Acoustics–Aesthetics for the Ear

Roman architect Vitruvius defined the three obligations of a building as: commodity (utilitas), firmness (firmitas), and delight (venustas). It has long been the architect’s challenge to bring delight, through aesthetics, into a structure’s function and longevity. The concepts of proportion and line, form, sense of place and interpretation of available technologies are combined to create a building that is functional and pleasing to the eye.

Acoustics, loosely defined, is aesthetics for the ear. The equilibrium of a space. Sometimes overlooked in the planning and design of a building, acoustics plays a major role in the success of a buildings use after construction is complete. Broken down to rudimentary objectives, conveying auditory and visual information are some of the main goals of most buildings.

Providing a comfortable auditory environment, noise control and the quality of a buildings AV systems are crucial to a building’s overall success. These factors are particularly important in classrooms, office spaces, conference rooms and houses of worship.

Studies have shown that up to 94% of classrooms and 60% of office spaces have sufficient acoustical issues to interfere with learning and workplace productivity. Outside noise entering the space, too much noise from adjacent spaces and lack of sound control within the space itself are common complaints affecting concentration on work and learning.

What can be done to ensure that a structure’s auditory aesthetics are addressed along with its utility, durability and beauty? Utilize an acoustical/AV consultant as part of the design team in the integrated design process.

Acoustical/AV consultants work with the rest of the design team to make certain that the influence of acoustics and audio/video systems on a building are positive. They can integrate the necessary acoustical schemes within the overall concept of a project. From schematic design through commissioning, an acoustical/AV consultant can help the entire design team bring a complete building to fruition, realizing Vitruvius’ original vision of utilitas, firmitas and venustas.

Diversified Design Group, Inc. is ready to help you with your acoustical/AVconsulting needs. Contact us at 402–474-5445 or if we can help with your project.