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More open-plan office acoustics

Have a look at some more summaries on open-plan office acoustics.

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“Determination of acoustic conditions in open offices and suggestions for acoustic classification”
Valtteri Hongisto, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Turku, Finland


DL2 and “radius of distraction” as the future acoustic descriptors in open offices?

Speech privacy and the distraction efficiency of surrounding speech can be described by the speech intelligibility between workstations. Valtteri Hongisto stated that previous laboratory and field studies have concentrated on two neighbouring workstations while examination should instead concern the whole office space since noise complaints are not restricted to the nearest workstation. A new method to determine the acoustical conditions of the whole office space, including both short and long distances from the speaker was introduced. Through measurements in 15 offices Dl2 and “radius of distraction” were determined as principal descriptors. The measurements included background noise level, spatial decay of Speech
Transmission Index, STI, and spatial decay of A-weighted sound level of speech.

Listen to a caption of Valtteri’s lecture
http://www.acousticbulletin.com/EN/audio/dewplayer.swf?son=http://www.acousticbulletin.com/EN/Valtteri%20Hongisto2.mp3&bgcolor=#FFFFFF

“A new model for acoustic design in open offices”
Jukka Keränen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Turku, Finland

Get inspired by having a look at a new web-based tool to support the design of good acoustic environments in open offices. Jukka Keränen presented a simple tool based on based on measurement results from 15 very different open plan offices. The model takes into account room dimensions, ceiling and wall absorbers, furniture.height, masking sound level and speech effort. The model calculates the A-weighted speech sound level and Speech Transmission Index at increasing distances from the speaker. Finally,the radius of distraction, rD, and spatial decay of A-weighted speech, DL2 are determined. The tool is freely available in the internet and it is very easy to use.
“Open office acoustic design – multi-dimensional case studies”
Fabien Krajcarz, Gamba Acoustique & Associes, Paris, France

A critical issue in open space environments is to ensure that the acoustics supports both communication and confidentiality – often described as the acoustic paradox in open offices. To create this situation the ambient noise needs to be balanced. At the same time sound propagation have to be created by using screens and dividers when employees need acoustic protection but authorize communication when this is required. The lecture presented a model that suggested the calculation of signal-to-noise ratio as an appropriate indicator of the sound environment in open plan offices.

Office Environments 117

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