Soundproofing Offices and Bris Aluminium Products
It’s no secret that a noisy office can cause a great deal of distraction and hinder the productivity of employees (and the profits for employers). That’s just one of the reasons why soundproofing is a major consideration in office design.
In this blog we run through the Rw acoustic calculator and discuss the acoustic rating guide for our sought-after Supreme Partitions.
But to set the scene first, we’ve covered the wider benefits and design aspects of soundproofing offices, along with common soundproofing applications we see in commercial spaces.
Benefits of Soundproofing Offices
While the reasons a business owner may opt for soundproof spaces will be unique to their business, it usually is driven by one of the following factors:
- Allows for appropriate privacy for conversations
- Speech can be free of distortions and easy to hear clearly within a space that has been soundproofed
- Minimises disruptions outside of the commercial premises e.g. traffic noises from main road or nearby construction sites etc
- Minimises disruptions that can occur inside of the office space
- Creates quiet zones in open plan offices (e.g. private spaces or hot desks to make phone calls)
- Separate break out areas and noisy kitchens from dedicated working spaces
- Removes many disruptions which can in turn boost productivity
- Makes workplaces more comfortable environments to occupy
4 Design Aspects to Consider when Soundproofing Offices
The following design aspects have been taken from the Association of Australasian Acoustical Consultants Guideline for Commercial Building Acoustics Version 1.0.
- Speech privacy: Is speech privacy and confidential information compromised?
- External Noise Intrusion: Close proximity to public transportation e.g train, or main road traffic, and noise from adjoining buildings
- Internal Noise Intrusion: This can include air conditioning, ventilation systems, lifts, water systems, generators, flushing toilets
- Sound Insulation: This is expressed by the Weighted Sound Reduction Index (Rw). More on this below.
Common Soundproofing Applications
In the below environments, speech privacy is paramount. It enables sensitive information to be discussed freely without the business, employer or client being concerned that what they are disclosing will be overheard.
- Psychology offices
- Medical Centres
- Boardrooms or meeting rooms
- Executive Offices
- Schools (music rooms, faculty/Principal offices)
Measuring Sound Insulating Abilities of Walls
To measure the level of sound insulating capacity of doors, walls, and floors, the Weighted Sound Reduction – or Rw – is used. The measure is conveyed in decibels. (See below)
Plasterboard Sound Rating Guide and Bris Aluminium Partitions
Below, we share the Supreme Partitions Acoustic Sound Rating Guide with 13mm Plasterboard.
So, for example, if you were to use firestop plasterboard (S1313F) on each side of a Supreme 92 system, the RW rating with insulation is 46. That means people outside of that space would have to strain to understand normal speech within it.
For a Supreme 76 System with soundstop plasterboard on each side (S1313A), the Rw rating is 49 with insulation. That means only some loud speech will be heard but it will be incomprehensible.
**The above table is from the Boral Selector *Plasterboard Manual Issue 2 Feb 2009
How to Use the Rw Calculator
For those planning or designing a commercial space, we recommend starting with the Rw rating guide and identifying the “level” of soundproofing required for the space being built.
From there, you can then use the Sound Rating Guide to determine the best partition system and density plasterboard required to achieve that level of sound reduction.
If you’re fitting out an office and have more questions about Bris Aluminium Products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our approachable team today on 1300 274 407.
Bris Aluminium is a locally owned and operated company which supplies Australia’s best aluminium partitions, door frames and windows. You can easily shop our product range online.
Our high-quality products are affordable, great value for money and customisable. We can help with superior office fit outs for a variety of businesses and can assist with a range of residential space saving solutions as well. To make things easier, detailed design drawings are also available online for every product we stock.
Bris Aluminium’s quality assured certified products have a high level of adaptability and meet Australian standards including access requirements relating to disabilities.