Cerami & Associates was selected to provide acoustical consulting services for the National Audubon Society’s new 27,000 square foot Headquarters office located in downtown Manhattan. Since the mission of the NAS is the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems, their headquarters facility had to reflect that vision. As such, NAS set a goal to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
Located in a former factory, the design featured an open office plan with many hard surfaces which provided a number of acoustical challenges. In addition, the project utilized an underfloor air distribution system which although energy efficient, added an additional layer of acoustical concern as these systems are much quieter than traditional HVAC systems can create a livelier acoustical environment.
To create a quieter level of background noise, we designed an extensive sounds masking system for this space. Typically, sound masking speakers are installed above suspended ceilings, however since the design utilized exposed concrete slabs, it required a creative approach that would be functional yet aesthetically pleasing. To that end we selected white domed speakers that were mounted using standard electrical gang-boxes rather than conventional bracket mounted speakers. This unique mounting system allowed for the speakers to be rotated when needed to allow sound to spread evenly.