Significant alterations needed to brand-new family home

A new build is no guarantee of good acoustics. This is what the Boje family found on moving into their new home in Solbjerg near Aarhus. New Troldtekt acoustic panels had to be installed on the ceilings before the property finally started to feel like a home.

Photo: Tommy Kosior, Troldtekt A/S

On paper, it should have been pure idyll when Daniel Boje, his pregnant partner and their daughter moved into a newly built house in Solbjerg, 15 km south of Aarhus. However, the family soon realised there was something wrong:

“There was a lot of echo in the house when you moved around. To begin with, we had to close all the doors to the various rooms to keep the noise at an acceptable level,” says Daniel Boje. However, the noise soon became a real problem:

“It gave us a lot of headaches, and sometimes even migraines. We were frustrated, and easily snapped at each other. There was no peace and quiet,” he says.

Like many new builds, the house in Solbjerg has a large open-plan kitchen/family room, and is built from hard, sound-reflecting materials.

Helpful advice from mother-in-law did not help

The newly built house had plasterboard and acoustic plasterboard ceilings, and Daniel Boje and his family set about trying to improve the acoustics in their home.

“We bought a number of rugs on the advice of my mother-in-law. It apparently helped in the old days, so it was worth trying, but unfortunately it didn’t make much difference,” says Daniel Boje.

However, visiting some friends who had Troldtekt acoustic panels on their ceilings became something of an eye- (or ear-) opener.

“On stepping into their house, we immediately sensed the good acoustics, and asked ourselves what the difference was between their house and ours,” he says.

Afterwards, Daniel and his partner decided that the brand-new plasterboard and acoustic plasterboard ceilings had to come down and be replaced with new Troldtekt ceilings.

A completely different sense of calm

White-painted Troldtekt acoustic panels have now been installed on all the ceilings throughout the house, except for the bathroom ceiling, which is black. This has proved to be a good decision, because the new ceilings have made a huge difference to the acoustics in the building.

The difference has even been documented by professional sound measurements conducted in the house both before and after the Troldtekt acoustic panels were installed. The measurements show that the reverberation time (the time it takes for sound waves to die out in a room) was reduced by as much as 60 per cent in both the kitchen/family room and in the bathroom after putting up the Troldtekt ceilings. This was particularly true for the high sound frequencies (1,000-4,000 Hz), but also for the low frequencies (125-500 Hz), where the reduction was between 30 and 50 per cent.

“Walking into our house is now a completely different experience. And it has created a real sense of calm and hygge. Visitors often remark on how peaceful it is in the house. And it’s now possible to effortlessly distinguish between conversations,” says Daniel Boje.

Reduction in reverberation time after installing Troldtekt

Sound measurements from the Boje family house:

  125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1,000 Hz 2,000 Hz 4,000 Hz
Kitchen/family room 16% 35% 48% 63% 58% 57%
Bathroom 27% 43% 46% 64% 50% 50%

Measurements conducted for Troldtekt A/S by the company WM Acoustics.