Managing sound in open plan spaces in the home

Comped2SmallAcoustic ceiling boards gaining popularity in the residential market

November 2014 - Open plan spaces are becoming increasingly popular in the design of residential homes. This design option allows for optimizing light in the home and the added benefit of uninterrupted views across a number of rooms in the communal living space, making home family life more social. The downside is that noise transmits easily around the house.

Fortunately, this problem can be easily overcome through the use of performance enhanced acoustic ceiling boards. This was recently demonstrated by leading South African acoustic engineer, Ivan Lin, who specified the installation of Saint-Gobain Gyproc acoustic ceiling board, Rigitone, throughout the large open plan ground floor space of his Johannesburg home, to optimize sound and minimize noise.

Rigitone is a completely seamless and monolithic ceiling system that offers the perfect combination of acoustic performance and creativity offering high levels of acoustic absorption, while offering the ceiling a homogenous and architecturally pleasing appearance. It comes in six different patterns, including regular and random perforated design options.

There are a number of factors that influence the absorption behaviour of Rigitone acoustic ceilings;

  1. The bigger the proportion of the boards perforated areas, the better the sound absorption at high frequencies.
  2. The internal acoustic tissue works in conjunction with the boards perforations to provide the sound absorption performance.
  3. The application of a paint finish in no way compromises the acoustic performance.
  4. An additional layer of mineral wool insulation improves the sound absorption at low frequencies.

Acoustic ceiling systems have traditionally been used in the construction of spaces that require optimal noise management solutions such as corporate offices, hospitals, theatres and education facilities. The use of acoustic performance ceiling boards in the residential sector is very recent, but will fast gain popularity given its ability to optimize sound, especially in open plan spaces making for a more controlled interior environment, whilst enjoying the benefits of this new design trend.