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Building Products December 2017

COMMERCIAL 20 BUILDING PRODUCTS | DECEMBER 2017 sound-absorbing screens. This keeps sound from spreading, prevents sound levels from escalating and avoids the need for people to raise their voices. Brainstorming A brainstorming session can be a lively activity, often with people walking around and two or more people speaking simultaneously. The dynamic activity is usually done in a closed space with a flexible interior, like a meeting room. To avoid echoes, support communication (speech clarity) and prevent sound from entering and leaving the space, ensure sound insulation with a sound-absorbing ceiling or free-hanging units, and wall absorbers covering at least one wall, but preferably two adjacent walls. Focus work From time to time everybody needs to focus without disturbance. Since fewer people now have access to their own office, it is crucial to have socalled concentration spaces for very important tasks, long telephone conversations, video conferences and meetings. For both cellular offices and concentration spaces, the sound insulation required should include a sound-absorbing ceiling and wall absorbers on at least one wall. This will prevent wall-to-wall echoes, enhance speech clarity and keep sound from entering and leaving the space. Formal meeting To have constructive meetings it is important that we hear each other clearly; everybody should be able to follow and participate in the conversations, presentations and discussions easily. However, it is also important to prevent the sounds of the <<< Continued from page 18 meeting from spreading to others in the office. A meeting room is almost always furnished with lots of equipment - projectors and speakers for telephone and video conferences. At the same time, there may be glass walls and an obligatory whiteboard. Speech will bounce off all these hard surfaces, creating echoes that obscure speech. Superior sound insulation, like a soundabsorbing ceiling with good absorption qualities at low frequencies and wall absorbers covering at least one wall but preferably two adjacent walls, will help here. Stopping sound from entering and leaving the space, it will also ensure speech clarity by preventing wall-to-wall echoes and lowfrequency disturbance. Getting your visual acoustics right Getting the visual and acoustic design right is vital to allow a building’s occupants to only hear what they need to. This doesn’t have to be limited to the design stage of a new build; a retrofit project can also use acoustic systems to create a less stressful and ultimately more productive work environment. www.ecophon.com/uk With acoustic systems available that ensure both acoustics and design can be optimised, achieving outstanding acoustic control doesn’t have to come at the expense of aesthetics. Multi-tasking Most people perform a lot of tasks daily, sitting at their desks in an open space, surrounded by coworkers. They have phone conversations, concentrate on tasks, answer e-mails and prepare presentations. But they will also walk around, have quick meetings and discuss daily business across desks. Incorporating a sound-absorbing ceiling with good absorption qualities at speech frequencies, and sound-absorbing screens dividing people into groups, will help to prevent speech and other sounds from spreading, minimising disturbance. Collaborative working Office workers are often involved in projects and team assignments. To succeed and work in a collaborative way, the team needs to transfer knowledge through meetings, discussions and work sessions. Ideally, this is done in a separate space, but often takes place in a semi-open area or among others in a completely open space. A project room needs sound insulation, a sound-absorbing ceiling with good absorption qualities at low frequencies, and wall absorbers to hinder wall-to-wall echoes and support communication (speech clarity) - keeping sound from entering or leaving the space. In a semi-open or open space, a soundabsorbing ceiling with good absorption qualities at speech frequencies may also be suitable, and if people in adjacent areas can be disturbed, use


Building Products December 2017
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