Acoustical design first of all deals with the location and the shape of a space as well as with its materials and construction principles. During the design process we concentrate on issues like sound emission and isolation (building acoustics), as well as on absorption, reflection patterns and resonances (room acoustics).
This can be best described by going through a typical example project with all its different phases:
In the first stage of the project we help the client to develop a profile of usage and translate his ideas into required room sizes, room shapes and general room layout. At the same time we introduce general requirements concerning construction principles especially with regard to sound isolation issues in order to enable the client to evaluate roughly the scope and costs of the project.
Different general alternatives will be evaluated from a functional, aesthetical and economical point of view before the final decision is made.
First rough designs and budgets are made. Main focus in this phase is to coordinate the requirements of all the different disciplines involved in the project. We also investigate the other planners’ preliminary designs keeping an eye on their possible interference with acoustic issues.
In that phase we typically construct a computer model of the space which enables us to predict the effect of different shapes and materials to the acoustical outcome.
Detailed solutions are developed in cooperation with the other designers. In large scale projects our suggestions are integrated into the other designers’ drawings. There are typically no separate working drawings supplied by us.
In smaller projects where we are basically the only designer we will supply the working drawings and - depending on the case - we can even offer to take the role of an architect/interior designer as well.
We can help the client to evaluate different offers with respect to their relationship of price versus quality.
Before construction work begins we typically have a briefing for the leading staff on the site where we explain general acoustical construction principles and issues which require special attention. During site supervision we have our main focus on constructional details which are extremely critical to the proper function in an acoustical sense and which cannot be corrected afterwards.
Commissioning & fine tuning
Commissioning as such is normally not performed on the acoustic design as it is typically included in the architects design. Instead this is the time for acoustical measurements and fine tuning. Depending on the project type this means different tasks: like for a concert hall for ex. acoustical reflectors may be adjusted while rehearsing with a real orchestra, in studio design this could mean repositioning of loudspeakers set ups etc.