The city end of Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, is a prestigious location that hosts a number of professional and medical specialists. It is no wonder Chisholm Orthodontics chose to base their practice there, moving into the spacious and contemporary-designed office space. Large windows welcomed natural light into the building, but with this glass exterior came unwelcomed problems – one being a problem of poor acoustics.

As is pertinent within the realm of medical practices, orthodontists must work towards creating a comfortable environment for their patients.

“Creating the right environment for the patient was the key driver to design”, says Azhar Khan, architect responsible for the project at Levitch Design Australia. “We wanted the patients to appreciate being in an aesthetically beautiful space but, at the same time, we wanted them to be able to relax as they waited for their treatment. The noise associated with harsh modern aesthetic materials, combined with some of the louder instruments used in treatment, can contribute to increased anxiety. We wanted a beautiful space that was also quiet; and we didn’t want to compromise on that”.

Aesthetics is a very important consideration for designing the waiting room of any orthodontic practice. Much of what orthodontists do concerns improving the visual beauty of their patients’ smiles. Whilst the client may be highly focused on aesthetic issues, the first priority of the orthodontic specialist is the patient’s health and well-being.  As a result, they want to reduce noise in the waiting room, as well as noise transferral across practice rooms, so that their patients can relax prior to their treatment.

Image credit: Levitch

“Creating the right environment for the patient was the key driver to design” says Ms Hannah Steeds, architect responsible for the project at Levitch Design Australia

A wall in the waiting room designated for Chisholm’s signage presented the designers with a brilliant opportunity. They turned to Acoufelt for a solution, knowing they would be able to offer a holistic treatment without compromising on aesthetics or acoustics.

“We specified three custom-printed Acoufelt acoustic panels to cover that wall”, says Ms Steeds. “The real trick was in Acoufelt’s special capability, called QuietPrint™, allowing them to print photographic grade images onto their acoustic panels without impacting the acoustic performance. That’s how we turned our signage wall into an acoustic treatment”.

Where the previous hard wall reflected and magnified the sound produced in patient waiting rooms, Acoufelt panels achieve a minimum noise reduction coefficient (NRC) rating of 0.45. The panels were printed with varied coloured versions of the Chisholm Orthodontics logo, and by absorbing some of the resonating sound, had the effect of reducing the overall level of noise across the practice. Patients could now sit in peace and enjoy the aesthetic and pleasant atmosphere of the contemporary-designed waiting room.

Chisholm Orthodontics and Acoufelt unite in their concern for and unwillingness to compromise on the well-being of people. Where Chisholm Orthodontics is all about making beautiful smiles, Acoufelt is all about Making Quiet™.

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