Our Town Brewery, a 2,700-square-foot pub housed in a former auto showroom, opened in September, 2020. According to owner Rob Tarves, a common complaint soon after opening was acoustics. “Patrons said they couldn’t hear themselves think,” he says. “In addition, we weren’t able to conduct trivia contests as we had hoped and had to limit our live music choices.” Improving acoustics while maintaining the brewery’s aesthetic thus became the challenge.
To help remedy the situation, Tarves contacted Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions. “The space was full of flat surfaces, including picture windows on three sides,” Armstrong designer Marie DePaul explains. “Plus, the owner wanted to preserve the brewery’s 91-year-old tin ceiling, which meant there were not a lot of surfaces to treat acoustics. The challenge was to install enough acoustic treatment to make a difference and also contribute to the design of the space.”
Selected for use were Armstrong TECTUM DesignArt - Shapes, which are direct-attach wall panels. The durable panels feature a unique textured wood fiber visual and are ideally suited for high-traffic interiors. TECTUM DesignArt panels transform interior spaces by combining texture, shapes, patterns, and colors with sustainability and acoustics. As part of the Armstrong SUSTAIN portfolio, standard TECTUM DesignArt panels meet the most stringent industry sustainability compliance standards today.
The focal point of the space is now a 33-foot-long x 7-foot-high mosaic-type wall pattern above the bar. It was created using TECTUM DesignArt - Shapes and consists of 48 full hexagons and 37 partial hexagons in Polar, the standard color, and three custom colors: light gray, medium gray, and dark gray. Hexagonal panels in a blue/green color were installed on the side and front walls. All together, 205 Tectum DesignArt panels were installed, for a total of 506 square feet. The colors were chosen to match the pub’s brand design and to complement the existing aesthetics. “The ability to work with a brand’s standards to coordinate custom colors was key,” DePaul adds.
According to Tarves, installation went quickly and smoothly. One reason was that each panel was labeled as to where it went in the pattern. The panels were installed on 1" thick furring strips which results in a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.85, meaning they absorb 85% of the sound that strikes them.
Once complete, Tarves notes both the patrons and the staff noticed the improvement. Acoustical tests confirmed it. Reverberation time fell from 4.94 seconds to 2.88 seconds, a 42% reduction. As Tarves says, “The efficacy of the panels was quickly evident. You could hear the difference as each panel was installed.
“We wanted the space to look great and control sound at the same time,” Tarves adds. “The TECTUM DesignArt panels accomplished that by combining aesthetics and acoustics.”