Rated 3.5 of 5.
Level of importance:
Rated 4 of 5.
Level of validity:
Rated 4 of 5.
Level of completeness:
Rated 3 of 5.
Level of comprehensibility:
Rated 2 of 5.
|Keywords:||transparent microperforated panel, Built environment, transparent desktop partition, COVID-19, sound absorption|
I found that the application of transparent microperforated panels as acoustically enhanced social distancing tool is a very useful idea in the times of a pandemic and potentially beyond. It would be also very useful to find out how much worse acoustically do the standard acrylic partitions make the spaces they are added to and to what extent can the microperforated ones mitigate the issue without introducing significant reduction in visual transparency and significant increase in costing. Moreover, it would be useful to understand how this prototype visually and acoustically compares with the commercially available solutions such as the Clearsorber (RPG). While some of these answers might be beyond this particular study, I believe they are important to bear in mind while reporting the results and writing concluding remarks so to make them as useful for further research as possible. I found the text to be overall clear and easy to read. However, there is still room to improve the structure and the clarity. As there is no other content than the absorption measurements, I would suggest making the report even more robust to ensure reproducibility. While the main message is easy to understand, English language would need to be improved as well.
Regarding the structure, the section 3 should be made more efficient. Please reorganise this section and report the experiment in a more technical and less narrative manner. For instance, the Figures 5 and 7 are obsolete, all the data needed is visible in the Figure 9. The distinction between the experiments 1 and 2 is currently not clear. It reads as it is about one experiment with four different levels of intervention into the original panel (no intervention, two microperforated panels added, adhesive tape added, adjustments made to add acrylic seals). If so, please adjust the structure accordingly.
I believe the middle panel is the key feature in the light of the epidemiological measures which motivated this study so I would suggest moving the explanation behind that specific design trait to the introduction and including it in the abstract (by expanding the existing sentence and stating the reason for having the non-perforated droplet barrier in between).
For the purpose of the reproducibility, please report more data related to the experiment and in accordance with the ISO 354, i.e. the surface area of the 10 panels, the reverberation time without any panels inside, number of measurement points used in measurements, measuring equipment etc. Perhaps there is a paper published with a more detailed description of that very room and measurement system you could simply refer to?
Moreover, adding a supplementary datasheet with the exact measured absorption values would potentially help further research that could look into modelling the potential effect of such panels on noise levels or indoor soundscape.
How was the target sound absorption frequency range decided?
Figure 3 could be horizontally arranged so it takes less space.
Figure 4 is not completely clear. Would it be possible to add better pictures that show the whole of the panel so the background does not get in the way of understanding the details and so it is clear how the panel is standing, i.e. is it touching the floor or not. While the Figure 2 is clear in that regard, the other photographs are ambiguous. The size of the ‘legs’ might not be that important for absorption, but I can see no reason not to report it. The same goes for the details about the joints and if any dampening materials were used anywhere in the design. Also, a figure showing the visual effect of combining small and large holes would be useful to understand the influence of perforations and extra layers on the overall visual transparency.
More references could be added to the introduction or some less important paragraphs featuring very general and not-referenced statements could be omitted.
Overall, this is brief, clear and concise paper, hopefully leading to further studies and application.