Logo NEUHAUS Acoustic Architecture
Production floor Injection Moulding 1, Silhouette International

Silhouette International, production floor Injection Moulding 1 with interventions designed by Neuhaus.

Silhouette International built this production floor with the idea of creating a first-rate facility. After moving in, however, the employees struggled with headaches and dizziness, thought to be caused by the acoustics, although they met official standards.

We worked out architectural interventions to change the form of the space, and by doing so eliminate droning noise, keep sound from circling around, and make spatial dimensions and different functional areas clearly perceptible. As always, our interventions are not based on absorption but on carefully tuning room resonances.

Our design is mainly based on 67 custom-built architectural elements, grouped and positioned to create specific kinds of additional structures. The elements are each 1 sq. m in area, and consist of a combination of softwood, natural plaster and cement.

Among the many things that have changed for better in the hall are speech intelligibility and what it takes to locate and identify acoustic events. Before, verbal communication was only possible over a short distance and speaking in a raised voice; calls for help or warning signals were difficult to hear. Today, the workers enjoy talking with each other even across the corridor.

Production floor Injection Moulding 1,  Silhouette International

Silhouette International, production floor Injection Moulding 1 with interventions designed by Neuhaus.

Spatial areas appear now well defined, and acoustic events are easy to distinguish. The acoustic representation of distances has improved as well - what is near sounds now close, what is further away sounds more distant.

Production floor Injection Moulding 1, acoustic architecture by Neuhaus, spectral analyses before/now

Comparative measurement before and after: it is clearly visible how far the peaks have come down.

The human auditory system is good at adjusting to a level of background noise (even a high one), but not good at coping with big differences in sound pressure levels. In the production hall, the sound pressure of single signals used to be 100 times the level of background noise (20 dB), which felt like whiplashes to the ears. Tuning the space has reduced peaks to 16 times the level of background noise (12 dB), which is a normal ratio in natural environments. The ability to achieve this is one of many advantages of our method. (Techniques based on absorption would accomplish little here.)

Production floor Injection Moulding 1, acoustic architecture by Neuhaus

The machinery room Granules Preparation with suspended modules balancing room resonances.

Dominated by low frequency noise, this smaller room next to the hall was a very unpleasant place to use and a constant nuisance to adjacent areas, even with the doors closed. To solve this problem we modified the resonance characteristics of the space by adding precisely positioned architectural elements. Today the room is quiet enough to leave the doors open, which is an additional advantage in the work process.

Production floor Injection Moulding 1, acoustic architecture by Neuhaus

One of the "suspended" walls (upper left corner) and a view to the roof at a height of nine meters.

Before the redesign of the hall, the sound of rain pelting down on the skylights sometimes became almost unbearably loud; in the event of a cloudburst, many workers used to leave the room. Today, in the well-balanced resonance space even a strong downpour draws little attention.

Production floor Injection Moulding 1, acoustic architecture by Neuhaus

The vertically mounted modules structure the space and improve its resonance behaviour. They not only have a better and more varied effect than traditional artificial products, but also take up a lot less surface area.

"A production floor like a Stradivarius?! [...] Very effective interventions resulting in environments that work outstandingly well."  > complete statement

Klaus Schmied, CEO of Silhouette International Schmied AG

"I started to realize that the acoustic had become more pleasant, the sound did not seem to resound or circle around any more. It has become much easier to understand what is being said, and the sounds surrounding us have not been bothering us any more. [...]"  > complete statement

Siegfried Wögerbauer, Head of Department

∧ top