In the ISO working group WG 19 a work has been started to produce a new measurement standard as a part three in the ISO 3382 series. To combine the experience from North America concerning cellular office design with the European open-plan office design is a challenge for the ISO working group.
The increasing use of open-plan solutions for offices has highlighted the problems related to the acoustical conditions in these environments. In North America the long experience and use of open-plan offices has resulted in several standard procedures to secure speech privacy between working places, especially in the common used open-plan offices with a cellular structure often referred to as cubicles. In Europe the purpose of using an open-plan structure is often to create flexible solutions that support communication between employees and working teams but also gives possibility for concentrated work. In these environments it is normally not a realistic goal or even the intention to create high speech privacy between neighbouring work places. However, it is still important to prevent sound propagation over long distances. These problems have emphasized the need of acoustical evaluation methods covering different type of open-plan offices design.
ISO 3382 consists of three parts under the general title, Acoustics – Measurement of room acoustic parameters:
– Part 1 : Performance spaces;
– Part 2 : Reverberation time in ordinary rooms;
– Part 3 : Open plan spaces.
For Part 3, open plan spaces, will look at measurements in furnished open-plan offices, the measurement procedures, equipement, required coverage and the evaluation of data and presenting the reports.
The standard is intended as an assesment tool to access the quality of medium to large size open-plan offices.