Perhaps the greatest challenge in specifying acoustic panels lies in the diversity of environments they are used within. Each architectural typology brings with it different auditory conditions that need to be addressed with exactly the right product. Thankfully, meticulous research and development by the experts at Unika Vaev is helping to overcome the complexities of sound within space. Architizer spoke with Rebecca Nienkamper of ICF Group about how Unika Vaev goes about solving this critical problem for architects.
“In an office, proper room acoustics is a key factor to work performance and employee well-being,” explained Nienkamper. “In a class-room, acoustically impaired settings lead to decreased attention and reduced cognitive ability. In a restaurant or auditorium, acoustically uncomfortable space scan spoil the best occasion. It is difficult to imagine any well-designed interior space used for communication and social interaction that does not take acoustic performance into account.”
The designers at Unika Vaev are constantly improving their line of acoustic products, challenging the conventional idea of what an acoustic product is and what it looks like. The company’s innovative ecoustic® range as well as its design and collaborative services illustrates that it is possible to control sound distribution within a space in subtle but highly effective ways, utilizing the natural properties of high quality materials.
Wood panels are a classic design choice, but because they are so solid, they can create a reverberant space that can be distracting or just downright noisy. Ecoustic® Veneer panels solve this problem. By using acoustic panels covered in a thin real-wood veneer, architects and interior designers can create spaces with the elegance of wood cladding combined with the functionality of proper acoustic performance.
When installed directly on the wall, these panels absorb 80% of incoming sound. The panels can be specified with either a solid surface or with microperforations. The two different options have slightly different acoustic properties; the small perforations do well in combating high-frequency sound reflections while the solid surfaces abate low frequencies.
The ecoustic® Veneer panels are available in a variety of standard colors and woods, and can also be specified in custom veneers and aluminum finishes with appropriate lead time. The 11.34 inches by 8 feet 10 inches panels are 0.98 inches thick and can be installed in an array of patterns to suit whatever your design requires.
If you are a designer looking for something with a natural wood finish, but you don’t want the look of a solid wood wall, the ecoustic® Timber Blade Panels provide a solution. Their combination of a solid wood blade face and acoustic scrim backing means that they offer a uniquely modern look with advanced sound diminishing properties. When assembled, these 9 foot by 1 foot pieces create striated ceilings and walls with a seamless finish. This product is also available as a drop in ceiling tile which fits all existing drop ceiling frames and profiles.
The thickness, depth and spacing the blades varies between four profile options to accommodate many different aesthetic styles. 4 choices of wood material — spotted gum, hemlock, red cedar and white birch plywood — further diversify architects’ options pertaining to tone, texture and warmth for each interior.
Perhaps you’re an architect looking for an art wall to provide unique character within a space, but you also need acoustic absorption. In this scenario, AcousticGrafx™ can provide a hybrid solution to achieve both design objectives. AcousticGrafx provides a versatile canvas for designers to achieve dramatic visuals, impactful branding or impressive graphics while at the same time providing significantly enhanced acoustic benefits for most any space. Changing your graphic design or message can be done easily and quickly on the fly! AcousticGrafx achieves a .80 NRC rating.
While each product provides an optimal solution for a wide range of spaces, choosing between them is undeniably challenging. Unika Vaev recognizes this, and positions itself not just as a manufacturer but also a consultant for the lifecycle of a project. “Unika Vaev offers support from specifying to installation, making it easy for the specifier and allowing collaboration for the customization,” said C. Wick Wolfe, VP and General Manager of Unika Vaev. “As our clients are being pushed to resolve their clients acoustical and aesthetic challenges, we are right there with them creating and collaborating on solutions.”
The foundational product in Unika Vaev’s acoustic line — ecoustic® panels — have almost unlimited design flexibility, and the experts at the company are there to help architects and designers find the perfect fit for the specific context of their project. No matter what design aesthetic you have in mind, Unika Vaev has a product to suit it, and the company’s collaborative approach means that specifying them for the ideal acoustic environment is more straightforward than ever.