Acoustic Solutions

The problem with
noisy offices

Open plan offices have been trending for over a decade now, as we move away from floorplans with individual cubicles. Instead, workstations, conference areas and lunchrooms overlap in one multi-purpose space

Whilst the open plan model encourages teamwork, provides space flexibility, and can be cost effective, these layouts can simultaneously create the perfect acoustic storm. Employee concentration must compete with the sound of neighbouring conversations, kitchen noises, printers, and air vents, which is then echoed throughout the cavernous space. For confidential meetings and conversations, the carrying of sound can also cause problems around privacy. 

So, how does poor office acoustics affect us?

A recent study by Oxford Economics concluded that noise pollution in open offices has reached “epidemic levels,” with 63% of employees stating that they lack quiet space for work, which in turn has a “negative effect on their productivity, satisfaction, and well-being.” The report also found that employees affected by noise pollution in office environments are more likely to say they may leave their job in the next six months, with acoustic problems attributed as the leading source of dissatisfaction within the environmental conditions of an office.  

How to treat a noisy office

Using carefully selected acoustic materials we can reduce background noise, control reverberation times by decreasing long decay times, and improve speech intelligibility. An effectively optimised soundscape can therefore support collaboration without affecting employee productivity, concentration, and wellbeing; allowing staff to feel comfortable within their work environment.  

Acoufelt offers a full suite of interior soundcaping products for the floor, wall, furniture and ceiling, as well as additional services including acoustic consultations, furniture removal, delivery and installation. We also offer custom design options across each of our soundscaping collections.

Acoustic QuietBack™ Carpet Tiles

The floor often represents the largest practical surface for acoustic treatment. Installing acoustic carpet tiles can be advantageous in multi-level spaces to absorb sounds of footfall, as well as other mid-frequency sounds. Tiles can also be installed in high-traffic areas such as corridors and entrances where full coverage is not appropriate.  

The highest performing commercially graded acoustic carpet tiles in the Acoufelt floor offering feature QuietBack™. Our QuietBack™ carpet tiles offer a minimum NRC range of 0.35-0.40 and are offered across a range of designs, colorways and thicknesses. Our carpet tiles have also been designed to be comfortable underfoot, and have a backing made from minimum 80% recycled PET material. 

Our most popular carpet tile collections for the commercial sector include ‘Monitor’, ’Borough’, ‘Scatter’ and ‘Seven Seas’.  

Acoustic Wall Products

Walls offer an immense variety of opportunities for acoustic treatment with Acoufelt’s broad range of products, available in an array of sizes, colors, prints, cuts, and designs.  

Depending on your acoustic and aesthetic needs, select from our full color panels, printed panels, wall shapes and wall tiles, as well as our custom printed full color wall panels. Sheets of full color panels are effective for sound generated by voice, and should be installed to sit at or above head height. For the best acoustic results, install panels on adjacent walls at least two metres high.  

For spaces requiring a more flexible solution, opt for shapes or wall tiles, which can be quickly and easily installed around any glass or other wall fixtures. Designers can also select from our printed collections, designed to mimic the look of fashionable textures including wood, marble and concrete.  

Acoustic Ceiling Products

Depending on the ceiling system available to you, Acoufelt offers a mix of practical, easy-install acoustic ceiling products.  

Ceiling treatments are particularly useful in working spaces, like open-plan offices, where the perimeter surfaces are far removed from the central working environment. For rooms with a ceiling grid system, drop-in ceiling tiles are a simple but effective solution, offering an NRC of up to 1.00 when installed with an airgap. For rooms requiring a more targeted approach – such as a noisy printer or break out meeting area – ceiling clouds or baffles can be hung above, offering a large surface area for acoustic absorption.  

View more of our office projects:

Full color and custom printed acoustic panels were selected for meeting rooms and communal spaces at Proximity’s new Canberra officeAcoufelt’s custom printing capability enabled the firm to extend their brand and culture into the design, selecting powerful and motivational pop culture figures and references for print on acoustic panels.  

AEW architects opted for natural tones, indoor plants, and soft furnishings for their new Manchester office, blurring the lines between commercial and residential. Fracture ‘Pennant’ panels in Pearl and Ivory were installed on walls near the kitchen and breakout areas to absorb excess sound in their open plan working space.  

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