With visual design assuming centre stage, acoustic considerations are often left on the backseat. A holistic design approach, however, is one which gives due importance to sound, because sound influences the perception and emotion associated with a space to a great extent. Buildings with poor acoustics, after all, affect us mentally and disrupt our work, activities, and health.
This is why Saint-Gobain’s Ecophon places the promise of “a sound environment” as the backbone of their stellar work across global healthcare, office, and educational building markets. Ecophon develops, manufactures, and markets acoustic panels, baffles and ceiling systems that contribute to healthier indoor environments, culminating in improved well-being as well as productivity for occupants.
Addressing the Most Common ‘Complaint’ of Green Buildings
Where green buildings have paved the way for energy efficiency and space flexibility, they have created new challenges for acoustic comfort. Take the open office for example, which are a “green designer’s” favourite. Such layouts generally suffer from poor acoustic performance, which in turn brings down indoor quality. The aural landscape is as important as the visual if you want to create a truly sustainable project.
The acoustic solutions at Ecophon place much-needed stress on exactly this aspect, allowing designers to pick products based on the type of activities taking place in a room, the human sound preferences for those activities as well as the type of space concerned. The dependable absorbers from Ecophon gives the designer true freedom to express themselves visually, while creating the best possible acoustics for most types of indoor environments.
The product line at Ecophon can be primarily categorized into Acoustic Modular Ceilings, Wall Paneling, and Free-Hanging Units (Acoustic Clouds) & Baffles. They also manufacture Grids and other acoustic accessories only after conducting thorough research, multiple tests and constant dialogues with experienced acousticians and customers. You can view and select products based on the type of area you are dealing with, here.
Where Sustainability is Not an Empty Statement: Ecophon
With ever-expanding business units in 14 countries and delegations in 30, Ecophon is home to more than 800 employees worldwide. The enterprise is a part of the globally renowned Saint-Gobain Group, with its international headquarters in Hyllinge, Sweden, and the Indian central office in Mumbai.
Designers would be happy to oblige with sustainable acoustical requirements as long as they don’t lose their “freedom of expression”. Ecophon’s Solo range is a prime example of this objective. The biggest rectangle acoustic panel on the market, this product comes with over 20 colours unique shapes and forms to choose from. Designers even have the option to choose a surface texture of their choice for an enhanced sensory value.
Sustainability, according to Ecophon, is “an approach to innovation that always sides with nature, and that takes its cue from the needs and environments of the people who will ultimately benefit from it”. This principle and commitment reflect in their diverse range of products that embody high functionality, design, and acoustic properties, contributing to healthy indoor environments.
Operating with Care
Ecophon’s production sites, just like all other Saint-Gobain businesses, follow the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Programme, with the goal to “get it right the first time”. This reduces and eliminates wastes and losses in their production process. The manufacturing company works closely with its logistics partners to set up best practices to minimize the environmental impact of product delivery.
Transparency All the Way
Ecophon welcomes and has worked with a range of external certification bodies so that customers have unbiased confirmation to rely on. Their product solutions are envisioned to meet the strictest requirements for indoor air commissions, and regular inspection of factories is also welcomed to ensure standard checks, batch after batch. As of today, Ecophon is proud to have 19 third-party verified and publicly available Environmental Product Declarations.
Less is Indeed More at Ecophon
The majority of glass wool used in Ecophon acoustic absorbers is made from recycled glass, giving them a post-consumer recycled content level of at least 34%, which can go up to 63% depending on the choice of product and solution. Cardboard packaging comes with a recycled content of 30%, while ceiling tiles are fully recyclable. Ecophon is also working closely with its partners to turn these tiles into new construction materials – even new ceiling tiles. The steel-made grids can also be easily recycled locally.
When Building Green, Don’t Forget Sound!
Sustainable design is like a broad umbrella that should also shelter well-designed acoustics for spaces, benefiting end-users by providing them with a healthy and comfortable space. Good acoustical design is known to reduce workplace stress and distraction, improve information retention in schools, speed up recovery time in hospitals, and much more.
This is why buildings seeking compliance with recognized rating systems these days are required to pay This is why buildings seeking compliance with recognized rating systems these days are required to pay due focus on acoustical requirements, which have a pronounced role to play in terms of wellness. Most of the products at Ecophon comply with Green Building certifications, such as GRIHA, IGBC Green Pro and LEED. Sustainable acoustics is indeed a large learning curve for designers to look forward to, but Ecophon is helping them take the first step towards this goal!