ÅF Sound & Vibration - a complete acoustic offer
In urban and built environments, the focus is usually on sounds perceived as negative – the human produced noise. We try to manage these unwanted sounds, the noise, by designing noise barriers and sound absorbents. In our attempt of cancelling unwanted sounds, we often forget that sounds can be designed and applied to improve an experience or enhance a feeling.
ÅF Sound & Vibration is a full-service acoustical consultancy, which designs and secures sound environments. This includes creating environments with less noise and vibrations, but also designing soundscapes to a specific space or location. A soundscape can be described as a tailored composition of sounds for a specific area. Similar to landscaping, which is activities that modify the visible features of an area of land, a soundscape modifies the acoustic environment of an area.
Manne Friman, acoustician at ÅF Sound & Vibration, encourages the smart city concept to include sound; “A designed soundscape to a specific context can add value in a smart city. The smart city discussion is mainly focused on accommodating visual aesthetics with necessary infrastructure and technology. As cities are growing, the noise exposure increases and quiet areas becomes rare. This calls for innovation and measures to preserve the spaces that we need for relaxation and recreation. I am certain that the sound environment can be controlled to an environment we appreciate. A combined method of geofencing, deciding what vehicles we allow on certain roads, quiet pavement, low noise barriers, green noise barriers, protected noise sensitive zones and added positive sounds is what lies in the future. And that future is actually happening right now. We encourage the smart cities of the future to also control its soundscape and to make people listen.”
The science of sound and its emotional effect is widely explored. With a broad spectra of projects within infrastructure, community and buildings, ÅF Sound & Vibration can apply the know-how to further applications. To make more efficient use of the physical infrastructure in the future city, sound could support a strong social and cultural development. “Sound should be used as a powerful tool to enforce a feeling, create recognition or enhance a visual perception. That is why we would like to explore the answers to questions like; How can sound increase safety in the urban environment? How can sound enhance the green colors of the city park? And last, how can sounds improve the people flows around the city? We have the competence and the resources to advise independently or as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Therefore, we believe our expertise can create valuable solutions to the smart city”, Manne Friman concludes.