What is acoustic comfort and why is it important in the workplace?

Oli Birch
January 12, 2024
3 min read

Acoustic comfort has never been more important in the workplace.

With the hybrid working model commonly utilised by workers across the globe, noise distractions can come from anywhere.

Therefore, it’s imperative for architects and interior designers to get the acoustics of modern workplaces spot on. We explain why in greater detail here.

What is acoustic comfort?

According to a 2020 study, Energy and Buildings, “acoustic comfort is the perceived state of well-being and satisfaction with the acoustical conditions in an environment.”

In essence, it relates to the impact sound has on us in any given scenario, extending beyond the measurement of decibel levels.

Why is it important?

Though it can often be overlooked, controlling acoustics in the workplace is of paramount importance.

Noise disturbances, be it from passing traffic, construction or overhearing colleague conversations, can have a profound effect on our efficiency at work.

A meeting room on a project in Oxford complete with acoustic glazed partitions reeded manifestation and single glazed doors.

The World Green Building Council created a study for companies to use, examining eight key areas that impact employee behaviour:

- Indoor air quality and ventilation

- Thermal comfort

- Daylighting and lighting

- Noise and acoustics

- Interior layout and active design

- Biophilia and views

- Look and feel

- Location and access to amenities

They found how poor acoustic control in offices resulted in a 66% drop in employee performance and concentration, highlighting the importance of acoustic control.

Furthermore, the WELL Building Standard identifies acoustic comfort as one of their assessment features required in order to gain WELL Certification.

But, as acoustic comfort is subjective, significant thought needs to be given in order to create a solution that benefits all.

The role of acoustic glazed partitions

Acoustic glazing plays a pivotal role in providing sufficient acoustic comfort in the modern workplace.

When assessing the World Green Building Council model above, glazed partitions influences every area besides location.

By integrating glazed partitions and pods into office design, specifiers are ensuring necessary steps have been taken to ensure their workspaces provide sufficient acoustic comfort.

If you’d like to discuss acoustic comfort in greater detail or are interested in specifying glazed partitions on your upcoming projects, please contact us and our expert team will be happy to assist.

Oli Birch
Content Creator

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