Poor noise management in a professional environment can be a detriment to a business. It strains employee productivity and emotional well-being, and even compromises privacy and confidentiality. Choosing the right acoustic doors for the environment alleviates many potential problems with noise management.
Sound problems are effectively addressed in two ways:
Sound blocking –
- Sound can move through a barrier such as a wall, window, or door. This movement is addressed not only with acoustic doors, but also by preventing noise from traveling through gaps and clearances of a door. The surround construction is also of concern as gaps or vulnerabilities in walls, ceilings and HVAC systems can also lead to acoustical issues
- This process of removing or soaking up sound within a space can be accomplished with two types of materials. Porous materials such as carpet, foam, or thick drapes are good sound absorbers. Flexible panels made of materials such as thin wood, fiberglass, or other non-rigid materials also absorb and dissipate sound.
While absorption is used in more specialized settings such as recording studios, most office environments use sound blocking with some absorption achieved through the use of soft surfaces. Acoustic doors are an important solution in the construction of a commercial space where acoustical performance is demanded. Such doors are ideally constructed from Dense, stiff, heavy materials that are effective at sound blocking, but equally important is the design around the perimeter of the door. Acoustic doors from AD Systems are designed to minimize the gaps usually found at the perimeter of a sliding door, thus ensuring a higher level of acoustical performance compared to a typical sliding office door.
Every space is not equal when it comes to the need for sound blocking. To determine the needed level of sound blocking a couple of factors need to be considered. The difference between the level of sound associated with that particular environment and the acceptable level of sound within the space will determine the amount of sound control needed.
Understanding Sound Reduction Ratings
Environments that need to maintain faint sound levels such as a private office would want to limit sound levels to about 40 dB or less. A moderate level of sound found in a general office area of employees and clients would be 40-60 dB. A loud environment such as a noisy office would be 60+ dB. By understanding sound reduction ratings, the appropriate solutions can be applied to maintain the needed sound levels.
The Sound Transmission Class (STC) refers to the acoustical performance of a door. STC is governed by the standard ASTM E413 – Classification for Rating Sound Insulation. This rating assigns an acoustical value to the door, allowing comparison across different doors. If a noisy office generating 79 decibels of sound, acoustic doors with an STC 39 rating would reduce the sound to 40 decibels in the adjacent room. A door rated at STC 40+ is considered a good acoustic solution.
Another measure of acoustic performance is Noise Isolation Class (NIC). Like STC, NIC is a number (roughly equivalent on its numerical scale to STC). NIC measures the sound control between two adjacent areas measured at various frequencies. This metric take into consideration the entire environment and not just the primary wall or barrier. NIC is field test opposed to a lab test and the applicable standard is ASTM E366, typically administered in the field by acoustical consultants.
AD Systems offers many options for high-quality acoustic doors at superior ratings. Request AD System’s acoustical test data.
An important part of a sound reduction strategy is not only the type of acoustic doors used but also the gasketing and sealing of the perimeter. Sound travels through any size gap with no loss in level. Even a small opening compromises the effectiveness of acoustic doors. The seals around the head, sill, and jamb must be completely air tight and uninterrupted throughout the life of the door for gasketing to effectively block sound.
AD Systems Acoustic Doors
For your next project where sound control is an issue, AD systems provide a variety of solutions that work well in office, high tech, and medical environments. For space saving concerns, sliding acoustic doors also provide effective sound management solutions. Contact AD Systems to request a quote for your modern facility design.