Good office acoustics within a space are a paramount requirement regardless we are looking at small office spaces or a large open plan offices, particularly for the health and well being of workers using the office space whilst promoting increased productivity and quality of work at the same time..
Small offices or rooms – can suffer from reverberation due to hard surfaces, but can easily be treated. Also privacy issues may need to be considered dependent on the final use of the room
Open Plan Offices – Tend to be harder to treat given the large volume and complexity of layout, number of occupants and construction of the space. These large spaces also tend to have large areas of glazing especially to external faces.
Call Centres – Tend to be based on an open plan structure but with the added complexity of numerous telephone calls being undertaken at the same time.
Specialist Rooms – Such as video conferencing or interview rooms (blue light services) should be designed to ensure the room acoustics do not affect clarity of speech or intelligibility.
Designing ideal office spaces
A specific level of performance is not required for office acoustics. Offices are referred to in the following standards and guidance is usually taken from different sources depending on the final use and layout.
BS 8233:2014 – Offers advice on ambient noise levels and sound insulation between spaces
ISO/DIS 22955 – Details acoustic quality of open plan office spaces (due to be published in 2020/2021)
BREEAM – Office buildings can achieve a BREEAM 2011 (for new construction projects) rating given that it fulfils the non-domestic building criteria required to achieve the BREEAM accreditation.
Recent global events with the Covid-19 pandemic have also introduced additional issues as we return to working within the office. The introduction of hard plastic dividing screens have added further complications as these surfaces only make reverberation worse. If you need any advice on this issue please contact us without delay for more advice in promoting a healthy acoustic environment.
Key aspects of acoustic design in office spaces
We can assist from a small office with a single desk through to large open plan call centre. The latest video conferencing suite to a custody suite designed for interviews or virtual court appearances. We offer advice on all aspects of design and performance that the space will be used for and include aspects such as:
– Partitions and dividing walls to private rooms and offices including advice on sound reduction and flanking transmission
– Doors and glazing to maintain privacy requirements
– Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning requirements and how these can affect a rooms performance
– Reverberation and suitable control measures
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