We are very excited to share this demonstration of the importance and value of control for acoustic satisfaction in open plan offices. We presented this work at ICBEN 2021 in Stockholm, Sweden, June 2021.
You can watch the presentation, and download the slides and full paper below.
Acoustic conditions were investigated on two different floor plate designs within an organisation’s building. One is a traditional layout, with assigned desks arranged in rows. The other is a complete re-design for activity-based working (ABW), with a variety of work settings, without assigned places. Both floor plates have the same ceiling, lighting, flooring, facade, and HVAC systems; both floor plates are open to the same central atrium. The organisation’s staff surveys demonstrate a significant improvement in satisfaction with environmental conditions for thermal comfort, lighting, and acoustics for people on the ABW floorplate. This study investigated the acoustic conditions on the two different floor plates.
Measurements of the room acoustics were conducted according to ISO 3382-3, revealing very similar indicators. Occupied acoustic measurements demonstrate that the in-situ acoustic environment is also similar between the two designs. The improvement in satisfaction with the acoustic conditions is ascribed to the increased personal control that people have over their work environment; this is explored through interviews. Acoustic satisfaction, environmental comfort and a sense of control are all positively correlated with productivity at work.