Hufcor movable walls are more than just a way to visually divide and manage space, they also play a critical role in providing vital sound separation. In fact, when specifying operable partitions and planning a multi-use space, no factor is more important than sound control. In any space, whether it’s a school classroom, performance hall, ballroom, or conference room, sound levels have an immense impact on the overall atmosphere, and thus the experience individuals have within that environment.
But, what is sound, and how do Hufcor’s products influence the way it travels? Sound has several measurable components: frequency, amplitude and duration. In architectural acoustics, movable partitions focus on controlling the amplitude and duration of sound, which is done by controlling sound transmission loss and sound absorption. As world leaders in operable partitions, we’re experts in the science of sound—engineering flexible space solutions that help control and manage sound between spaces.
On any job of significant size, architects and building owners should consider involving an independent acoustical consultant and accredited sound lab to help specify materials and products that will meet their facility’s acoustical requirements. At Hufcor, our expertise is not limited to the design and manufacture of the world’s leading range of operable walls, as part of our commitment to advancing what’s possible in flexible space management, we built an acoustical testing laboratory in 1969. Since that time, Hufcor has owned and operated an NVLAP-accredited (Testing Lab Code 100239-0) acoustical laboratory—one of only a handful of labs across the U.S. that have received accreditation from the National Bureau of Standards under the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program.
Under the guidelines of the NVLAP accreditation, our certified testing professionals and state-of-the-art equipment are available to perform, on-site field testing to ensure a building’s panels are performing to their promised sound transmission (STC/NIC) and sound absorption (NRC) standards. Our expertise in this area is second to none among global operable partition suppliers. Our implementation of new computer modeling to predict both sound transmission and sound absorption of new or custom operable partition constructions, enables us to work with acoustical consultants to help predict overall acoustical performance in rooms.
Beyond flexibility, our main performance objective for nearly all of our movable wall products is to create a high- performing sound barrier between rooms. No matter the need, Hufcor offers flexible sound solutions that can be designed and engineered to meet the acoustical requirements of any space. We diligently test every panel in our lab to ensure optimal performance.
Currently, the most widely accepted standard for ranking the acoustical performance of glass, operable and accordion partitions is STC or Sound Transmission Class. Sound Transmission Class is a two-digit number describing the laboratory performance of a single building element in stopping the transmission of sound through it. Tests to determine a material’s STC rating can be done in a lab or in the field. When acoustical tests are performed in laboratories, they are conducted under well-defined ASTM standards in a highly controlled environment. In the field, the same sensitive equipment used in the lab can often be carried to the job site, however some on-site preparation is typically necessary to ensure valid results. This is due to the fact that real- life buildings often have imperfections and environmental variables that can impact results. Further, to assure a completely unbiased test, the procedure should be witnessed by an independent acoustical consultant and performed through an NVLAP-accredited (Testing Lab Code 100239-0) sound lab.