Acoustic Lab

Architectural Ceiling Systems has set up an advanced independent acoustics testing laboratory at its premises in Bayswater, Western Australia.

The lab is designed to carry out a full range of tests on metal ceilings and acoustic tiles, acoustic ceiling panels and all building materials. Tests include:

  • Sound absorption
  • Sound power
  • Sound transmission loss

These tests measure the performance of acoustic ceilings and room to room sound loss in accordance with AS 2499. All testing is independently carried out by Acoustic Laboratories Australia Pty Ltd.

Why Test Acoustics?

Acoustic ceilings play an integral part in maintaining indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and architects and designers recognise the importance of selecting surface finishes and systems to enhance the functionality of any space relative to its design usage.

Retaining speech intelligibility is a prime concern in buildings such as classrooms, conference rooms, and offices with the choice of metal and acoustic ceiling tiles and wall treatments having a significant effect on noise level and reverberation within these spaces.

Speech privacy is also a concern in hospitals, clinics and offices and the choice of acoustic ceiling panels and wall systems has a significant impact on sound intrusion between spaces. In many cases, a sound absorbing material (acoustic ceiling tiles or wall panels) will also have a significant sound attenuation effect and both aspects are taken into consideration when determining functionality. Whether the concern is speech, noise or sound quality, a combination of sound absorption (surface finishes), sound attenuation (walls, floor, ceiling barriers), and background noise will combine to determine the acoustic performance of any space.

Some spaces such as open offices will do well with a moderate level of background noise for privacy, whereas other spaces such as classrooms will do best with low levels of background noise for intelligibility.

Performance Assurance

ACS’s ability to independently test all of its ceiling products, including metal ceilings and acoustic tiles and panels provide specifiers with the confidence to rely on the performance statements attached to all products.

Independent testing also counteracts often misleading information provided on glossy brochures accompanying some common building materials. Any claims which appear to give an advantage over other products can now be fully tested.

Specified Ratings

ACS acoustic ceiling tiles and panels, and distributed products such as Armstrong ceiling tiles, feature specification listings which include recommended uses and ratings, taking into account:

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) – NRC measures the average percentage of noise a material, such as metal tiles, absorb at four frequencies: 250, 500, 1000, 2000Hz. This key measure of absorption of general office noise is expressed as a single value percentage from 0.0 to 1.0 (Reference: AS 1045 – 1989, ASTM C 423-00 and E 795-00)

Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) – CAC rates an acoustic ceiling’s efficiency as a barrier to airborne sound intrusion between two closed rooms, over the speech frequency range. It is a significant measure in providing acoustic privacy between adjacent work areas, where sound can carry to other spaces. CAC is stated as a minimum value; CAC minimum 25 is acceptable in open plan offices, while a rating of minimum 35 or 40 is preferred for closed offices. (Reference: AS 2499:2000, ASTM E 1414-00a)

Articulation Class (AC) – AC rates an acoustic ceiling’s suitability for achieving normal speech privacy in open office spaces by absorbing noise reflected at an angle off the acoustic tiles into adjacent cubicles. This is a measure of the noise reflected over office partitions (1.5m high) in the frequencies critical to speech intelligibility and conversational privacy. AC is the primary measure of acoustic performance in open plan working environments. (Reference: AS 1045 – 1989, ASTM C 423-00 and E 795-00)

Find Out More

Visit our technical library for product details and acoustic ratings for all our metal ceiling systems and acoustic ceiling tiles as well as links to information about Armstrong ceiling tiles.

To find out more about acoustic testing and the best products for your building project call (08) 9271 0777 or contact us today to get a quote.

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