What do you see for the future of acoustic products in the UK construction industry?
We believe that this is a very exciting time for acoustic solutions within the UK construction industry. There are some really exciting innovations being developed and we have been working with Salford University to develop new and improve existing products. We believe specifiers and designers are now starting to realise the importance of the acoustic design and how a good acoustic environment improves productivity and concertation in commercial and educational premises, and employee safety in the industrial sectors. There has been a definite shift in the number of projects that take these considerations in to account at the design stage.
In addition, aesthetics is now as equally important as the technical specification. Designs are staring to understand how to use new technology to design interesting spaces that not only solve the acoustic problems but look good as well! We have helped speed up this transition by offering designers and specifiers free calculation, consultation and prototypes to ensure their designs meet the technical performance required
We know that you worked with pupils in Salford University to develop and test your products in their class rooms, have you got any other successful case studies which you can share with us?
We have been working with Salford University to develop some new products but not in a position to release exact details at the moment. But what we can say is that they employ high design with first class specification.
What challenges do you face in the construction industry?
There are several issues as we see them, there is a distinct lack of knowledge overall throughout the industry with regards to specification and design possibilities.
This leads to number of issues;
1. Organisations are over specifying using a belt and braces approach this in turn increases cost to the end user. The redundant view is still held that we need to cover every square Meter of the walls and ceiling space to achieve the acoustic solution required.
2. There is also a trend for some manufactures to present their absorption transmission loss coefficients in a way that makes their products look more effective than they are. Although Aw coefficients are generally used this is a single figure to express the absorption of a product based on 250, 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz . This is useless if the main frequency that is causing the issue lies between these frequencies i.e. 1250 or 1600Hz. Many assume that if they have a Class A absorber then that is best. Where we find that if we test our products and present our results at a much wider spectrum we can ensure the correct product is used even if this thinner less expensive product as we believe treating the issue in hand is the best solution.
For many years there has been a limited choice of product and people assume that to treat reverberation in particularly they have to glue bits of “sponge” to the wall. This is no longer the case and we offer a wide range of products included custom printed panels to compliment all designs.
Where do you feel the importance of design lies within your client’s priorities?
We believe design is the most important priority for a lot of our clients, if they are investing their money they want their space to look amazing and have that wow factor. Being a designer, manufacturer and installer allows us to ensure that the acoustic design complements and enhances the overall design, and have successfully worked alongside the designers of Morgan Lovell and others to create bespoke products to exact design briefs with excellent absorption.
Which projects do you plan to showcase at North England Build in April?
You will just have to wait and see!