Criteria for acoustic comfort in open-plan offices

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ConferenceInter-noise 2004 - The 33rd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering: 22 August 2004, Prague, Czech Republic
Pages16; # of pages: 6
Subjectopen plan office, speech privacy, acoustic comfort; Open-plan offices [cubicles]; Office acoustics
AbstractThis paper summarizes new subjective studies to better define conditions required for acceptable speech privacy and acceptable noise levels in conventional open-plan offices. Achieving both of these goals will lead to satisfactory acoustic comfort in open office environments. Ambient noise levels of about 45 dBA are judged to be most preferred in the presence of speech from an adjacent workstation, and these ambient noise levels should not exceed 48 dBA. Speech privacy is usually related to values of the Articulation Index (AI) or its replacement the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII). Acceptable speech privacy is usually said to require SII=0.20. Extensive speech intelligibility tests of simulated open office conditions show that it is only below this SII value that speech privacy is substantially improved. Together, these two criteria (background noise ? 45 dBA and SII=0.20) lead to the best possible compromise for achieving satisfactory acoustic comfort in an open-plan office.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number47331
NPARC number20377964
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Record identifier54853140-0093-40aa-9c48-9727013f3442
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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