Open-plan workplaces continue to get a lot of flak for excessive noise and lack of privacy, but often go unchanged because, well, they’re already designed and built. Fortunately, acoustical-product specialists are helping to improve audio privacy and control noise in such spaces without requiring a gut renovation — and their solutions are attractive, to boot. One brand from this market segment that’s caught our eye is Kirei, who offers everything from peel-and-stick modular tiles and ceiling baffles to hanging screens and custom panels for furniture application. Here’s just a taste of our favorite products from Kirei.
Geometry tiles in Penta
The company’s EchoPanel Tiles come in three different style groups depending on aesthetic and ease-of-installation needs. What we like best from this family is the Geometry collection, a peel-and-stick series comprising hexagons, squares, triangles, rectangles and pentagrams. The tiles can be arranged in any kind of configuration, and since they come in a total of 20 colors, they can even be used to create an artistic mural. Geometry tiles offer an NRC rating of approximately .36 and have a Class C fire rating.
Geometry tiles in Square, Delta, Oblong mix
Geometry tiles in Hex
We’re also enamored with Kirei’s EchoPanel Systems, which include modular clouds, ceiling baffles and suspended screens. EchoStar, for one, is a ceiling cloud system consisting of modules with diamond-evoking facets that, in conjunction with the sound-absorbing surface material, help reduce echo and noise in general. The units, which come in five neutral colors, can be hung in a variety of configurations using cables and ceiling mounts.
EchoScreen is another product from the EchoPanel Systems family that deserves praise as it kills two birds with one stone. Not only does it help dampen sound or echo in open plans, it also provides a bit of privacy or shielding from visual distraction. The hanging space divider comes in a standard size of 46 inches wide by 94 inches high, or as a wider triptych. Eight stunning perforation patterns are offered for the standard panel while two designs are available for the triptychs. Clean, simple extruded aluminum hardware and cables hang the screens from most existing grid ceiling systems. For a different effect, try hanging these against walls, including transparent glass conference-room walls, to function as a sound dampening tapestry of sorts.
We would be remiss to leave out EchoPanel Modular Screen Systems, which are freestanding solutions that can be used to wrap, divide or carve out space in an open plan. A variety of panel shapes in different heights can be combined with joiners that range from 360-degree pivot (for Platoon series only) to X- and Y-shape to straight and 90-degree connectors to build room dividers that go way beyond the accordion-style screens of yore. The connectors come in cream, charcoal or copper finishes to ensure there’s an option for every style interior and color palette.
Modular Screens in Paling and Wrap
Modular Screens in Platoon
These highlights, plus the rest of the EchoPanel offerings, are all constructed with acoustic material made from recycled plastic bottles. See some of the products in person next week at the Greenbuild Expo (October 5 and 6) in Los Angeles (in the McKillican booth, #2235).
EchoFold and Simple Baffle
Custom EchoPanel products