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How to get your soundproofed office space just right
Walk into the most productive offices on earth, and it should be immediately apparent that it’s not just about *how* that productive work is taking place, but precisely *where* it is taking place. A productive office is one that enables those within it to delve into the deepest areas of human focus. At the heart of that productive environment, whether in a company environment or even within a home, is the office design. And the key to the most productive office design? It’s all about sound.
Enough studies have been completed on office productivity to raise up sound as a primary concern. So how do you get the sound just right? We’ve broken it down into the key factors for expertly sound-controlled office space:
1. What’s the goal?
There’s a difference between soundproofing per se and enhanced office acoustics. For instance, while certain soundproofing materials and products block external noises like a simple barrier, the aim of other products falling under the ‘acoustic’ label is to enhance the space’s sound qualities – for instance by minimising reverberation.
That said, acoustic insulation can be used for both purposes – to act as a barrier, but also to greatly enhance the internal acoustic performance of spaces like recording studios or theatres. Luckily, you can secure acoustic insulation solutions at any reputable supplier, for example, RS Components.
2. Think of ‘soundproofing’ like ‘waterproofing’
Thinking of soundproofing in the same way you think about waterproofing is a helpful tip – because sound waves will bend and squeeze themselves into and through tiny cracks in the same way a crack in a water pipe will. As you browse those soundproofing products, therefore, the goal is about plugging the gaps.
3. Don’t forget the ceiling
Often, office designers will focus on the obvious – adding acoustic insulation to the walls – and forget to look beyond the aesthetic ceiling to see if sound will simply leak over the top via the ceiling space. It may seem obvious, but forgetting that the ‘wall’ above your head is nonetheless still a ‘wall’ that needs to be considered is a very common mistake.
4. Don’t forget acoustic ‘sealing’
We just talked about the acoustic ceiling – now we’re going to talk about acoustic *sealing*! Just like the ‘walls’ above our heads are overlooked, so too are the details like acoustically-flimsy doors, door cracks, windows and the like. Remember, you can add as much acoustic insulation to those walls, but if the hollow, ultra-light door is not also factored in, you may as well be dealing with a giant hole in your soundproofing solution.
5. Sound quality, not soundproofing
Thorough soundproofing can be so good in highly productive rooms like conference and meeting rooms that aside from the sound no longer coming in from the outside, you’ve actually created a sound ‘trap’ that is now free to bounce around within those tight barriers. The key to soundproofing with enhanced sound quality is to do the job well without over-doing it. One common mistake is concentrating acoustic insulation in a particular place, which can have the effect of producing odd reverberations.
Remember, the success of your office’s soundproofing solution is definitely *not* about thoroughly blocking or trapping noise. Rather, it’s an intricate and strategic balance of blocking, trapping, absorbing, dampening and enhancing, all with the help of an impressive modern range of soundproofing products like acoustic insulation. To get your productive office space just right, consult with an experienced industry expert and don’t cut corners – because soundproofing success is most definitely a key to getting things done and supercharging those profits. Good luck!
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