Office design: Choose an acoustics solution with several benefits

Office design: Choose an acoustics solution with several benefits

Well-being and productivity are compromised if an office is noisy and echoey, if the air quality is poor, or if the physical surroundings are uninspiring. By using Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool panels on ceilings and walls, you can create superior acoustics, a healthy indoor climate and a distinctive design.

What are the acoustics like? Have healthy materials been used? Are the aesthetics motivating? The indoor climate in office buildings is hugely important – for the well-being of employees and also for their productivity.

For the same reason, the indoor climate is an important factor when builders and consultants decide to certify office buildings as sustainable. In one of the global certifications – the American WELL rating – all the focus is on human health and well-being, while the indoor climate in other certifications is weighted on a par with, for example, the building’s climate footprint.

It is therefore very important how and with what materials architects choose to design an office environment. Troldtekt makes it possible to meet several requirements with one and the same solution.

Superior acoustics

First, Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool is a sound-absorbing material. In both open-plan offices and small meeting rooms, the open surface structure of the acoustic panels ensures that Troldtekt effectively shortens the reverberation time.

A short reverberation time means less unpleasant noise – and also it is easier to hear what is being said. Both for those actually sitting in the room and for anyone who is attending online.

Healthy indoor climate

The users of office buildings are affected by many things – the air, humidity, heat, light, smoke, noise as well as particles and chemical substances from a wide range of materials. The symptoms of a poor indoor climate range from eye, nose and throat irritation to rashes, headaches and nausea.

Via Troldtekt’s Cradle to Cradle certification, it is thoroughly documented that the acoustic panels are free of harmful substances. Moreover, Troldtekt has been granted a number of certificates which document the contribution made by the acoustic panels to a healthy indoor climate.

At the same time, Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool absorbs and releases moisture. In this way, the acoustic panels help to ensure the right air humidity. The air quality will be perceived as being better in an office where the materials absorb moisture – which can also reduce the need for ventilation.

Flexible design options

Aesthetics contribute to job satisfaction. Troldtekt acoustic panels allow you to combine the benefits of having a healthy indoor climate with elegant design of your choice. A popular choice for corporate domiciles are the award-winning Troldtekt design solutions that give architects the freedom to design distinctive ceilings and wall surfaces on a large scale.

The series includes several design variants featuring milled grooves. For example:

  • Troldtekt line, which has longitudinal milled grooves in a seamless look without any visible joins to create a visually calm finish similar to linear wood ceilings.
  • Troldtekt line design which, like Troldtekt line, has longitudinal grooves, but where the grooves are spaced at varying distances from one another to create a completely different rhythm.
  • Troldtekt curves, which has wave-shaped grooves, creating a pattern of gently sweeping curves along the surface of each panel.
  • Troldtekt v-line, which is a slightly thinner panel than the other design solutions, and where the longitudinal V grooves either run lengthways from one end of the room to the other (1way) or are broken by transverse grooves where the panel ends meet (2way).

In addition, there are several design solutions with a more distinctive look. For example Troldtekt rhomb and Troldtekt puzzle.

The various Troldtekt products – both the classic panels and the design solutions – are available as unpainted acoustic panels or as painted panels in a variety of standard and custom colours to match the interior design etc. of the office.

Troldtekt acoustic solutions are suitable for both newbuilds and renovation. For installation on existing ceilings, the two-layer Troldtekt Plus acoustic panels are available, which have a backing layer of sealed mineral wool. This ensures good acoustic properties while lowering the ceiling height by as little as 47 mm.

Floating acoustic clouds are a flexible option for regulating the acoustics just where the need is greatest. The clouds can be installed instead of a complete acoustic ceiling, or used to further improve the acoustics in one particular part of a room.

Documented sustainability

Troldtekt is made from certified wood from Danish forests and cement extracted from Danish mineral resources. The two raw materials are combined into cement-bonded wood wool, which is completely free of hazardous substances. The wood used to make the acoustic panels is certified red spruce(FSC®C115450 and PEFC™), and Troldtekt is starting to use the new low-CO2 cement type FUTURECEM™. FUTURECEM makes it possible to produce carbon-negative acoustic panels, because the wood absorbs more CO2 when the trees are growing than is emitted during cement production, the transport of the raw materials and the manufacture of the panels.

Troldtekt has been Cradle to Cradle certified since 2012, and detailed analyses conducted in connection with the certification have defined the substances in the acoustic panels down to 100 parts per million (ppm). Troldtekt achieved the certification because Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool can be returned to the biological cycle and also to the technical cycle as a raw material in cement production.

The comprehensive documentation of both climate footprint and material health, which includes EPDs for the various product variants, makes Troldtekt an obvious choice for sustainable office environments. Ramboll has documented how Troldtekt contributes to the leading certifications of sustainable buildings.    

Effective fire protection

Wood is an organic and flammable material, but every single wood fibre in a Troldtekt panel is encapsulated and protected by non-flammable cement. Troldtekt panels therefore have low flammability and only emit low heat during a fire, and almost no smoke.

Troldtekt acoustic panels are fire-classified under the European standard EN 13501. Under the standard, Troldtekt acoustic panels are classified as B-s1,d0, which means that the material contributes to a fire to a very limited extent. In practice, it means that Troldtekt panels are only weakly combustible and emit little heat and smoke. Troldtekt A2 panels are non-flammable, and have been classified as A2-s1,d0.

Natural strength

Troldtekt acoustic panels boast all the outstanding qualities of the raw materials from which they are made – the robustness and strength of cement and the natural breathability of wood.

According to Troldtekt’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), the acoustic panels have a lifespan of at least 50 years. However, Troldtekt has been producing acoustic panels since 1935, and experience has shown that the panels retain their technical properties for at least 75-80 years. Therefore, Troldtekt panels can often ‘live on’ when a building is renovated or transformed for new purposes.