4 Ways Incorporating Acoustics Early Can Save You Time, Money & Resources

June 3, 2021

The value of sound often isn’t fully understood until a space is in use. However, the expense of retrofitting for acoustics after the fact is undoubtedly more costly and impactful on project timelines.

Picture this. You’re managing a large restaurant renovation in the heart of the city.

All of the electrical wiring and plumbing have been installed. The drywall is up. Flooring is in place. Inspections are underway. And the design team is staging the space to create the perfect ambience for the restaurant’s grand opening next month. Notwithstanding a few expected hiccups along the way, the project has been progressing smoothly. Until now.

As the renovation is nearing completion, everyone begins to realize the restaurant is uncomfortably loud—not from construction as previously assumed, but merely from chatter and ordinary movement. The acoustics of the space will have to be addressed before the restaurant opens, or it will flop.

This is a real scenario we encounter time and again, not only in restaurants, but in office spaces, lecture halls and worship facilities. Overlooking the significant role of acoustics is a common mistake, but it’s one we’re hoping we can prevent from happening in the future!

Thinking about the acoustics of a space and the sound treatments needed before you begin a project will bring alignment to the budget, keep your project on time, minimize waste and ensure your space is usable upon completion.

4 Reasons to Incorporate Acoustics Early in a Project

  1. Keep Your Project on Time

    As demonstrated in the restaurant scenario, when the need for acoustics isn’t recognized until the end of a renovation or new build, the project is inevitably delayed. Contacting an an acoustics solutions partner, determining the best acoustic options for your space and producing custom panels will tack on at least 4 to 6 weeks to the length of any project.

    Keep your project on time by working with an acoustics specialist from the start. Akouō will provide an an acoustical analysis of your space at no additional cost to you. Not only can you save valuable time in the long run and ensure your space sounds great, but you can save money too—all on the timeline that’s right for you!

  2. Bring the Project and Budget Into Alignment

    One of the key issues with not incorporating acoustics into the original design of a space is determining where the acoustic elements can be placed. When acoustical treatments are an afterthought, or deprioritized due to budget cuts or constraints, you often have very limited wall space or ceiling locations due to lighting, sprinklers, windows, vents and countless other fixtures or regulatory requirements mounted on or installed into the walls.

    When you design acoustics into a space from the outset, however, you can position a minimal amount of acoustic wall panels or ceiling baffles in the most optimal locations for the biggest return on your acoustic dollars. Your budget will go further, and your space will be more cohesive when the appropriate acoustic treatments are integrated into your plans from the outset of a project.

  3. Minimize Waste on Materials and Labor

    When the need for acoustics is realized at the end of a project, we often find funds were spent early in the project on materials and labor that were either not needed in the end or had to be modified to accommodate the acoustic solutions. For instance, if a wall will ultimately be covered in acoustic panels to achieve the best sound in a space, it may not need to be painted. However, if acoustics are an afterthought, then time and money are spent on unnecessary supplies and labor.

    If you’re a designer, it’s also important to consider how modern acoustic treatments can be an attractive asset or showpiece in any room. Rather than spending money on materials and fixtures that just look appealing, budget can be allocated toward acoustic treatments that conform to a certain design aesthetic and serve a purpose. For example, beautiful photographs and paintings can be transformed into digital art acoustic panels, rather than spending money on extravagant prints and framing that may inevitably have to be replaced in order to provide quality sound absorption in an environment.

  4. Ensure Your Space is Usable

    A room with poor acoustics can result in a myriad of issues. If a space is too loud, people can easily become stressed and overwhelmed. If dialogue isn’t distinct and clear, it creates frustration. Or, if sound reverberates off the walls creating an echo, it can have a disorienting effect on listeners.

    When acoustics are an afterthought, you may not realize sound issues until a space is filled with people, which could leave the space dysfunctional, unusable and in need of a retrofit to fix the problem. What seemed like a design issue quickly turns into a facilities issue when more work needs to be done, more money needs to be spent and the project is delayed. Luckily, these issues can be avoided when acoustics are prioritized, ensuring your space is useable upon project completion.

The Solution for Every Sound Issue

It’s tempting to think that cutting acoustics from the budget in the construction phase of a project is an easy and cost-effective solution. The value of sound often isn’t fully understood until a space is in use. However, the expense of retrofitting for acoustics after the fact is undoubtedly more costly.

Remember the restaurant scenario? We were still able to provide sound absorption solutions for this client (and others), but time, money and resources could have been saved if acoustics were prioritized from the outset of the project.

Do you need acoustics treatments for an upcoming project? With so many colors, shapes and styles to choose from, you’re sure to find an option that meets your aesthetic and your budget. Check out Akouo Acoustics’ resource page to learn more about our collections today!

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