Office Acoustics

Desk cubicles in a office

Acoustic design and testing for offices

Development that includes office spaces (including cellular or open plan offices, meeting, interview or consulting rooms) requires a range of acoustic provisions to create a suitable working environment.

Noises in open plan offices can include many different sound sources including speech, telephones, ventilation and external noise, footsteps, appliance and artificial masking. Research suggests that speech is the most annoying and the loudest sound source in open plan environments.

Good office acoustics is dependent on the proposed use of the offices spaces. The acoustic design of offices can cover a range of issues, including:

  • areas that are suitable quiet for concentration and discussion
  • confidentiality or speech privacy from other areas
  • high speech clarity for conferencing
  • masking the conversation of others

Poor sound insulation between offices is a common problem that results from dividing office spaces within buildings that have unsuitable flanking elements (e.g. shared services and ceilings). Special attention is required in these offices to achieve suitable standards of sound separation between adjacent spaces.

Acoustic modelling can be used to appraise internal sound levels within open plan office buildings so that the placement of acoustic screens and absorption can be optimised. Reverberation control is important in office acoustics, particularly when considering acoustic zoning of working areas from break-out spaces.

Sound Solution Consultants (SSC) refer to a range of guidance when appraising office acoustics. In terms of indoor ambient noise criteria and sound insulation for offices, common guidance includes BREEAM UK New Construction Non-domestic buildings Technical Manual (2014), The British Standard BS 8233:2014 Sound Insulation and noise reduction from buildings and The British Council for Offices Guide to Specification (BCO, 2014)

Testing and validation

SSC can provide testing and validation services for office buildings.

  • Sound Insulation (UKAS accredited to BS EN ISO 140-4 and BS EN ISO 140-7 at any customer site)
  • Reverberation
  • Noise levels from mechanical and electrical services
  • Intrusive noise
  • Speech Transmission Index (STI)

For medium and large office spaces, SSC are also able to complete field testing and validation to BS EN ISO 3382-3:2012 Acoustics — Measurement of room acoustic parameters Part 3: Open plan offices.

Why work with us?

  • Established since 2004
  • Friendly, Professional & Knowledgeable Consultants
  • Competitive Pricing & High-Quality Services
  • Maximum 7 Working Day Promise on Sound Testing*
  • Free Advice for Sound Test Failures**
  • Quick Turnaround on Material Deliveries
  • UKAS Accredited
  • We Work Across the Whole of the UK
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* Maximum 7 working days from confirmation of booking to site attendance on all sound insulation testing. Quotation T&C's apply. Working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank/public holidays and office shut down days.** Excludes written advice or revisits.

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Call: 01473 464727Email: [email protected]

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What our clients say

Have worked with Sound Solution for the last 7 years and have found them to be very professional and excellent at their work. Always happy to provide me with advice pre and post purchasing new buildings and during development projects. We have worked on various scale of projects and so far have found nothing that phases them. The reports are well written, clear and easy to follow. A great asset to our extended team.

Sanjeev Bhamm, Pelham Associates

We are delighted to work with SCC Ltd in resolving the ever more complex requirements for careful acoustic design. Their knowledge coupled with a helpful approach assists us in delivering tailored solutions which fit within our design constraints.

Chris Parsons, Parsons Whittley

We have been working with Sound Solutions for a few years now, as they offer a professional and consistent service. They are always happy to respond to site-based questions and are quick to reply to emails and phone calls. It is reassuring to our clients that they provide both the specification prior to construction and test on completion.

Ben Harvey - Architect, Liam Russell Architects

We have worked with Mark and the team at Sound Solutions for many years and have always been very happy with their professional service and first-rate advice. I have personally recommended them to many other clients.