6 questions about acoustics

Modern office buildings rarely have small rooms and corridors - they have open spaces for encounter and collaboration between colleagues. Fine, but the result of this format is more noise. How do you avoid people suffering from this noise? Six questions to Gijs van Wijk, consultant 'Different Working and Housing'.

What kind of sound problems do people face in a modern working environment?
"People are mostly annoyed by talking and calling from colleagues, so they are less able to concentrate. And because it takes more energy to work in a noisy environment, it's bad for productivity. "

Do companies take adequate measures?
"Most companies, architects and designers are sufficiently aware of this. The acoustic knowledge in the Netherlands is inadequate because we do not have these new sound problems in image. The current guidelines are drawn up decades ago for mechanical noises, such as printers and refrigeration. Most solutions in offices are therefore focused on high and medium tones, not the lower voice. "

What should be done?
"For new construction or renovation you should immediately take structural measures to regulate the acoustic comfort. Often acoustics are inferior: first, the Housing is made and then some sound absorbing panels will be placed. But such measures afterwards have a marginal effect. "

Can you give an example of a structural solution?
"The ceiling is a basic element for sound problems to tackle. Many offices are built without a good acoustic ceiling. There are now more and better products for ceilings available. These are a few dollars more expensive per square meter, but it is worth the investment. "

Is a good ceiling enough?
"The best solution is a good ceiling with vertical solutions. For Bass voices absorbing panels in combination with a glass wall is a good solution. By placing a glass wall in an open space you avoid that talking can be hearded everywhere. Glass is hard, that blocks the sound. Afterwards you can pick up the sound from the room with those panels. "

Are there any other things to keep in mind?
"Keep for the classification of a building in mind which activities affect each other. Example, make sure the places where colleagues can meet is not right next to workplaces where people should concentrate. Because there is no acoustic measure to cope. "

Q8 Benelux headquarters in The Hague
Q8 Benelux is a project in which these questions have arisen and solutions for concentration and acoustics are applied. For the new headquarters D + Z architects designed the interior. Ahrend delivered the furniture.

See the project