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Silence please

If creaks and squeaks, rings and horns disturb you, opt for acoustically designed rooms, reports Neha Sharma.
By Neha Sharma | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2008 01:56 PM IST

Tired of continuously ringing phones in the next cubicle, noisy colleagues and blaring car horns? The solution is an acoustically designed office, where walls and ceiling are treated with materials to cut down on internal reverberations and outside noise.

The latest trends in office interiors are designs which ensure that the noise entering the room is minimal, the sound being created within the room reaches your ears at a lower decibel level and the sound inside is not permitted to travel out.

No filtering out
Décor stylist Swati Pandya Sood says there is a huge demand for acoustic designing in offices, malls and multiplexes. “These days offices are designed to make luxury statements. People want acoustics in their boardrooms or meeting rooms so that important discussions don’t filter out,” she says.

She also designs entertainment rooms in homes so the loud music and conversation buzz doesn’t disturb others. But the demand in homes has not been great,” she adds.

Isolate yourself
The walls are coated with absorbent materials like polyfibre, rock wool and microfibre. They lower the amount of sound travelling from and to the room. These are then covered with a pick of fabrics like chenille and silk to make them look like any other wall.

Dr Himanshu Kumar, MD, HKMT Acoustic Designs Pvt Ltd, reveals that the trend for sound isolation (completely blocking out sound from a room) has also picked up in the last two years. This technique uses materials like laminated glass, where one can block the sound out but not the view.

Gaskets and septums (a film) are inserted into the door and the barriers between the walls. To block sound from entering through the AC duct, a thick line of absorbent material inserted inside the duct ensures that no sound accompanies the air.

Walls don’t have ears Dr Kumar adds that some clients opt for designs to ward off day-to-day problems. “One client complained that their son could not study properly because the servants kept going up and down the stairs. So they opted for sound isolation in his room.

“We are approached by parents of teenagers who play loud music in their rooms. They want us to design their kids’ rooms so theywon’t be disturbed,”he says.

Interior designer Nupur Gupta says that the potential for acoustics is definitely high in offices but it is not required as much in homes. “I have done offices with glass and gypsum boards in the false ceilings and partitions but there haven’t been similar demands from homemakers,”she says “But we do recommend acoustic designing. It increases efficiency and provides clarity,” she adds.

Designers insist that acoustic designing should be adopted not only in multiplexes and offices but also at venues for parties and weddings. But while offices are increasingly opting for the trend, it has not quite caught the fancy of wedding planners and event management companies.

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