We live in a noisy world; where there are people, there is noise. Consider an average day in your life. You leave your home for work, stepping into peak traffic and the associated noise. You might meet friends in a noisy restaurant, drive through traffic or take public transport – wherever you go, noise accompanies you.

Ambient noise can be disturbing, especially in environments such as schools, hospitals or residential settings; constant background noise can make spaces less comfortable for occupants, obstructing work, teaching, learning, recovery and relaxation.

Acoustics – a key consideration in design

Good acoustics is an essential element of building design – it can play a significant role in reducing noise in busy environments. By factoring acoustics into the design, construction and operation of buildings, one can create liveable spaces.

Flooring is an excellent starting point when planning acoustic design – the right flooring material can reduce noise, thereby, positively impacting the health and wellbeing of occupants. Flooring is a vital aspect of interior design for workplace acoustics. With the increase in inner-city living and high-rise apartments, noise reduction treatments are also important for creating comfortable living spaces.

Commercial spaces can opt for a range of materials to reduce noise, such as wall coverings, curtains, cushioned furniture and carpeted floors.

Acoustics in learning spaces

Noise can have a major impact in learning spaces, which means that architects designing for the education sector need to prioritise acoustics in their designs. Background noise can become an impediment to learning, especially in open plan classroom environments where students may have difficulty hearing. Collaborative learning spaces are quite common in primary schools – in such environments, children are at risk of missing out on instruction or being unable to understand concepts. This could lead to poor academic performance and even behavioural problems.

Additionally, poor acoustics can even impact teachers who may have difficulty communicating to their students, with many experiencing fatigue, stress and potential voice impairment from having to raise their voice to be heard.

Godfrey Hirst’s specialised products

By giving due consideration to acoustic design during the early stages of a project, architects and designers can achieve positive outcomes for their clients.

Commercial carpet is a reliable choice for effective sound absorption in a building. A carpet's unique fibres, piles, tufts and underlay have different resonant frequencies at which they absorb sound.

To further enhance sound absorption in work, home and learning spaces, Godfrey Hirst Australia has developed two superior cushion backing systems that not only enhance acoustic benefits but also comfort underfoot.

Cushion backing is a layer of padding built into the carpet and designed to absorb the impact of foot traffic while helping it retain its beautiful surface appearance.

EnviroBac Plus is a cushion backing system designed for carpet tiles and made from 100% recycled content.

QuickComfort is designed for broadloom and 2-metre wide carpet rolls, and is made from recycled PET bottles, and recycled fabric/ yarn remnants.