Ecophon™ Master Solo ‘floating panels’, part of CSR Gyprock’s Wall and Ceiling solutions, have played a starring role in a challenging design brief which required acoustic privacy in an open plan office.
Specified for the very first time in Australia, Ecophon Master Solo S are fully encapsulated high density wool panels, that can be suspended from a typical suspended grid ceiling or directly from a bare concrete ceiling. The panels incorporate the Akutex FT coating to provide a damage resistant, visually pleasing surface that allows sound to penetrate into the acoustic material behind it.
While open plan offices are typical in fit-outs, mid/upper level management is usually provided with enclosed offices because of the need to maintain an adequate level of acoustic privacy.
The recent design brief for the 9000sqm CSR Triniti III building, part of Stockland’s North Ryde A-grade Office campus in Sydney, required there be no enclosed offices so as to enhance the collaborative work approach.
CSR worked closely with Acoustic Logic Consultancy to meet this unique challenge to ensure adequate levels of acoustic privacy in a completely open plan workspace.
Acoustic Consultant Victor Fattoretto of Acoustic Logic Consultancy said: “It was important the design of each desk space, special break-out rooms, meeting rooms of varying sizes and the large communal kitchen areas all incorporated the choice of acoustically superior building materials.”
Extensive research, which consisted of modeling sound radiation patterns around open plan areas, determined the level of audible penetration in executive office workstations.
The final solution involved three key components that would ensure the workstations were acceptable to the end user and consisted of physical treatment of the workstation areas, planning of the office space, education of the end user.
The physical treatment of the workstation areas saw the use of highly absorptive Ecophon MasterSolo S stylishly slim floating panels to minimize reflected sound energy. These panels are able to absorb around 95% of the sound energy corresponding to a very noticeable 13 dB reduction in reflected sound.
In planning the office space, buffer areas were created by corridors and corners while partitioned meeting rooms were arranged adjacent to executive work stations as natural boundaries.
The provision of ‘quiet’ rooms and meeting spaces meant there is a place where private conversations could take place. To enhance this privacy, Ecophon ceiling baffles were used to dampen noise reverberation from the glass treads on the internal stair case which potentially could have become an acoustic concern.
In meeting rooms, standard ceiling tiles were replaced with Ecophon ceiling panels and Ecophon Texona wall panels, which look and function like fabric pin boards, were installed to absorb the lateral sound reflections typically found in these rooms.
Workplace expectations were managed with staff education, with employees advised of the expected levels of acoustic privacy.
Overall the use of Ecophon Master Solo S floating panels in combination with proper office space planning and education meant the desired acoustic effect was achieved while adding to the aesthetic design of the office space.