The large dining area in the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis had a lingering echo that all but rendered the space useless for certain activities. “As the room filled up, the noise would just become too loud, even reaching the point of painful for some,” states Sherri Maxey, Director of House Operations
John Fleskes, an acoustical consultant, was brought in to analyze the problem and explained, “The room is big, and being a hospital-grade food facility, is bare of most dust-causing and sound-absorbing materials. Since we couldn’t just add big fluffy things to soak up the echo, we had to look up. The ceiling is vaulted and at such an angle to create a perfect triangle that bounced the echo around the room. Our decision was to break up the echo by using acoustic clouds.”
While conventional acoustic clouds were a possibility, Fleskes decided to take advantage of the custom SOUNDSCAPES Shapes capability offered by Armstrong and create eye-catching, one-of-a-kind clouds that would be much more child-friendly.
Designed for use in areas that require spot acoustics, SOUNDSCAPES Shapes are quick and easy to install and adjust to desired hanging heights and angles. They can be attached directly to a drywall ceiling or suspended from a drywall ceiling, an existing suspended ceiling, or the deck of an exposed structure.
Four giant acoustical “bugs” were created to absorb sound in the dining area – a ladybug, bumble bee, dragon fly, and butterfly – each of which measures approximately 10' x 11' in size edge-to-edge. “We liked the idea of the big, colorful bugs because we could disguise the science behind their giant smiling faces,” Fleskes states.
Each of the bugs consists of multiple pieces that were custom-shaped and painted at the plant and then shipped to the jobsite where the acoustical contractor assembled, connected, and installed all the elements.
Following installation of the bugs, the acoustic environment of the space improved significantly as evidenced by the fact reverberation time decreased an average of 28%. According to Maxey, the room is now much more comfortable and quiet and being used in ways never before possible.