Modern design in the hospitality sector has seen an increase in establishments having a large variety of surfaces with high acoustic reflectance. Polished floors, timber and concrete walls and a large amount of glass can contribute to an unsatisfactory dining experience. The Acoustical Society of New Zealand reported that average noise level in bars and restaurants is around 80dBA and can even reach levels of 110dBA, whereas the ideal noise level in restaurant and bars for conversation is around 50dBA.
This can result in physiological and physical consequences on the well-being of the occupants in those venues. It was also reported that out of those interviewed, most occupants rated speech intelligibility and the ability to be heard incredibly low in 50% of the restaurants and bars involved in the study.
Despite the reported findings, jeopardising aesthetic appeal to achieve acoustic excellence is not a problem thanks to the innovative Interior Acoustic solutions from Autex Industries. Manufacturers of a premium range of acoustic absorbing solutions, Autex can help reduce reverberated noise and control the echo of background chatter in restaurants, bars and cafes.
Creating an environment which was inviting and comfortable was an essential goal in ensuring Charlie & George was a welcoming space for their customers.
Since opening in September 2013, staff quickly noticed that the concrete floors and large glass windows were creating echoes and reverberated noise, impacting the experience that they wanted to provide their customers.
Above the background noise of coffee machines, moving chairs and people talking, staff noticed a lack in productivity and increased fatigue due to strain caused by yelling over the noise.
To solve this issue Charlie & George turned to interior designers’ ctrl SPACE ltd for their solution. Complementing the modern and sophisticated interior aesthetic in addition to finding a solution to the acoustic issue was an important requirement for Charlie & George.
To redefine the café’s environment, ctrl SPACE ltd specified Autex’s Quietspace Panel to increase sound absorption throughout the café.
Quietspace Panel is engineered for superior sound absorption and balanced acoustic design. At Charlie & George, multiple 25mm White Quietspace Panel was suspended 200mm from the ceiling.
For the owners, the aesthetics of modern design were important. Created with a clean, finished white surface, Quietspace Panel worked around the existing design and complemented the interior of the café. The openness and abundance of light in the café meant that they needed a product that is long lasting. Highly durable, Quietspace Panel is manufactured with thermally bonded polyester fibres and as a result is resistant to fading which is important in an open and light space like Charlie & George.
Lightweight and easy to handle; Quietspace Panel was cut on site and installed in only 4 hours by Acoustic Installers Nomadtika, which was an advantage for Charlie & George as it did not disrupt usual patronage.
With the environment in mind Quietspace Panel is made from a minimum of 60% post-consumer recycled polyester fibre, which ensures a comparatively low embodied energy. Manufactured out of 100% polyester fibre; Quietspace Panel is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-allergenic and 100% recyclable. This was important for Charlie & George because having an environment that is clean and safe is crucial for their family based customer demographic.
Quietspace Panel has outstanding acoustic performance and is made to reduce and control echoes in building interiors, such as Charlie & George. The NRC rating for the 25mm panel used is 0.85 meaning that 85% of reverberation is absorbed by the Panel. Once the Quietspace Panel was installed the owners noticed a difference right away, as the café felt considerably warmer and more comfortable, and provided an improved "home" feeling. No longer were the initial problems of fatigue, productivity of staff, and communication with customers a problem.
Thanks to the addition of Quietspace Panel, Charlie & George have created a relaxed family environment without compromising the modern design of the café.