What’s That Noise? Office Environments
This month’s edition of What’s That Noise? focuses on office environments—enclosed areas that depend on quietness to ensure the clearest communication possible.
Millions of Americans spend 40 or more hours working in office buildings each week. Unfortunately, not all the time spent by office employees is productive, as the buildings they work in are a constant source of unsolicited noise.
If you’ve worked in an office, or even briefly visited one, then you are well aware of the noises people encounter in these buildings—keyboard clicking, calls with clients or other employees, and loud music are a few prime examples. These individual noises are irritating and distracting, but they aren’t the biggest problem befalling offices today; sound transmission from room to room is the real culprit.
Interestingly enough, the construction of office buildings is what promotes sound transmission. During construction, components like heating and cooling systems, water pipes, are run along the ceiling of a building. Next, walls are built and a “drop-ceiling” is installed to cover the surfaces. Finally, doors are installed and the rooms are finished. In each of these areas, very little attention is given to sound absorbing materials.
People tend to assume that walls are the main source of sound transmission, but generally speaking, sound travels too fast (1,130 feet per second to be exact) to determine its precise location. Regardless of location, these sounds interfere with office productivity, and often cause confusion among employees.
How Can I Resolve the Problem?
It can be challenging, but the first step is to try and pinpoint the general problem area—your choice of noise abatement products will depend on the specifics of the room.
For ceiling tiles, the Acoustical Surfaces team recommends two exceptional products: NOISE S.T.O.P.™ Sound Barrier ACT Tiles offer both high sound absorption (for echo and reverberation within a room) and are designed with a noise barrier on the back of the tile to help to block sound from entering or leaving an office; Barrier Decoupler can be used on the back of STANDARD ceiling tiles to reduce sound transmission and contain intrusive noises.
For office doorways, we recommend Door Seal Kits—these products are adjustable, durable, and are ideal for decreasing the amount of sound transmission through door seals. Our door seals are easy-to-install and available in several custom sizes.
Finally, adding wall panels will help absorb echoes and reverberation throughout the office. Our NOISE S.T.O.P. FABRISORB™ fabric-wrapped fiberglass panels are custom engineered to provide high-performance noise reduction in any office area. These panels can also be fabricated with a core of a dense, heavy vinyl that will offer the ability to block sound transmission as well.
Learn more about our noise abatement and soundproofing solutions by contacting Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. today.