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Company - 05.05.2023

«My passion for room acoustics developed steadily»

Why are room acoustic solutions becoming increasingly important for consumers? And why do room acoustics tend to be better in educational institutions than in the restaurant industry? We interviewed Markus Bürgi, CEO of Akustik & Raum AG, who provided us with answers to these questions and also explained the benefits of working with his innovative Olten-based company. Mr Bürgi, how important are room acoustics in your day-to-day life? Markus Bürgi: Extremely important! I put my heart and soul into what I do and so, for me, every room serves as a reference point. When I go into a new room, I automatically start thinking about the room acoustics, and, if there’s anything that can be improved, I’ll notice immediately. Was there a light-bulb moment for you where you realised the influence that optimal room acoustics can have on our well-being? There was no single moment. My passion for room acoustics developed steadily. As a carpenter by trade, I was introduced to room acoustic solutions early on. The longer I spent working on acoustics, reverberation time and sound velocity, the more I became aware of the importance of these topics. And I’m still always thrilled when we receive positive reviews from customers who are happy with the acoustic solutions we’ve put in place. In your opinion, has the importance of room acoustics changed over the last few years? Since Akustik & Raum AG was founded in 2004, Switzerland has seen a lot of progress in this area. At the start, there were lots of architectural firms which were «only» interested in the design of their projects rather than how the space functioned. I've noticed a real change in this regard. Increasingly, architects now seem to be considering room acoustics when planning their projects. As an international company, Akustik & Raum AG works on implementing a wide variety of room acoustic solutions. Are there differences between the various industries? What’s interesting is that room acoustics play a much more important role in educational institutions than in other industries. The reason is obvious. It’s easier to achieve learning goals if the environment, including the acoustic environment, is right. In contrast, noise levels in the restaurant industry are still very high. Room acoustic solutions could help provide a much more comfortable atmosphere in restaurants, allowing guests to enjoy not only the food but the ambiance too. Let’s stay with the restaurant industry. What services would restaurant owners benefit from if they contacted Akustik & Raum AG? We offer our customers an exceptional service. Our strengths lie not only in selling acoustics products but in developing and manufacturing these within our own production facility. This means our employees have extensive know-how. Our advisers are able to address detailed architectural, acoustic and carpentry needs and have the skills to seamlessly integrate acoustic solutions within complex projects. Our experts know exactly what solutions are needed in order to achieve perfect room acoustics. Can individual consumers benefit from room acoustic solutions too? Absolutely. Although the majority of projects are worked on directly with architects and planners, individual consumers can also take action to improve the acoustics within their own four walls. Today’s construction methods with large room units, hard materials and a great amount of glass mean that room acoustic solutions are particularly important. What innovative ideas can we expect to see at Akustik & Raum in the future? We’ve achieved a lot but we're not stopping here. Constantly monitoring the market and developing new innovations are among our key principles. This is why we're continuing to develop our fire-protection solution FeinMikro Secure. We successfully launched this product last year and it has now been certified as «non-combustible» under EN standards. We're hoping various covering layers will allow the product to be certified as «flame retardant» which will open up new doors both in Switzerland and Europe. Background On this blog, you will find regular and interesting posts on our acoustics innovations as well as other information about room acoustics in general. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and experience room acoustics like never before.

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Innovations - 02.02.2023

Room acoustics and hygiene: A perfect union

In institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, but also educational institutions, surfaces must fulfil various criteria: In addition to appealing aesthetics, surfaces should also be acoustically effective and meet comprehensive hygiene requirements. A profile that our room acoustic solution MAKUSTIK FineMicro 300 µm perfectly fulfils in combination with the antibacterial surface properties of the EGGER Group.  Cabinet fronts, wall panelling, furniture parts, corridors: There is a long list of surfaces in public facilities that are touched, grazed or used by countless people every day. This makes the condition of the surfaces in highly frequented buildings all the more important. The EGGER Group is a leader in the field of antibacterial surface properties and offers hygienically sealed and closed surfaces with its melamine resin-coated panels, on which germs and bacteria are reduced by 99.9 percent within 24 hours.  Added value for health and educational institutions The increased cooperation between Akustik & Raum AG and the EGGER Group opens up new possibilities for builders and planners: Now the antibacterial properties of EGGER surfaces can be combined with our innovative product MAKUSTIK FineMicro 300 µm. An added value that is particularly promising for hospitals and nursing homes, but also for educational institutions or companies with open-plan offices.  A collaboration that enables innovation The antibacterial properties of EGGER surfaces in combination with MAKUSTIK FineMicro 300 µm have been tested by the independent testing institute "Hohenstein". In testing the combination, a "strong" effectiveness was awarded. A clear sign that maximum hygiene and perfect room acoustics complement each other even in particularly sensitive areas, thus enabling innovations.  Experience room acoustics in a new way and learn more about the new possibilities that are opening up for you. Our sales staff will be happy to provide you with information on this topic. 

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Innovations - 16.09.2022

«Wood offers many advantages»

Discover the benefits of this new product for architects, clients and planners in an interview with fire protection specialist Marcel Lutz from Gantenbein + Partner AG in St. Gallen.  Mr Lutz, as a fire protection specialist and construction manager, you know the challenges of safe construction from different perspectives. What are the biggest challenges in your everyday life? Marcel Lutz: As a fire protection specialist, communication with the client is often challenging. On the one hand, the objective is to keep costs low, and on the other hand the fire protection aspect is often not planned in detail until it is too late. Any project must, without fail, comply with fire protection standards, but the later a fire protection specialist is involved, the more complicated the planning process becomes. What are your responsibilities as a fire protection specialist? A fire protection specialist is responsible for quality assurance with regard to fire protection and ensures that the framework conditions specified in the fire protection guidelines are adhered to. Fire protection guidelines are likely to be particularly comprehensive for projects using wood as a building material. In terms of fire protection, building with wood is of course always particularly challenging. For escape route surfaces, for example, Switzerland generally applies the standard RF1 – ‘non-combustible’. This is more difficult to achieve with wood than with solid masonry construction. Customised solutions that are only implemented retrospectively on the building site are even more complex. As a general rule, important details must be taken into account when it comes to fire protection. Akustik & Raum AG, who have already successfully implemented projects with you, are now launching the FeinMicro Secure fire protection solution, which has been tested by the association. What do you think about the new possibilities this opens up with wood as a building material? Wooden acoustic elements that meet the Swiss fire protection standard RF1 and also the highest EU standards open up exciting possibilities in the planning and execution of new buildings. This solution enables, for example, escape routes that fit seamlessly into the architecture of the building. In addition to safety aspects, this also offers aesthetic and planning advantages: Until now, a change of material for escape routes required an additional interface and an additional contact person at the construction site. A complete solution for interiors and escape routes eliminates this constraint – a welcome change.  In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages of using wood in construction? It is a pleasure to work with wood. Wood is a renewable material and offers many advantages in architecture. Wood is the first choice when the work has to be accurate down to the millimetre. Tolerances in solid masonry construction are one or several centimetres, depending on the length. Wood allows you not only to plan with precision, but also to construct it that way. When everything fits, it is a pleasure for observers as well.  For which project did you collaborate with Akustik & Raum AG? We worked with Akustik & Raum AG to fully line a 360° cinema with acoustic elements for the visitor exhibition of a company in Appenzell Ausserrhoden. We found ideal solutions despite the challenging conditions. The space was a two-storey room with around 40 windows, which had to meet the same visual requirements as the walls. Akustik & Raum AG produced shutters with the same look as the acoustic elements – an individually tailored solution for the customer. The 360° cinema was opened in the summer of 2021.  FeinMicro Secure The innovative FeinMicro Secure fire protection solution offers planners, architects and consumers new design freedom. Due to the fulfilment of the strictest EU standards (EN 13501-1, A2 – s1, d0), wood can be used safely as a building material as never before. Experience room acoustics in a new way and feel free to contact us for more information.

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Innovations - 16.09.2022

Combining room acoustics and safety

Akustik & Raum AG presents FeinMicro Secure, a fire protection innovation developed in-house. This composite fire protection solution sets new standards and opens up new possibilities for wood as a building material – without compromising on safety.  Wood is a popular building material. It radiates warmth and is a sustainable material with very versatile properties. Until now, stringent fire protection regulations have made it difficult to implement building projects where wood was the preferred material for aesthetic and ecological reasons. For these projects, the FeinMicro Secure innovation developed by Akustik & Raum will offer exciting new possibilities in the future – without compromising on safety.  Wood is now as versatile as your building projects As a composite fire protection solution, FeinMicro Secure allows new design latitude. Due to the fulfilment of the strictest EU standards (EN 13501-1, A2 – s1, d0), wood can be used safely as a building material as never before. For planners, architects, clients and consumers, this means that wood is now as versatile as their building projects. This allows sensitive areas of buildings, such as escape routes, to be integrated seamlessly into the architecture.  Experience room acoustics in a new way – with safety In addition to its excellent fire protection properties, FeinMicro Secure offers unique sound absorption thanks to its eponymous micro-perforations – with 467,000 holes per square metre. This makes the latest product within the MAKUSTIK system ideal for improving room acoustics in small and large rooms, while meeting a wide range of requirements in terms of material and aesthetics. Contact us to find out more about innovative FeinMicro Secure fire protection and to experience room acoustics in a new way – with safety. Find out more about FeinMicro Secure and read the interview with fire protection specialist Marcel Lutz from Gantenbein + Partner AG in St. Gallen. 

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Knowledge - 02.06.2022

Room acoustics and well-being

You’ve likely experienced it before: Saturday evening, in a good mood, you are out with friends and everything is set up for a wonderful evening. However, for some reason, you simply don’t feel comfortable. Is this down to your exhausting work week? Are you coming down with a cold? Or is the music too loud? This may, but needn’t, be possible. Poor room acoustics are often to blame for discomfort.  Sound absorption and well-being Not all noise is the same – for many, concerts in sold-out halls can be unforgettable highlights, even if the music is far louder than in a bar, for example. The difference is that in a small, cosy bar, the room acoustics must meet very different requirements than those in a massive concert hall. This is because the noise generates sound waves – and there are many of these in a busy restaurant – which cause considerable reverberation without the appropriate sound absorption. Not only is this annoying and irritating, it also causes us to raise our voices, leading to even louder background noise. It’s a vicious cycle that often leads to headaches, tiredness and discomfort.  Our individual solutions Our innovative MAKUSTIK system offers a wide range of solutions for the room acoustics of many types of spaces which meet the highest standards with regard to aesthetics and fire protection. Thanks to the ultra-fine perforation as well as our in-house planning and production, we can meet the individual needs of each customer and offer tailored absorption values for the respective requirements – whether it’s an airport hall, a music school, your favourite restaurant or private facilities. Experience room acoustics like never before The experts at Akustik & Raum AG can provide you with specialist support to meet your room acoustics requirements. Thanks to their wealth of expertise and the in-house production, they can meet special acoustic and aesthetic requirements and implement a tailored solution according to your needs. Experience room acoustics like never before and discover the MAKUSTIK system for unparalleled room acoustics solutions – so your guests will always feel comfortable at your private or public premises.

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Knowledge - 24.05.2022

Reverberation time and room acoustics

With the unique MAKUSTIK system, we offer innovative solutions for even the most demanding requirements for room acoustics. With our products FeinMikro |FM, Perfo | PE and Linea | LI, we can flexibly meet a wealth of acoustics-related needs. Our acoustics technologies will vastly improve the reverberation time in your premises. What was that about reverberation time?  How reverberation time arises Sounds move in sound waves – whether it’s the clang of dishes, loud music, construction noises or a whisper. As soon as the sound waves reach our ears, they cause our eardrums to vibrate. This then leads to impulses that are processed as sound in our brain. Our ear absorbs and processes the sound waves, so these absorbed sound waves don’t cause reverberation. It’s different for the sound waves that don’t find their way into the ear, however: if the room is not equipped with an acoustic solution, we can hear a restless sort of sound that subsides only slowly.  The perfect reverberation time for your room acoustics The period of time between the silencing of a sound source, i.e. the origin of the sound waves, to the reduction of the reverberation to a defined fraction of the initial value is known as the reverberation time. In a nutshell, a reverberation time of four seconds means that the sound can still be perceived for four seconds. Depending on the room and requirements, these four seconds may feel annoying. It should be noted that the requirements for the room acoustics, i.e. relating to the reverberation time, may be very different depending on the purpose of the room. An airport hall has different requirements to a music school or a library, which is exactly where our MAKUSTIK panels come into play. Thanks to our in-house planning and production of the panels, we offer tailored absorption values for the most demanding requirements.  Experience room acoustics like never before We know exactly which absorption values meet the different requirements for room acoustics. Our innovative MAKUSTIK system offers solutions for all room sizes and takes special material and aesthetic requirements into account. Experience room acoustics like never before and discover our MAKUSTIK products. Contact us to find out more about our unparalleled room acoustics solutions. 

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