The need to adjust the acoustics in a commercial setting is apparent in many common areas. Common areas planned for only pedestrian circulation are now being converted into lobbies, break rooms and cafeterias that need a balanced reverberation time to create a comfortable, amiable atmosphere. Not enough reverberation and the room sounds dead; conversely, too much reverberation and the space becomes too loud for clear conversation.
For an aesthetically warm appeal as well as years of durability, perforated wood panels over a sound absorbing material offer many options. Wood panels have an advantage over fabric, as they are easier to keep clean.
The perforations are the key to controlling the amount of noise absorption. How big and how far apart the holes are determines the percentage of absorption.
The traditional approach to reducing noise with perforated panels is as a covering over fiberglass batts. A green alternative is using veneers from sustainable forests laminated to lightweight cores of sheet aluminum. Aluminum cores are non-combustible, will not support mold and do not warp when exposed to changes in humidity.
Additionally, the aluminum core itself contains recycled materials. The metal core is easily shaped, creating another medium with which to design interior space. So go ahead and dress up those walls!