Offices3 June 2016
ACOUSTIC TREATMENT OF WORKING ENVIRONMENTS
A close link has been proven between high levels of productivity and concentration at work and favourable working conditions. Regulation ISO 3382-3:2012 represents the standard for measuring a room’s acoustics and the quality of a speaker’s privacy in open space offices. The quality of the speaker’s intelligibility and privacy, the distance of distraction and the diffuse sound field are all elements that contribute to the correct acoustic comfort. Different aspects should be assessed when analysing the acoustics of an open space office, such as the distance between the work stations and the height of the partitions between the stations. The acoustic requirements can vary in this type of environment: for example, certain offices require good intelligibility to encourage communication among employees, so there should be fewer and lower partitions in this case. However, this will reduce the speaker’s privacy. Less privacy means more distractions. Therefore, in environments where concentration is more important, greater attention must be paid to the layout and to the sizes of the partitions.
D-Space allows you to create different environments incredibly easily in one single room. In addition to having excellent sound absorption, thanks partly to its large surface, D-Space lets you adjust any area to different furnishing solutions in an extremely dynamic and simple way.
Silente, a single-sided sound-absorbing panel upholstered in fabric, can be installed on the wall or on the ceiling with special tracks. Also available in a hanging version, Silente minimises acoustic disturbances from speech. Efficient LED lighting systems can be included upon request.
Scriba is a double-sided desk panel that can separate various employee work areas to reduce the typical acoustic problems of areas where dozens of voices continuously speak over each other throughout the day.
In the example below, we shall see how you can change the acoustics of a venue thanks to an effective and logical organisation of sound-absorbing elements.
Our example office has a surface area of 60 m2 and a volume of 162 m3, featuring materials that are often found in offices, such as stoneware, plaster, glass and laminates.
The materials taken into account to calculate the RT are plaster, ceramics, plasterboard, double-glazing and wood. The Reverberation Time calculated for this venue is 2.10 s at an average of 250-2000 Hz, which is unsuitable for any activity.
The optimum Reverberation Time for office activities should be between 0.4 s and 0.6 s, depending on the volume of the venue. In our example venue, we could achieve an RT of 0.52 s at an average of 250-2000 Hz, which is very good for an open space office, simply by using desk screens and panels suspended from the ceiling above the work stations.
If we look at the graph, we can see how the reverberation time decreases as sound-absorbing elements are added, so we will see that we need to act at several points, especially in crowded offices such as the one in question, varying and arranging the sound-absorbing materials in a uniform way to achieve an optimum end acoustic result.
The expressed RT values are for an empty venue.