Acoustical blades provide sound control in new exposed structure headquarters

Acoustical blades provide sound control in new exposed structure headquarters

Nearly 300 SoundScapes Blades from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions were installed throughout the new Wacom headquarters.
Nearly 300 SoundScapes Blades from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions were installed throughout the new Wacom headquarters.

Wacom, a high-tech manufacturer of interactive pen displays, tablets, and styluses, recently moved its North American headquarters from Vancouver, Wash., to a new space in Portland, Oreg. As part of the relocation, company management desired an interior design that was far different from the traditional office space at its previous location and one that would entice prospective new employees to join the company.

To impart the industrial “feel” it desired, company management wanted a completely exposed concrete ceiling. Due to all the hard surfaces in the space and the completely open work areas, the design team of Michael Sueve, Olivia Kohler, and Stacie Fischer at SRM Architecture knew some kind of acoustical treatment needed to be added.

To preserve the look of an exposed ceiling while providing acoustical control, the team chose SoundScapes® Blades from Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions. Available in 20 sizes and shapes and 14 standard colours, the vertical panels offer a linear visual along with excellent sound absorption.

“They proved to be the happy medium between a fully exposed ceiling and the acoustical performance we were looking for,” said Fischer.

The vertical blades offer a linear visual along with excellent sound absorption because sound is absorbed on the front, back, and sides of the panels.
The vertical blades offer a linear visual along with excellent sound absorption because sound is absorbed on the front, back, and sides of the panels.

Nearly 300 blades panels measuring 254 mm (10 in.) wide x 2388 mm (94 in.) long x 50 mm (2 in.) thick in white were installed throughout the three floors of the new Wacom space. The panels are pre-assembled with metal hanging clips embedded in the top of each panel for easy installation from the deck or a standard suspension system.

Fischer noted the Wacom open floor plan lent itself well to the use of blades.

“The blades layout appears to be randomly patterned, but the panels are actually clustered over workstation areas for better speech intelligibility,” she said.

Fisher also noted blades were installed in the private offices.

“This is rather unusual, but we wanted to provide a level of speech privacy that these types of spaces require,” she added.

Acoustically, blades panels provide 1.38 sabins per sf, significantly reducing background noise and reverberation time. Since sound is absorbed on the front, back, and sides, they provide 64 per cent more sound absorption than the same square footage of a continuous ceiling with a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.90.

Fischer noted Wacom was the first time she had used SoundScapes Blades, and would use them again.

“They are definitely one of the best solutions for retaining the open structure look while providing acoustical control,” she said.

For additional information on SoundScapes Blades, visit armstrongceilings.com/soundscapesblades.

All information listed in this section was submitted by Armstrong World Industries.
Kenilworth Media Inc. and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) cannot assume responsibility for errors of relevance,
fact or omission. The publisher nor CSC does not endorse any products featured in this article.

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