For good or bad, offices are places where many people spend a large part of the day. That is why acoustic comfort is increasingly taken into account to guarantee the best conditions in the workplace. Following are 8 frequently asked questions about acoustic solutions for offices.
Can they really affect the acoustics in an office so much?
The noise level in your workplace can directly affect the amount of stress suffered by those who work in it and, as a result, affect their work performance. Furthermore, depending on the sound level, there may be other effects, such as physiological alterations, distractions, interference in communication and psychological disorders.
An office with significant noise pollution normally requires speaking in a loud voice or even shouting, which directly affects the image you give your customers when they come to the office or when you talk to them over the phone. The privacy and confidentiality of some of the conversations that take place in an office require that certain private offices and meeting rooms be built with panels and wood panelling that ensure they are properly soundproofed.
Are soundproofing and acoustic conditioning the same thing?
Soundproofing of premises is not the same as acoustic conditioning.
Sound insulation is a combination of materials and techniques developed to block or attenuate the noise level in a given space in order to prevent sound from getting in or coming out. However, the purpose of acoustic conditioning is to get the sound from a source to spread out equally in all directions to create an ideal diffuse sound field.
What is reverberation?
In some rooms, different factors such as size and shape, the arrangement of the furniture, or the use of certain building materials may produce an acoustic effect known as reverberation. Reverberation is the permanence of sound beyond the time required to properly hear and understand a message. Explained in a more technical manner, “reverberation time ” is the time it takes for the sound to decay by 60 dB as received stood the sound emission source stops.
Does it have a solution? How can I control it?
First measure the degree of reverberation that can be supported needs to be measured. This will determine the type of acoustic material, acoustic panels or sound-absorbent wood panels that should be used in the acoustic conditioning of the room. Then, the acoustic ceilings or sound-absorbent wood ceilings, wood walls, false ceiling, or inner linings are installed with the most appropriate wood panelling. Finally, the last measurements are performed to determine whether we have achieved our objectives and we have managed to control the reverberation of the room in question.
The most common acoustic solutions for offices include the installation of wood panelling of sound-absorbent wood panels. Which should I choose?
The criteria to apply when choosing wood panelling are usefulness and aspect. And if you have set a priority, we recommend looking first at the usefulness of the wood panelling, not forgetting, of course, its aesthetic importance.
When using wood panelling of sound-absorbent wood panels you add an element that helps the acoustic conditioning of the room. The wood panelling also helps for soundproofing and insulating spaces. Also, with suitable treatment, wood panelling can include fire-retardant properties —always recommended, and often mandatory, from the point of view of building safety.
Looking at the aesthetic side of things, we can assure you that there is a wood panelling for every taste, both in dimensions and finishes (melamine, lacquer, wood varnish, high pressure laminate, etc…), so you can always find the option that best fits your decorative project.
Should I also take into account the ceilings in the office? What types of ceilings are used?
Removable ceilings and, above all, accessible ceilings allow you to include elements such as air vents, fire sensors or safety, lighting, speakers, etc. in the wood ceilings of the office while at the same time hiding other elements which we you do not want to be seen, such as air vents or electrical wiring or fibre. In addition, accessible ceilings allow you direct access to any point of the wood ceiling for repair and maintenance tasks on any building system (electrical, security, ventilation, data, etc.)
What do acoustic doors contribute?
These acoustic doors or soundproof doors that have a standard appearance can in fact offer the same finish as other standard doors (laminated HPL, veneers, MDF for painting, lacquers, etc.). Among their components they have specific soundproofing seals at various points on the door to ensure the sound tightness of the enclosed space. Depending on the insulation requirements required by the acoustic conditioning of a space, either acoustic doors or soundproof doors should be used with different insulation levels (32 dB, 34 dB, 38 dB and 42 dB) and they should be approved and certified. Finally, considering the aesthetic requirements of the room, you may install acoustic doors or soundproof doors with glass visors or any other hardware or accessory.
If I do not want to get into complicated installations, are there simpler acoustic solutions for offices?
One of the simplest and most innovative options to achieve the acoustic conditioning of existing premises is offered by the acoustic ceiling and panel manufacturer and installation specialist, Spigo Group. The solution consists of the design and strategic placement of sound-absorbent wood panels at various points throughout the premises but —and this is the most interesting part— hung as if they were paintings.
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