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Steps to Achieve Accoustic Comfort Cheat Sheet by

Ten steps to consider in achieving acoustic comfort in the contemporary office
office     steps     comfort     accousitc     contemporary


1. Work patter­ns: Identify the balance of concen­tration and intera­ction among the workers in the office to help create zones.
Reference PBS’s Workplace Solutions Library (WSL) which has a survey to determine this.

2. Speech Privacy: Identify the level of privacy required for the work based on the work patterns in the WSL.

3. Behavioral change: support behavioral adapta­tions with mobile techno­logies, multiple work spaces, and policy.

4. Behavioral protoc­ols: develop protocols with the partic­ipation of the subject work group, aimed at reducing distra­ctions and approp­riate use of space use.


5. Zoning: After determ­ining the work patterns, (see #1 above, under “Behav­ior”), develop a layout strategy which will locate incomp­atible functions apart from each other. Locate conference and focus rooms convenient for intera­ctive workers to “duck into” and to act as barriers between various work patterns. Consider elements such as file banks to further separate incomp­atible functions.

6. Planni­ng: Carefully consider the effect on neighb­oring workst­ations when locating supporting activities such as copier rooms, coffee bars and entries to conference rooms where a queue could be antici­pated – adjacent to large conference rooms, for instance.

7. Furnit­ure: Select furniture which complies with LEED NC credits EQ. 8.1 and 8.2 to obtain 1 or 2 LEED credits.

The low partitions required will achieve the desired access to natural light and view while allowing occupants to be aware of other nearby workers.

Work station partition is in front of the worker when seated at the desk, the noise reduction coeffi­cient (NRC) of the partition should be .07 so that speech is not reflected backward when the worker seated at his or her desk speaks. Where possible, the layout should locate the desks so that workers will not be speaking directly “at” each other.


8. Sound Absorbing Ceilings and Walls: Specify ceilings having a minimum NRC of 0.9 in open plan office areas and NRC 0.8 in meeting rooms and training facili­ties. In confer­ence, meeting and training facili­ties, provide absorptive panels on 25% of walls
with a minimum NRC of 0.8.

9. Sound Masking Systems: Specify sound masking systems, partic­ularly in open plan office areas. See page 42 for inform­ation
regarding sound masking systems.

10. Walls: Specify Sound Rated Wall Constr­uctions as follows:
STC 53 minimum to isolate video conference and training rooms.
STC 45 minimum to separate conference rooms and executive office areas requiring confid­ential speech privacy.
STC 40 minimum to separate private offices required in normal speech privacy.

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