Friday 20 March 2015

Acoustic input at design stage benefits site waste management plan

Contributing to a site waste management plan at the design stage results in quantified reductions in waste arising. This is achieved by evaluating recycled content and specifying building materials containing higher recycled content as well as reused materials.

MACH sees waste as careless, unsustainable and economically costly.  If we did not have ears, partition thickness, slab depth, glass thickness, doors, etc. could be made considerably lighter, meaning that less material would be required to build a building.  As such, within building design there is a balance between the materials needed for a high acoustic performance, and the reduced mass for a low energy, cost effective design. It is therefore critical to ensure that the correct performance standards and design strategies are used to make sure that the right acoustic performance standard is achieved without over specifying in order to minimise waste and embodied energy.

Often, acoustic treatment forms an integral part of the important architectural appearance of a building. It is often the case that over design occurs. However, MACH always looks to minimize waste by investigating a wide range of products and materials and carrying early reverberation time testing which allows us provide very accurate area of treatment and eliminate over specification. 

The roof to Eden’s Educational Building is formed from a timber structure. Thermal insulation made from recycled newspaper was used to provide the thermal insulation. To achieve the acoustic requirements of the exhibition space the plywood sheet used for lateral bracing was perforated to 20% open area. This principle has been used across a range of schools, higher education buildings and other MACH projects.

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