Key acoustic considerations within restaurant environments

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Acoustics are one of the most technically difficult architectural areas and are a crucial consideration for interiors, as poor specification can have significant impact on user experience. Overlooking acoustics during the design phase can result in loud, uncomfortable spaces and lead to costly updates or renovations. Choosing products with good acoustic values and aesthetics that work with many design schemes is the key to meeting the demands for both style and sound control.

Numerous factors can influence acoustic experience such as the quality of the wall, ceiling and floor linings, insulation materials, the use of hard surfaces and the layout design itself, all of which contribute to the absorption or reverberation properties of the space. There are also sound generators such as open kitchens, background music and general conversations to take into consideration.

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Good acoustic design includes control of both sound transmission and sound absorption. Sound transmission is controlled by using solid or cavity elements that are sealed to prevent sound leakage. Sound absorption is the control of sound within a room where absorbing surfaces, such as linings and furniture, reduce the amount of sound bouncing back.

Restaurants struggle with both sound generation and sound reverberation controls. Directly influencing these factors are the absorptive properties of the room. Absorptive properties reduce reverberation time, which is critically important for speech intelligibility, increase conversational privacy and reduce general noise levels. With modern design briefs often focussing on streamlined surfaces, architects and designers have the opportunity to specify a lining material such as perforated plasterboard, not only for its absorptive properties and tested acoustic performance, but also for the ability to create beautiful ceilings and walls.

In a stunning example of perforated plasterboard in action, Jarryd Foster from J.Foster Plasterboard Contractors recently worked on the Amelia Park Winery Restaurant located in the Margaret River, Western Australia, where the project objective was to meet the owners demand for style and sound control. Being an open-plan restaurant with an open kitchen, Foster specified Gyprock Gyptone Slotted Minigrid to create perforated plasterboard ceilings because of its premium acoustic capabilities and high level of aesthetic appeal.

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Adding extra absorptive power to the perforations, Gyptone Slotted Minigrid is supplied with a highly effective acoustic fabric backing that dramatically improves the acoustic performance of the board. Available in three perforated pattern profiles to provide design flexibility, Gyptone perforated plasterboard also improves indoor air quality with the use of Activ'Air – a patented technology that converts formaldehyde into non-harmful inert compounds that are permanently locked in the board and cannot be released back into the air. The perfect solution for both diners and management, Gyprock Gyptone combines aesthetics and high performance, acoustic absorption helping to create a comfortable and stylish environment for all to enjoy.

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