Arup provided advice for the acoustic design parameters for a new sound absorbing concrete finish developed by Decomo. The product profile is designed to provide a significant amount of sound absorption while minimizing the surface area of the slots in the face of the concrete. We helped to design the slot dimensions, holes and material in the holes to absorb sound, which led to an absorption of 50%.
The product has promising applications in buildings that need large amounts of exposed concrete for aesthetic or technical reasons. For example, in core activated buildings which embed heating and cooling pipes in concrete for efficient thermal control in some building types, reducing reverberation for speech intelligibility and comfort is a challenge. Where bare concrete cannot provide the needed sound absorption, this product has opportunities to meet both the thermal and acoustic goals by creating slots and cavities to absorb sound and maintaining a substantial concrete face to radiate or absorb heat.
We also developed a web-controlled application for use on mobile devices to hear auralisations of example rooms such as an open plan office, a classroom, a transit terminal and a restaurant with and without the sound absorbing concrete. The auralisations were setup for an iPad and specific headphones, where we can control the listening and visual environment. This enables us to get an idea of the expected result on your computer before a project is realised.