In this article, discover how our team supported Radiall China’s new manufacturing facility and offices to achieve the right acoustic standards, in their effort to become LEED certified, avoid future noise problems and provide employees with the best possible working environment.
When working in a multi-purpose industrial workplace where different areas of activity merge (such as production workshops, offices, and technical rooms), noise can become the #1 antagonist when it comes to maintaining employee’s performance, safety, communication and their global wellbeing.
How did Radiall manage to prevent such noise challenges with acoustic engineering and fulfill their vision of becoming a pioneering green factory? Let’s find out below!
Radiall and Its Vision for a Sustainable Facility
Founded in 1952, Radiall became a global manufacturer of electric components for numerous industries including Aerospace, Defense, Industrial, Medical, and Telecommunications.
In 2020, Radiall Shanghai prepared to relocate to a new 22,000m2 facility, twice the size of the previous site.
Aiming for an environmentally conscious design for its new HQ and manufacturing facility, Radiall sought out solutions that would reflect the highest standards of sustainability practices, including taking care of indoor and outdoor noise impacts coming from the workshops.
Radiall’s lobby featuring wooden & plaster acoustic ceiling treatments.
Generally speaking, in regard to acoustics, most factories do not consider it during their design and do not make it a part of their projects as much as it should be. Radiall approached this aspect differently, as they were aware of the importance that noise control represents on an industrial project. Radiall knew that a well-designed acoustic system can be used as an enhancement tool for them to:
- Improve and provide better workplaces for the safety and well-being of employees (in both offices and workshops).
- Reduce the environmental impacts and comply with local regulations.
- Reenforce a positive brand image of a caring and attentive enterprise.
Radiall Factory: A Workspace with Various Potential Sources of Unwanted Noise
Radiall’s grand facility complex is composed of, besides offices, multiple production areas, including a gold-processing workshop, electroplating, assembly workshops, and a warehouse.
These types of large facilities create complex challenges in terms of vibrations, airborne sound insulation, and noise propagation, that needs to be resolved.
The ceiling tiles control the reverberation in the technical room, to avoid exceeding noise limits.
Each working environment has a distinct function, where people work differently. For example, a worker’s routine inside the manufacturing area is not the same compared to an employee in an office space. Therefore, it is important to define at an early stage the acoustic targets, adapted to each space, as not every space will have the same acoustic requirements.
Besides, Radiall invested in the factory to be functional over the next two decades, so they definitely required a certain level of sophistication for it to succeed over the years. That is why acoustics was considered as an enhancement tool to help achieve this lasting commitment.
Acoustic Design – The Key to Future Factories.
In collaboration with iDA Workplace (Interior designer), and Gantt Consulting (Project management), the Delhom Acoustics team in China had the privilege to bring the acoustic design to Radiall with a specific roadmap.
The casual seating is ideal for small talk, while the ceiling panels & flocking spray protect the peaceful atmosphere.
We started the project from scratch in 2017, thus, we were able to anticipate the potential problems and work on them from the very beginning. It was very important that the whole team, clients, and partners were aware of the acoustic challenges from the start, to optimize both financial costs and timescales.
Upon completing the initial analysis, we prepared an acoustic design brief before the architectural concept started. This was used to then discuss and explain the potential noise issues & implications that the project can bring in terms of acoustics, with the architect.
An initial audit, site assessments, workshop sessions with the various project consultants and partners were also conducted (architecture, interior design, MEP) to inform, present results of analysis and simulations, support the material selection and the process of the decision making during the tender process regarding acoustic treatments.
In addition, dedicated support was also delivered throughout the construction phase to ensure proper implementation and response to the eventual unpredictable issues that arise during this crucial part of the project.
The atrium has acoustic treatments which control noise propagation to prevent distractions.
The integration of the acoustic solutions into the interior design development from iDA Workplace was also extremely important to provide a high-quality standard of sound comfort inside the workplace: from meeting rooms, workstations, the showroom, to the reception, and the canteen.
By gathering most of the technical equipment in one strategic location outside of the building, we ensured that the noise sources emanated from only one location that was properly treated, instead of having multiple noise sources that would be more complex to manage. This enabled an easy compliance to local noise regulations at the site boundaries.
Sharing an interesting fact about Radiall’s project, our Acoustic Engineer – Antoine POMMIER highlighted:
“The whole China team, with support from people in France and Vietnam, have worked on this project since 2017. It is one of the key collaborations at Delhom Acoustics China. The commitment and implication to respond in a short time were a necessity to ensure the quality and achievement of the objectives.”
This interactive working area is lined with grey PET wall panels seamlessly integrated in the interior design, for a felted & productive environment.
Looking at the results, although acoustics is an invisible aspect, it still has enormous impacts on people’s lives and happiness.
Radiall’s HQ & Factory has been one of Delhom Acoustics’ most demanding industrial projects in China in terms of acoustic standards and quality. This was an amazing opportunity for our team to work on such an iconic and large-scale project!
We would like to thank Mr. Eric Charlery and Mr. Thomas Redon from Radiall, Mr. Karston from Gantt Consulting, and Mr. Philippe Tong from iDA workplace for their professionalism and collaborative mindset throughout this project.
Indeed, along with the proper sound level in a multi-purpose industrial workplace, the great vision of Radiall to become a Smart Green Industrial Facility was truly achieved.
All images © Radiall