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Designing for Acoustic Comfort in Meeting Spaces

Designing for Acoustic Comfort in Meeting Spaces

Function

Pros

 

Cons

Observations & Recommendations

Boardrooms/client presentation areas

 

Large rooms with soft furnishings help reduce sound pressure

Scope to orientate speakers so sound is deflected or absorbed appropriately

Often have hard surfaces, eg joinery, MF ceilings

Confidentiality issues

Partition specification and closing of flanking paths critical

 

Effective sound insulating and sound absorptive materials essential

Incorporate fabric clad walls for sound absorption and prestige appearance

Incorporate acoustic ceiling rafts with halo lighting

Avoid arched or angled ceilings

Meeting & training room complexes

 

Very much the modern way!

Clients often receptive to new design concepts which can incorporate reverb control elements

 

Often have hard surfaces, eg dry wipe boards, MF ceilings

Sound transfer and distraction issues

Often incorporate moving walls which must be specified, installed and operated correctly

 

Closing of flanking paths critical

Introduce reverb control panels on walls or suspend from ceiling

Materials and finishes must be hard wearing

Informal meeting & breakout spaces, ie third space

 

Huge scope for design innovation!

This type of space is popular with young and creative types

Ambient ‘buzz’ can be effective in providing sound masking

 

Hard surfaces will result in noise transfer and lack of speech privacy

Different users can conflict eg quiet study vs brainstorming

 

Zone and divide the space

Build in flexibility

Think creatively and introduce tactile materials

Specify soft surfaces for walls, floors, ceilings and introduce sound absorbent 3D elements

 

Small meeting rooms

 

Can be small, personal and welcoming spaces

 

Often have hard surfaces, eg dry wipe boards, painted walls

When used for telephone conversations, speech volume can rise and noise transfers to adjacent rooms

 

 

25% of the wall area should be Class A sound absorbent – specify reverb control panels and/or acoustic art

Consider the likely direction of speech and incorporate reverb control panels  opposite the speaker

Video and teleconferencing rooms

Compact and often used for quite long periods

Equipment provides white noise

Need very low reverberation time to avoid fatigue and compromised audio quality

Often visually bland

Introduce extensive reverb control treatment – a minimum of 50% of the wall area should be Class A sound absorbent

Consider introducing branding or other imagery such as Cocoon Acoustic Art