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Acoustic Design for Public Spaces


Where large groups of people gather indoors, the acoustics of the space must be a key area of attention. Public Spaces such as railway stations, bus stations, airport terminals are generally large and voluminous with a lot of hard smooth reflective surfaces such as ceramic tiles and glass.

These public indoor spaces would generally have public address systems, and the clarity of these PA systems will suffer if the space has not been designed with acoustic elements such as absorbers and /or diffusers incorporated. PA systems are critical in emergency situations, if people cannot hear instructions clearly then there is a possibility of confusion and panic.

Multipurpose Halls, Gymnasiums + Indoor Activity Spaces

  • Common features of large spaces such as assembly halls and sport halls are high ceilings and hard surfaces
  • Reverberation and flutter echoes will occur if the space not acoustically treated
  • PA system sound quality will be compromised in untreated spaces
  • Under ceiling treatment should cover at least two-thirds of the area
  • Hang vertical absorptive baffles as low as practicable below the ceiling, or
  • Hang horizontal absorptive clouds as low as practicable below the ceiling, and
  • Line walls from at least knee to head height with absorptive panels

Due to this complexity in room acoustic design, Instyle highly recommends engaging an acoustic consultant at the earliest stage of the design process.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognise their deep connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all First Nations peoples, their cultures and their Elders past, present and emerging.