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Specifying acoustic performance access panels.

Posted on 5th April 2024

In this blog post, we will discuss what to consider when specifying acoustic performance access panels and how they can improve the acoustic quality and soundproofing of indoor spaces.

Acoustic qualities of a building are a key aspect in creating and maintaining a comfortable, functional, and productive environment, living, and working space. Acoustic control using materials in walls and ceilings as defined by Finishes & Interiors Sector in their guide to acoustics states that ‘Sound can be controlled in three different ways: absorption, insulation and diffusion.” These functions absorb, diffuse, and control sound waves to mitigate noise pollution and enhance sound clarity.  These acoustic controls are assisted by utilizing sound performance access panels in both commercial and residential environments including offices, healthcare, restaurants, studios, cinemas, where clear sound quality and levels are essential.

Primarily it is important to identify the projects acoustic parameters of wall or ceiling the access panels are to be utilized within; this dictates the dB rating required to achieve the acoustic performance of the structure. Our standard non-fire rated metal access panel gives a degree of control at 23dB, whilst our panels incorporating mineral wool achieve 35dB, with the greatly increased absorption and insulation properties of the material. This can be increased to 40dB with lined plasterboard and mineral wool combination; furthermore, an increase of the acoustic resistance can be achieved with such products as specialist lead composite material. The limiting factor being the increased weight of such material as the dB rating component increases; this must be considered, especially when fitting into a ceiling system.

Our standard panels are powder coat finish RAL 9010 to be a discreet part of your fit-out project. However, alternative options are available in a non-standard specification in various textures, colours factory finished or prepared for on-site decoration including the addition of wallpaper; so, your panel can stand-out or blend in, enhancing the visual appeal of a room while serving their acoustic purpose.

In conclusion, acoustic access panels are an essential component of modern sound control solutions, offering a practical and efficient way to enhance the acoustic characteristics of any space. This can significantly improve speech intelligibility and overall sound quality in noisy and enclosed spaces making communication clearer or maintain levels in open-plan spaces to retain privacy. Finally, acoustic panels also contribute to a quieter environment by diminishing the overall levels of background noise.

Contact us at Access Panel Shop Limited for your acoustic access panel requirements.

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