and tight the weave is and if it says blackout. If it says 99% blackout, it means that the curtain has three coats of liquefied rubber polymer. This helps in closing gaps and thus blocking light as well as absorbing sound waves. While buying a carpet, check the reviews to see if there are persons claiming that they saw light coming in through the curtains because that means it is probably not coated and the noise reduction will be less. Despite what the companies say, avoid buying curtain materials made of silk since it doesn’t block sound. Buy curtains made of thick or heavy fabric. The thicker the fabric is, the better soundproof abilities it possesses.

Check out the curtains and see if they satisfy your needs before deciding on which set matches. There are curtains in different colour themes, styles and materials available that will suit the interiors of your room.