Often employees working within the commercial sector are based in open plan offices for most of their working day. This brings with it a number of acoustic challenges. Good rooms acoustics within offices and sound insulation (soundproofing) performance between adjacent offices will ensure that your workforce are happy and productive, minimize stress and absence, and keep everything in check with current UK legislation.
Adequate sound insulation performance within the commercial sector can often be compromised by the presence of lightweight suspended ceilings and partitions, with common ceiling voids between areas. This usually leads to poor speech privacy and confidentiality between offices. Even 'acoustic' suspended ceiling tiles will offer very little sound insulation, or soundproofing, performance due to their lightweight nature. To improve the sound insulation performance of suspended ceilings SRS supply a system called Soundblocker. This system consists of a Soundblocker tile, that sits on the back of the lay-in suspended ceiling tile, and a range of accessories to treat light fittings and other penetrations.
Another option, if the suspended ceiling void is not being used for air movement, is to use a vertical cavity barrier within the void along the line of the partition. SRS offer three different vertical acoustic cavity barriers: Soundstop (46dB), Soundbreaker (48dB), and Soundbar 53 (53dB).
If the partition is also lightweight, perhaps timber stud-work lined with plasterboard, then this can be upgraded using our Maxiboard acoustic building board. In order to install Maxiboard to an existing timber or metal stud the linings must first be removed and SRS Maxi Slab inserted into void. At that point SRS Maxi Resilient Bars are installed at 600mm centres horizontally and the Maxiboard screwed to the face of the resilient bars. A finishing layer of plasterboard should then be installed over the Maxiboard and plastered using conventional techniques. As with most of our soundproofing specifications, this method of installation is designed to maximize acoustic performance whilst minimizing the loss of room space.
Reverberant noise with open plan offices can cause communication problems between colleagues and also customers at the end of the telephone. Clear communication and speech intelligibility are very important within commercial environments. Even when absorptive lay-in grid suspended ceilings are present, the reverberation time may still be high due to the presence of hard, acoustically reflective surfaces such as desks, desk dividers, computer screens, and thin floor coverings such as carpet tiles, that offer very little in terms of broadband acoustic absorption performance.
Within contact centres and customer service departments, where a number of people are likely to be on the telephone at the same time, the problem is increased as voices are raised to complete with the reverberation and background noise.
In order to ensure that the acoustic conditions within the commercial buildings are commensurate to their use, we recommend our range of Sonata acoustic absorption products. The most common treatment for office and call centres is our Sonata Vario suspended acoustic panel, installed beneath the ceilings, teamed with Sonata Memo acoustic noticeboards to provide wall soundproofing. The Sonata Memo noticeboard is Class A rated and has a facing that can accept pins and staples without causing damage to the panel.
SRS can also produce bespoke desk absorption products to provide acoustic absorption at low level and have supplied desk dividers to Ford Retail, uSwitch, Yopa, and Scottish and Southern Energy.
SRS are experts at advising on noise problems of all kinds, so please give us a call on 01204 380074 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with practical suggestions and prices.
Our professional, Institute of Acoustics registered technical department is on hand to give advice on all of our high performance acoustic products. We're delighted to offer advice on any noise problem, be it a sound insulation or sound absorption issue.