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Hexagon shaped acoustical clouds finished in Decoustics Claro, an acoustically transparent stipple texture finish. Claro attains high levels of noise absorption and light reflectance of up to 94%.

Your Guide to Acoustical Design with Free-Hanging Clouds


By Robert Marshall on August 7th, 2019

Whether you are retrofitting an existing building or designing a new, modern space, acoustic clouds are the ultimate tool for design freedom. Different colors, shapes and sizes give designers hundreds of options – and that’s just the product itself. Consider positioning, angles, stacking and layering, and the possibilities are as open as the spaces.

Clouds can also be used with wall-to-wall ceilings to boost noise control in areas where a lot of people are speaking at the same time, such as a call center, reception area or restaurant.

While, the options are nearly limitless there are a few best practices you should keep in mind.

Cloud Design Best Practices
A modern office with gray and green couches, teal carpet and Ecophon Solo Clouds.
Eric Laignel

Wiley Offices

Ecophon® Solo™ Clouds

1. Install Close to the Origin of the Sound

The closer to the origin of the sound, the better. In spaces where speech is the primary sound source, such as in restaurants, classrooms or offices, installing clouds in the middle of the space rather than close to the ceiling is more efficient, because they absorb sound that has bounced to the deck.

How much more efficient? A 16 square foot absorber installed 40 inches from the ceiling absorbs 15% more sound than one installed 8 inches from the ceiling.

2. Keep Units at Least 18″ Apart

There is truth to the saying, “too much of a good thing,” at least when it comes to acoustical ceiling design. We recommend leaving at least 18″ of space between clouds; it will actually improve sound absorption in the space.

aecom-case-study-ecophon-solo (1).jpg
Thys Dullaart

Ecophon® Solo™ Clouds

3. Mind Your Shapes

ecophon solo clouds certainteed ceiling While clouds come in a variety of shapes, the amount of product needed to meet the sound absorption requirements of the space will vary with the shape of cloud you are using. For example, to achieve 30 – 60% coverage in a 1000 sq. ft. space you would need roughly between 10-20, 4′ x 8′ rectangles but five times as many 36″ circles.

Now that you have the basic guidelines, you can let your creativity take over. Clouds of any shape and color can be installed in layers, on angles, at any depth you choose to create anything from minimalist acoustic control to dramatic sculptural installations.  

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