Since most office-based workers spend more than half their time on focus work and on the telephone, speech privacy and noise control are vital to their ability to concentrate and their satisfaction with their workplaces. The work environment should support these activities; instead, workplace design trends—open plan, higher-density office spaces—are steadily eroding many means of controlling acoustics. Partitions are getting lower and lower, absorptive finishes are being replaced with hard, exposed surfaces, and closed rooms are being built with less sound–absorptive demountable walls.
After reading this article, you should be able to:
+ EXPLAIN sound masking’s role in achieving effective acoustics.
+ DIFFERENTIATE between sound masking, white noise, and pink noise.
+ IDENTIFY the three main types of masking architecture: centralized, decentralized, and networked.
+ DESCRIBE the importance of achieving spatial uniformity in the masking sound in order to improve occupant privacy, concentration, and comfort.