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Sound advice published

06 May 2011

The latest research on office acoustics is reviewed in a new Guide to Office Acoustics.

A Guide to Office Acoustics has been developed by AIS to promote best practice in the design and installation of acoustic solutions in offices. It is designed to encompass the needs of a range of audiences, from first time office occupiers to designers, architects and acousticians.
A Guide to Office Acoustics will be launched later this month by the Association of Interior Specialists (AIS)at its AGM in London on 18th May. Priced at £35 per copy, the guide can be purchased from  where a digital version can also be viewed.
The reason for commissioning this Guide was a lack of comprehensive guidance on office acoustics. In 2009 AIS commissioned a review of available research on office acoustics by Bridget Shield, Professor of Acoustics in the Faculty of Engineering, Science and the Built Environment at London South Bank University. Her report, which is available at presents a review of research published over the past 40 to 50 years. Subjects covered include annoyance and disturbance caused by noise; effects of noise on performance; and the development of new parameters and guidelines on the acoustic design of offices.
Commenting on the findings, Joe Cilia,technical manager at AIS said, ‘There is remarkable consistency between the results of the various studies, with them all leading to very similar conclusions concerning the detrimental impacts of office noise and potential design solutions. The balance between the need to communicate, the need for privacy and the ability to concentrate need to be managed. Acoustic problems can be alleviated easily and economically by applying knowledge and care at the design stage. It was apparent from the early subjective studies of the office environment that noise was the main cause of dissatisfaction, particularly in open plan offices. Recent studies show the same result, indicating that the problem of how to reduce annoyance and disturbance caused by office noise has still not been resolved.’

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