Relaxed teaching and learning: New system Abacustica from BASF improves room acoustics
BASF has now developed a system for quickly improving room acoustics with little effort. The system is called Abacustica®, reduces the harmful levels of noise and ensures better audible speech. For example, when installed in schools and kindergartens it promotes focused working for children and teachers. Abacustica consists of sound-absorbing panels made of BASF’s melamine resin foam Basotect®, an adhesive from the BASF subsidiary PCI Augsburg, and installation instructions. The installation of the system is so easy that it can be completed by parents, teachers and school children. Abacustica is environmentally friendly and non-hazardous to health. It meets the necessary fire safety requirements (flame-retardant: B1 acc. to DIN 4102-1). The system is available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from private individuals who want to acoustically insulate their own premises with individual Basotect panels. Abacustica is intended for these customers and perfectly supplements the Basotect system solutions which are already available for craftsmen. Our proven market strategy remains unchanged: Abacustica is not distributed by BASF, it can only be purchased at selected processors licensed to sell the product,” says Dr. Christof Moeck, head of global business management Basotect.
Noise in schools and kindergartens
The way that many classrooms in schools and kindergartens are constructed promotes long reverberation times because the sound is reflected on reverberative surfaces, e.g. concrete or glass. In a room with a high level of reverberation, the noise increasingly escalates because you have to talk louder and louder to overcome the reverberation. This is why an optimum reverberation time that takes into account the way in which the room is used is the key to intelligibility and a low level of noise. The open-pored surface of the Basotect panels guarantees that sound waves are not reflected as reverberation but penetrate into the cell structure. This is where the acoustic energy is broken down, that is to say absorbed.
Teachers, parents, and children can put together the low-cost Abacustica system solution easily and quickly. There is no need for any elaborate ceiling structures or assistance from craftsmen. The lightweight and light-gray sound absorber panels made from the flexible foam material are glued to ceilings or walls using the corresponding adhesive, which adheres to almost all substrates. The assembly instructions explain how the panels should be fitted in the relevant room in order to achieve the best possible acoustic effect. More information about room acoustics and a calculation tool that can be used to calculate the acoustics for individual rooms are available online.
Abacustica is already used at St. Albertus Kindergarten in Bensheim, Germany. The reverberation time has been reduced by more than half by fitting sound absorbers to the ceiling and walls which took one day. “When we moved into the kindergarten in January 2004, we had a major acoustic problem, with high wooden ceilings, glass and concrete surfaces – the reverberation meant that at times the noise was unbearable. Once we installed the sound absorber panels, it was as if the noise was just swallowed up. It was really noticeable how the teachers and the children breathed a real sigh of relief,” says the head of the kindergarten, Maria Frey. The measurements taken after the installation of Abacustica show that the noise level in the refurbished rooms was reduced and the requirements for speech intelligibility are now in line with DIN 18041 (audibility in small to medium-sized rooms).
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