The Temple of Sound
Wall panels improve acoustics of Temple University.
The acoustic environment at a Temple University classroom has been significantly enhanced by the technical expertise of CertainTeed Ceilings and the installation of Ecophon Texona Wall Panels. Specifically, tests have confirmed that the reverberation time in the classroom was 41 percent higher prior to the installation, which had compromised the ability of faculty and students to communicate during classroom activities.
"The classroom has concrete floors and ceilings that are open to the structure, and all of the surfaces were sound-reflective," said Robert Marshall, manager of marketing technical services for CertainTeed Ceilings. "Normally, the first place to add sound-absorption is the ceiling, but in this case, there was a sprinkler system located too close to the deck. Ceiling panels or horizontal baffles would obstruct the flow of water in the event of a fire, so they were not an option for this space."
The classroom walls, however, presented no obstacles, and CertainTeed recommended installing Ecophon Texona Wall Panels. This new product blends performance and beauty, with superior sound absorption and a wide range of design options available through its broad color palette and smooth-textured surface. The surface is also tackable, allowing teachers and students the option of using it as a bulletin board. And, most importantly, the acoustical environment that results from introducing these wall panels into a noisy classroom enables students and faculty to communicate more easily during lectures and activities.
The product was installed in one afternoon by a class of Temple University architecture students under the instruction of CertainTeed Ceilings representatives. The project provided valuable hands-on experience for the students, and acoustical improvements were immediate.
"You can markedly hear and feel the difference in the room," says Alana F. Dunoff, an adjunct professor of facilities management at Temple University who teaches in the classroom. "It's wonderful being able to speak without a ringing in my ears and not having to ask someone to repeat what they are saying. The improved acoustics have brought a real calming effect to the environment. We're grateful to CertainTeed for helping us solve this problem."
Ecophon Wall Panels are composed of a high-density glass wool core, providing class A sound absorption according to ISO 11654, and are available in two finishes—Texona and Super G. Texona boasts 16 different color options that were carefully developed in collaboration with interior designers, architects and textile designers. Each color alludes to a flavor, such as Blueberry, Rhubarb and Wasabi, and contributes to a breadth of expressively tasteful design solutions. Available in three colors, the Super G finish offers an impact-resistant surface that is most suitable in environments where the panels need to be more robust, such as gymnasiums and school hallways.
As experts in the science of sound, CertainTeed Ceilings serves as a single source for high-quality ceilings that create acoustically friendly, aesthetically captivating environments. Encompassing the Performa, Ecophon and Gyptone brands along with Decoustics—a leader in high-precision, custom-engineered solutions—the company offers the perfect balance of innovation, budget and beauty with products that range from basic high-performance panels to premium, customizable systems.
Through its environmental acoustics design and research, the company provides solutions that promote healthier interiors while having a smaller impact on the environment. The company offers ceiling panels with one of the highest concentrations of recycled content in the industry as well as a recycling program for used ceiling panels. CertainTeed Ceilings is the first ceilings manufacturer to issue Environmental Product Declarations through UL Environment and The Green Standard.
To view a video highlighting the project at Temple University, log on to http://www.certainteed.com/idea-center/case-studies/ceilings/?csid=162