Improving office acoustics is necessary when its occupants complain about the lack of noise comfort in their workplace, possible symptoms that may be the sensation of too high ambient noise - sometimes related to telephone ringings and calls, or caused by equipment such as a Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) system, the lack of discretion or of confidentiality during conversations, the difficulty for concentrating to accomplish tasks e.g. due to distraction caused by work, the impossibility of having a discussion with other people.
It may be appropriate to improve the acoustics of an individual office (partitioned, assigned to a staff member) wit respect to external noise if it is troublesome, e.g. in connection with insufficient airborne noise insulationwith respect to neighboring offices: the door and the connection between partitions and ceiling are often weak points in terms of construction, thus constituting privileged paths for the sound transmission (in certain cases the noise of the ventilation openings can pose a problem, if the the noise of the fan is not sufficiently attenuated by a silencer, or if the air speed in the diffuser section is too high and generates a self noise that no soundproofing device can then attenuate, the intercom i.e. the transmission noise from one office to another through the HVAC network is not impossible if nothing has been planned to prevent it).
This same problem is also found in a collective office (partitioned, assigned to 2 to 5 people) with, in addition, the need to take into account their co-activity i.e. the accomplishment by each one of tasks (administrative work, telephone calls, engineering, design and calculations) that can be more or less noisy or require relative calm.
By definition, the aspects of the problem related to airborne sound insulation are only relevant with respect to external noise in the case of open spaces (open plan offices) since there is then no complete separation between workstations; however, the issue of noise propagation is further increased if nothing is planned to limit it.
Improving office acoustics often involves reducing its reverberation; this requires increasing the amount of sound absorbing materials at medium and high frequencies, corresponding to the human voice: their absorption coefficient must be as close as possible to 100%.
For the floor, a carpet can contribute to improve the acoustics of an office (even if its absorption coefficient will be far from reaching 100% because of its small thickness) by increasing the equivalent absorption area of considered space and in addition by limiting the impact noise related to traffic and chairs moving.
The walls themselves (when they are not glazed) can be covered with absorbent panels sometimes called acoustic items.
The ceiling or sub-roof can be treated with acoustic tiles, and / or with suspended absorbent elements called baffles.
In addition, acoustic screens (on legs or on wheels), also made up of panels absorbing the sounds, can partition the space (generally: at height of man when they are not fixed on the desks) and thus limit the noise propagation.
ITS can intervene to improve office acoustics by carrying out measurements on site and by marketing soundproofing equipment optimized for each context (industry, tertiary).
The accompaniment of the client (owner, lessor) is personalized, the results can be guaranteed. . Airborne sound insulation, reverberation time and rate of spatial sound decay of sound pressure levels per distance doubling are common performance indicators for office sound quality.