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“New descriptors for open offices are needed – NOW!”

Alternative room acoustic descriptors for open offices
– progresses in standardization
Pierre Chigot, Saint-Gobain Ecophon SA, France


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Pierre Chigot, Saint-Gobain Ecophon France

Pierre Chigot explained us about the limitations regarding the use of Reverberation Time for acoustical assessment of open-plan offices. Large variance between measurement positions at low frequencies and poor reactivity to changes in the acoustics due to the lack of diffusivity of the room is often seen.

As potential new acoustic descriptors in open offices the sound propagation from workstation to workstation, rate of spatial decay per doubling of distance (DL2) was suggested. DL2 has originally been applied to workrooms (through EN ISO 14257).
DL2 seems to be a consistent and reliable descriptor of open plan office acoustics and is now included in sound quality standards for buildings. A standard for field measurements of DL2 is needed, taking into consideration the physical characteristics of open plan offices, as well as speech characteristics (increased energy contents at low frequencies, voice levels, raised hearing sensitivity at high frequencies, etc).

Office Environments 117

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