Everywhere you look, spaces are being designed and adapted to fit the changing requirements of the built environment. Playing a leading role in creating comfortable and safe spaces, acoustic ceilings tiles have the power to impact everything from performance in schools and offices to the way patients heal in healthcare facilities. Used anywhere comfort truly matters, Rockfon acoustic ceiling systems help elevate the human experience with sound design.


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Optimized Acoustics Approach

1. Select a Rockfon suspended ceiling tile to optimize acoustic absorption.

2. Where needed, use wall or plenum barriers to optimize sound insulation.

3. Ensure background sound level is within the desired range

Download the Optimized Acoustics Design Guide for a comprehensive look at acoustic standards for offices, schools and healthcare facilities.

The Optimized Acoustics approach takes into consideration how the right combination of highly absorptive stone wool or metal ceiling panels, robust walls and floor slabs, and background sound work together to optimize the acoustics in a room.

Acoustic ceiling tiles absorb the sounds in a room, reducing noise and reverberation while increasing acoustic comfort and privacy. Full-height walls or plenum barriers block noise from other rooms on the same floor, while floor slabs offer sound isolation between rooms above or below each other. The appropriate background sound level ensures that any unwanted sound that does get through is masked and not heard.

Rockfon ceiling panels comply with all acoustic ceiling requirements in building standards, including those from the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI), Green Building Initiative (GBI), Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and others. They also meet or exceed all environmental and sustainability standards, such as the LEED® Green Rating System and the WELL™ Building Standard.

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1. Optimize Acoustic Absorption

With the use of sound absorbing ceiling panels, noise and reverberation within a space are reduced. Students can understand their teachers, employees can focus on work and patients have a quiet space to heal. Sound absorption of acoustic ceiling tiles is measured with Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC), and Rockfon’s high NRC ceiling tiles and panels offer excellent sound absorption with a smooth, modern aesthetic.

What to consider: How loud are the sounds inside the room?

In a classroom full of kids, restaurant packed with diners or open office with collaborating employees, ceiling tiles with high NRC ratings are needed. This sound absorption increases speech intelligibility by decreasing reverberation. Even in quieter spaces, such as private offices and patient rooms, ceiling sound absorption is critical for speech privacy and intelligibility.

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2. Optimize Sound Insulation

To provide soundproofing and ultimately speech privacy between enclosed rooms, the Optimized Acoustics design approach considers the role of walls, floor slabs, interior doors and windows. Acoustic ceilings will not meet the minimum sound insulation performance required in building standards, guidelines, and rating systems if the walls between rooms are not constructed full-height, leaving the plenum above the ceiling open.

What to consider: Do the walls extend full height from floor slab to floor slab/roof?

Using full-height, acoustically rated walls will optimize for sound insulation without comprising the ceiling absorption. If full-height walls aren’t possible, Rockfon’s lightweight Plenum Barrier Board can work with our suspended acoustic ceilings to create a high-performing, sound insulation system that meets or exceeds industry requirements.

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3. Optimize Background Sound Levels

Too quiet of a space can have a negative impact on its performance. If the space is so quiet that every whisper and crinkle of paper becomes a distraction, the acoustics of the space haven’t been optimized. Without the right level of background sound, occupants are pushed to rely on earplugs or headphones. Considering the background sound level ensures the acoustics balance noise and quiet, creating a protective and soothing environment.

What to consider: What is the source of the background noise?

Designed background sound has two main categories: soothe and comfort occupants or make speech less distracting. Both types can be accomplished with a myriad of sources, including music, nature, mechanical systems and electronic sound masking.

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¹World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Summary of growing evidence of the impact of hazardous environments on human health.