Project: Stratford Insurance Underwriters
The industrial style of this office combines wood ceilings, brick walls, and polished concrete floors to create an architecturally stunning space. However, as is often the case in office design, what is beautiful to the eye is not to the ear. The hard surfaces featured throughout this work environment allow sounds to bounce off them and carry further around the space than they would if there were more absorptive elements present. This was a concern for this client as they have work teams with varying noise levels, ranging from quiet work groups to a bustling claim group fielding a significant number of calls each day. There was a high potential for reduced productivity and acoustic frustration due to speech sounds travelling around the space.
Another concern for this client was ensuring that confidential conversations in the boardroom remained private. The long glass wall that separates the boardroom from the adjacent open office area beautifully allows light and connection between the spaces but is also a weak point for speech transfer.
Maintain the visual aesthetic already present in this lovely space
A number of unique spaces with varying sizes, ceiling heights, configurations, and uses
Sound masking was implemented in all areas of the office with the use of AtlasIED M1000 black round speakers and a Z4-B four channel digital signal processor. The black round speakers blended seamlessly with the other black finishes throughout the space so that the visual aesthetic is minimally impacted. The Z4-B processor provided 4 channels of masking allowing each unique space to be calibrated individually.
By adding Sound Masking in all areas, we were able to address all of the acoustic concerns without needing additional measures such as building up walls or adding absorption. For the teams in the quiet work areas, the ambient sound level in the space was increased so that speech sounds traveling from the claims group were much less noticeable and distracting.
For the boardroom, the increase in background ambient sound for the occupants in the adjacent open area made conversations originating in the boardroom unintelligible to potential listeners. Additionally, the Enhanced Privacy feature was configured to allow the client to trigger the system to increase the volume to a pre-set level in the adjacent open area which added another layer of privacy for highly confidential meetings. This client opted to use this feature through an app on their smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth connection, which made its utilization easy and without any additional cost.
The Bluetooth connectivity of this system also allowed this client to use the system for music. Whether it be to introduce some soft tunes alongside the masking during work hours or to turn it up and let loose after-hours, the client can easily stream their music directly to the system.
To meet the client’s quick occupancy, Vibra-Sonic mobilized a large team to have this turn-key system fully installed and operational within 2 business days.
“By adding sound masking in all areas, we were able to address our acoustic concerns without compromising aesthetics by building additional walls or adding absorption. Being able to adjust the settings to fit each space was extremely valuable. For example, we increased the sound masking level in the spaces where teams needed to work quietly so that speech sounds traveling from the claims group were much less noticeable and distracting.”
-Alex Butz – Vice President, Finance