Where should acoustic treatment be placed in offices?

Are you thinking of acoustically treating your office? Let’s say you’ve considered all options and think that acoustic treatment would be the most effective way to improve productivity and well-being in your workplace. 

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A key consideration to bear in mind when upgrading your office is the visual impact that acoustic treatment may have on your working environment and whether that acoustic treatment would actually be effective, particularly if or office contains a podcast studio. 

Let’s face it, if you’re parting with your hard-earned money, you’ll want to know whether those soundproofing acoustic solutions will be an investment or not. 

The effectiveness of your acoustically treated office will depend greatly on just how much treatment is used and where it is placed.

Partitions are a great way to add privacy and acoustically treat your office
Carefully placed acoustic treatment is key to improving your office acoustics 

Acoustic placement

We always say that there’s never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to acoustic treatment and we recognise that every office space is unique. However, we aim to apply the same methodology to our projects; rooted in scientific reasoning. 

Firstly, we begin by identifying the reflection points in the room. Reflection points are essentially where sound ‘bounces.’ Typically, reflection points are walls or surfaces that run perpendicular or parallel to sound sources. 

We often refer to these areas as ‘First Point of Reflection’ (FPR) areas. We can do random incidence tests to help locate these troublesome reflection points. An experienced ear can locate and treat these points sufficiently based on practical knowledge acquired by treating many spaces. For this reason, we always advise you to seek professional consultation when considering acoustic treatment. 

The height at which we install the acoustic panel is also important as it needs to be positioned at its optimum height for absorbing the first reflection sound waves.  

Ceiling clouds help improve your office acoustics
The height of any acoustic treatment needs to be carefully considered

Where to place acoustic materials: your end goals

As an open-plan office, your end goal will be to acoustically treat a room so that employees can complete their work to a high standard, with few distractions. Knowing your end goal will give us an insight as to where to treat the room. End goals would be different for a music venue, for example, where the sound quality should be optimised, compared to an office, where speech intelligibility and focus is the primary goal of acoustic treatment. 

Acoustically treat ceilings

When examining office acoustics, the most effective use of absorption is the ceiling span. It usually has the largest surface area and is close to all users (and sources of sound). Because of its vast surface area, ceilings that are left untreated cause high levels of sound reflection. 

Pyramid foam acoustic treatment in the office
Pyramid foam across the whole ceiling will drastically improve your office acoustics

Our Pyramid Profile Foam is an ideal acoustic solution for ceilings as it reduces echo and deadens sound. 

Ceiling Clouds can also be used to treat unwanted noise in more concentrated problem areas. 

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Acoustically treat walls

Walls can be another highly reflective surface responsible for your office’s acoustical discomfort. Our Wall Panel Pro’s work by combining a complex internal baffle system with acoustic fabric by Camira

Our environmentally friendly acoustics range includes recycled cork wall cladding which can be used to create a feature wall. With its sound-absorbing properties, CorkBee Line or CorkBee Stripe tiles might just be the ideal solution for you. Whilst delivering acoustic comfort, a feature wall may also provide your office with a stylish makeover. 

CorkBee Stripe recycled acoustic treatment
CorkBee Line tiles can make for an eye-catching design whilst providing acoustic treatment for your office

Short on wall space?

If you’re short on wall space but need to have some separation in your open-plan office, then why not consider adding wall partition ? These can be easily erected to give you that often-overlooked privacy needed in an open plan office environment, whilst creating a further surface that can be clad in absorptive material to enhance the sound of your office.  

Combined with our unique colour coated foam, these can create a visually stunning private oasis for employees to work in. 

Office pods treated with colour coated foam panels
Creating small partitioned rooms can give staff a place to retreat to when they need to make important calls

Conclusion

Sound Zero prides itself on creating effective acoustic solutions whilst achieving a modern, contemporary design within all of our projects. If you’d like to learn more about how we can transform your office’s acoustics, get in touch with one of our experts today. 

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Speak to us about improving your acoustic environment

If you’d like to talk to one of our experts, either give us a call on 020 3984 2000, email us info@sound-zero.com or fill out the form and we'll get back to you ASAP.