The management of unwanted noise
in an office environment is a often a major factor many business over look when scouting for new business premises or refurbishing existing buildings.
This ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ irritant is not to be taken lightly and so to help you in your new or refurbishment planning operations, here are 4 key elements to noise management that you need to play particular consideration too…
Reverberation is the term given to how sound travels around a room, and bounces off of furniture and other furnishings.
For example, listen to the two 10 second pion clips below. Both are on the same piano, playing the same clip. But one is in the hard, stone environment of a church with its tall ceilings, hard floors, stone walls etc… The second is in a smaller room, with carpets and other soft furnishings such as sofa’s pictures on the walls and curtains etc…
Reverberation and its management in an office environment will allow you to control what noise is carried, and what noise is muffled. For example, in your meeting room, noise will need to carry to all delegates in attendance, but yet be prevented from leaving that space so as not to then pollute the work space of the offices adjacent to it.
There are many companies that design sound reducing furniture, wall and ceiling décor tiles that reflect and reduce sound in a visually pleasing and modern design.
In the above example, the clarity of speech needs to also be given careful planning and consideration. For example, team members walking past the meeting room (using the same example above) will be able to hear a muffled sound that is denotable as human speech, but the sound itself muffled to the point that the specific words being said are unrecognisable. This clarity control, will ensure that what is being said inside the meeting room remains private. In this situation, consideration to the internal wall, fitting and doors will be given, to ensure they are all act as sound prevention barriers.
The strength at which we experience sound can also be influenced by the room in which the noise source originates. Recording studios are carefully designed with materials that aid clarity and straight to the commentator/singer. When designing your office, the reverberation effects not only aid how the sound is carried but by what strength. The stronger the sound, the louder it will seam.
In the same way Sound Strength aids the volume by which we hear the noise from its originating source. Correct sound propagation management will also help (or not, depending on your objective) the sound to carry. This is how it flows down the room and is then absorbed by your intended audience.
In open plan offices, desk or pod dividers are often found in use, not only to give visual privacy but also as a way to buffer the propagation of sound around the office. But if you were to stand up and speak the same words the sound would pass over the heads of the barriers with greater ease.
Of course, the materials of such dividers and how they also absorb or reflect noise play a contributing factor to their effectiveness at preventing sound pollution amongst office peers.
For more information on how we can help you, manage sound in your office, please call or contact us.