The Sound of Rest and Recovery

Acoustic considerations are especially important nowadays when designing aged and health care facilities. There are many solutions available that will not compromise the look of the build from acoustic panels through to plasterboards with sound insulating properties.

While acoustic absorbing window coverings may be the perfect solution for absorbing sound in some aged and health care facilities, Atkar Group champions the use of decorative acoustic panels. Atkar Group is a leading manufacturer of these panels and has supplied panels in hundreds of medical or aged care facilities over the years.

“Decorative acoustic products are an essential element for any medical facility. They contribute towards acceptable levels of noise for the times when patients require rest and recovery in between testing and operations,” Atkar Group Spokesperson and Architectural Consultant Andrew Ritchie says.

“Atkar Group’s extensive range of designs and finishes not only meet the design vision, but also fulfil the essential criteria that is needed in many medical environments,” he says. In these post-covid times, Ritchie says cleanability had risen to the fore in aged and health care settings. “Growing concerns over Covid strains have motivated facilitators of medical buildings to review methods by which surfaces can be maintained,” he says.


Ritchie notes that it was now important for the panels to have an antimicrobial coating on its face that offers permanent and continuous protection against certain bacteria. Akar Group’s Inluxe ClearShield coating, for example, is an innovative system that uses silver-ion technology, known for its natural antibacterial properties. If certain bacteria lands on the coated surface, the bacteria can’t survive or grow, therefore reducing the cross-contamination risk.

“Rest and recovery are so important for people in aged and health care settings… That is why acoustic considerations are a vital part of the design and building process in such facilities.”

On the rear of the panel, a protective hygiene barrier stops contaminants and dust travelling from the cavity, through the perforations or slots to the outer face of the product. Atkar Group’s Hygiene Barrier Seal, for example, is factory-fitted and designed by Atkar, and cannot be seen through the panel perforations, and has no adverse effect on the acoustic performance of the panel.

One of Atkar Group’s largest projects in the medical space, was the Alfred Hospital ICU and Seminar Room project in Melbourne. Collaborating closely with design studio Billard Leece Partnership, Atkar Group delivered a solution that gave maximum acoustic control while also meeting the strict health regulations governing particle contamination in this highly sensitive environment.

Atkar’s Au.diSlot ceiling system was custom fabricated to fit raked roof lanterns and treated with custom designed and tested barrier membrane, Hygiene Barrier Seal. All fixings were then concealed using the Au.diMount PS3 system. Au.diMount PS3 allows for the secret fixing of interior perforated timber ceiling panels either in a suspended configuration using standard furring channel system components, or directly fixed to the sub-structure.


Originally Published in Architecture & Design Magazine. Words by Nathalie Craig.

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