TABS Expert Meeting held in Sweden

TABS expert discription

The first TABS Expert Meeting of it’s kind was held on 25-26th September near Helsingborg. TABS stands for Thermally Activated Building System and is a design engineering approach for maintaining good thermal comfort in buildings, although unfortunately this is often at the expense of a good acoustic environment. The purpose of the event is to spread knowledge about sustainable work environments and show that combining TABS with good acoustics is a real possibility and a challenge. The meeting was arranged by Ecophon and was part of the World Green Building Council’s event World Green Building Week 2014.

WGBW   wgbw green up

Thermally Activated Building System (TABS) is a building system where the thermal mass of concrete slabs is left exposed to optimise energy use and stabalise the temperature. One common side-effect is often that the acoustics in the room suffer as a result. But TABS’s incompatibility with a good acoustic environment is often a misconception and this was a great point for discussion.

The TABS Expert Meeting in September focused on the possibilities of combining TABS and acoustics solutions including the potential challenges and pitfalls. Other topics on the agenda included modern and sustainable work environments, TABS’s historical development, green workplaces, TABS and acoustics solutions in schools and classrooms and how effective they are for speech communication in teaching and learning activities and much more.

“Studies show that interior environments – acoustics, light, thermal comfort, interior fittings and more – affect us in several ways. This includes work capacity, health, tiredness and alertness and much more. It is therefore of the utmost importance that workplaces and other premises are built with the optimal needs of their occupants in mind. Sustainable indoor environments are beneficial to personnel, students, patients – anyone – and this usually also benefits an organisation financially,” says Carsten Svensson, Market Development Manager at Ecophon.

The speakers amongst other topics addressed how to can cover a ceiling’s surface without affecting its thermal efficiency while optimising the acoustic quality. The talks were in English and featured speakers from all over Europe as were the invited guests who included thermal experts, acousticians and architects.

Sound of c small

Photo above: The session included a comfort zone for a Q&A and discussions.

The meeting was opened and closed with a joint keynote by Susan Roaf (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK) and Andrew Parkin (Cundall, Birmingham, UK) representing both thermal and acoustic perspectives and overall moderated by Ecophon’s Ricardo Canto-Leyton.

All lectures and interviews were filmed and will soon be available at where you can find more info below.

Watch this space as we will announce on here Acoustic Bulletin when the films are available on


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