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Problems related to the acoustic quality of open space rooms

As we know, both residential and public buildings must be functional. And one of their most important performance features is certainly acoustic quality. Unfortunately, the results of a survey carried out in Poland and abroad show that acoustic risks are one of the most burdensome factors in the buildings themselves as well as in their immediate vicinity.

Room acoustics - proportions

Of course, among the reasons for this state of affairs, one should mention, for example, the fact that there are still more and more sources of noise, the intensity of which is also increasing. But inadequate acoustic performance of all types of buildings is also a big problem. This includes, for example, the volume and shape of rooms, as well as the materials used in the construction and finishing process.

Thanks to good acoustics we gain proper speech clarity, sound quality, but also better mood of people in a given room. It can be said that when the acoustic environment is good, the desired sounds can be produced, while the unwanted sounds are eliminated.

acoustics of office rooms

One of the most important acoustic parameters is the reverberation time value, but in addition to this, the following indicators are also taken into account for analysis:

  • Speech Transmission Index STI
  • sound pressure level SPL(A)
  • Spatial loss of sound with a doubling of the distance D2,S
  • speech level at a distance of 4m from the source LP,A,S,
  • Distraction Distance rD
  • Distance of Comfort rC
  • Privacy Distance rP

During the study, whose aim was to determine the relationship between the effectiveness of acoustic screens and their height and acoustic absorbency, several variants of calculations were carried out. In open space, different acoustic panels for desks were used, but the impact of an absorbent ceiling on the acoustic parameters in a given place was also analyzed.

Acoustics of utility rooms

How to shape acoustic properties in different types of interiors?

In production, office and service rooms, noise reduction is essential. In order to achieve this goal, the room should be properly shaped and sound-absorbing systems should be used. When it comes to cultural, training and entertainment facilities, the priority is to meet subjective and objective criteria of acoustic quality. Although subjective criteria are an important element of room acoustical analysis, they can be different and depend on the assessor. The most important goal for open space offices is to reduce the level and range of sound, so that both interior architects and acoustics need to use different solutions. These can be e.g. panels and wall screens, acoustic panels separating workstations, carpets or suspended ceilings.

Acoustic standards in the office

What acoustic standards must open space offices meet?

PN-EN ISO 3382-3:2012 [1] provides information on how the acoustic properties of open space can be measured. They can be used to assess the acoustic properties of open-plan offices.

Parameters that, according to the above mentioned standard, refer to the sound range in open space offices to:

  • spatial loss of sound with a doubling of the distance from the source D2,S,
  • speech level at a distance of 4m from the source LP,A,S,4m,
  • Privacy Distance rP,
  • Distance of Comfort rC,
  • Distraction Distance rD.

Spatial loss of sound with a doubling of distance

Thanks to the parameter determining the spatial loss of sound along with doubling the distance from the source, we know how much the sound level in the interior decreases as we move away from the source.