Essentials of Effective Speech Privacy: Zoned Sound Masking
Open office areas are generally masked for two reasons:
- To reduce distractions
- To provide conversational privacy for executives and managers in closed offices adjoining those open areas
Truly independent control of sound levels in open and closed office areas is critical since closed offices normally require 4 to 6 decibels less ambient sound than those in open office areas.
A common issue in most offices is that the above-ceiling air plenum is common to both open and closed offices areas. For reasons of economy, the separating office walls often do not extend more than an inch or two above the suspended acoustical tile ceiling. When an indirect field or plenum-based system delivers masking sound to the open area at an appropriate level, sound spills into the closed offices, typically building up to excessive levels, even if there are no masking speakers above the closed offices.
With indirect field systems, the only solution is to “starve” the adjacent open area by moving the masking speakers further away from the dividing wall of the closed offices. This remedies the issue of excess sound buildup inside the closed offices, but simultaneously reduces the conversational privacy levels along the outside of the dividing wall of between the two areas.
The VoiceArrest™ Speech Privacy System allows these areas to be easily zoned with no unwanted bleed over effect. Through the use of Direct Field Technology, the masking sound intended for an open office area is entirely restricted to that area. This allows for strict spatial and spectral uniformity along the outside perimeter wall of the closed offices, affording optimum conversational privacy to managers within. At the same time, the inside of these closed offices is treated as a separate zone that is adjusted to suit the manager’s needs.
The VoiceArrest™ Speech Privacy System can be arranged into zones as small 100 sq. ft. or as large as 30,000 sq. ft. The size of the zone is determined by your specific needs, but the size of a project has no limits.
Ready to find out how the VoiceArrest™ Speech Privacy System can raise the privacy levels of your workplace? Contact one of our acoustic consultants today!