In Review: BASWA’s Natural Acoustic Panel

BASWA Natural is a thoughtful attempt by BASWA to redefine acoustic systems with an approach that is more sustainable, efficient, and holistic. Join Love That Design to explore the product in detail through the lens of Zaffer Ahmed and Clarissa Lobo.

Noise is distracting, stressful, and unhealthy. 

Identifying this very humble yet significant concern, Hans Sulzer founded BASWA in 1991 in an attempt to manoeuvre the behaviour of sound within the built environment. Conceptualised in Switzerland, today, BASWA is a leading global brand with an exclusive collection of seamless acoustic products, impacting how people live and work. BASWA’s product portfolio comprises modular wall and ceiling acoustic solutions for commercial and residential applications.

The acoustic panels from BASWA are designed to help people stay focused and be present in the moment. They have a smooth, durable marble plaster finish that not only looks good but also works well. Bringing the spotlight to a promising up-and-coming solution from the brand- BASWA Natural is a unique sustainable acoustic panel contributing to the creation of healthier spaces. 

Alfredo Lopez, a brand representative from the Technical Sales & International Sales team says, “BASWA is not just a material, it’s a big part of technical spatial solutions we create to enhance spatial experiences for people. We craft solutions that have been installed and tested in various projects across the globe.”

The Review Crew

From left to right: Clarissa Lobo, Senior Architect, Binchy and BinchyZaffer Ahmed, Architect | Interior Designer, Etereo Design

A Mindful Selection of Materials and Finishes

BASWA Natural is composed of hemp fibre, marble sand, and recycled glass beads. The use of hemp fibre is a replacement for the traditionally used glass wool so as to offer a product that has a lesser carbon footprint and environmental impact. The procurement of marble sand is done from Italy, which is in proximity to Switzerland, thereby helping reduce transportation costs. 

The brand also offers hybrid acoustic panels which essentially offer a combination of both sound absorbing and sound reflecting properties. So if a space needs both these attributes, a designer can opt for the hybrid solution without having a difference in texture and shape of the panel. This helps in achieving a seamless surface finish and makes the panels appear monolithic.

Zaffer Ahmed: “As an architect, I feel that sustainability is more important because now we are polluting the environment with materials. Also, the brand affirms that all their products including the BASWA Natural is made of 94% recycled or waste products, which is something really interesting. So I feel like, it’s so, it’s a way to get products for my projects.”

Clarissa Lobo: “The panel can also be used externally since it has moisture-resistant properties and there are also protective coatings available. I think they’re called BASWA Protect, which can be sprayed on and it’s a very light coating that doesn’t affect the finish or the look of the product but extends its lifetime by over five years in addition to its already long lifetime.”

A Commitment to Building Long-Lasting Sustainable Spaces

In the quest for developing human-centric and sustainable acoustic solutions, BASWA makes a conscious effort to be considerate about its raw material sourcing, production, distribution, and construction waste. Further, the brand is committed to having more plant-based components in their material catalogue in the near future. Adding to their sustainability agenda, BASWA offers the opportunity to ship in cardboard boxes instead of plastic buckets for a select-few products.

Zaffer Ahmed: “The product is truly amazing and the brand has taken a great initiative towards sustainability, which I really, really appreciate. And if you see the material you got which is hemp fibre, it is very sustainable and also abates the CO2 in the environment. So, all in all it’s a very sustainable solution.”

Clarissa Lobo: “My first impression about the product was positive. I think BASWA acoustic as a company is on the right track, moving towards its sustainability drive. Of course, it already has a wonderful range of products, but introducing this new range of nature-conscious solutions which is using hemp to be sustainable. It’s interesting, it’s going in the right direction and there’s a lot more I think they can do in the future.”

Working in Tandem with Industry Experts

Over the past three decades, BASWA has collaborated with ingenious designers and innovators worldwide to create products of impeccable quality and craftsmanship. By interacting with people from various walks of life, the brand has developed an innate understanding of how people use a space enables them to craft solutions that are purposeful.

Zaffer Ahmed: “I think BASWA Natural is quite flexible in terms of its look and feel, installation, and finishing. The brand is also happy to work with the designer and customise unique solutions as per their project requirements. So, as designers, it is a win-win situation for us where we can achieve functional and aesthetic enhancement of a space through a single product.

Clarissa Lobo: BASWA Natural offers a lot of variety. It’s got a range of colours and textures as well, and it can be applied to horizontal vertical surfaces as well as curved surfaces, which is amazing for architects and interior design to work with. There are very few products in this segment of acoustic panelling out in the market that offer this kind of designer variety. So it’s good to have this option.”

An Investment Towards Healthy Lifestyle

BASWA Natural is positioned as a moderately premium product within the UAE. These acoustic panels are a value-for-money investment for clients who seek high-quality robust materials for their projects. Also, given the durability of the product, using BASWA Natural would prove to be more beneficial in the long run.

Zaffer Ahmed: “In terms of pricing, BASWA Natural is certainly a bit on the higher end because of the quality of finishing and comfort they are providing the end users. And I feel like it’s the way to go because if you want a good quality acoustic system in your project, it’s always a benefit to spend the money on something that is premium and durable.”

Clarissa Lobo: “Although the price of this product is slightly higher than the local average, I am in complete agreement with the fact that BASWA Natural is a worthwhile investment. While the cost factor does make it a little inaccessible to conventional everyday construction projects. But, this is the UAE and there is and will always be a requirement for luxury products in projects where clients are on the lookout for something better. Therefore, this is a product that is perfect for them.”

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