When a room’s transparent glass walls make teleconferencing difficult but work well for when the space serves as a workstation for guests, what’s an office to do?
During teleconferencing in the room, users on the other end of the line —which include the company’s clients — would complain about a distracting noise in the call.
To improve the audio quality, people in the room would speak slowly and directly into the microphone. But despite their efforts, they would still receive complaints about the poor call quality.
The room, which allows a maximum of three people at a time, functions as a workstation for guests, a meeting room and teleconference room. Its layout consists of:
A workstation table, chair and small coffee table
A glass partition with glass swing doors
A glass whiteboard for meeting notes
Ceiling grid sound absorption tiles with carpet flooring
Two walls with sound absorption panels
The room had sound absorptive materials, and its overall reverberation was in line with those of other offices that have the same setup.
But the problem lay with the two glass walls parallel to each other. The whiteboard and the partition with swing doors allowed lateral reflections and flutter echoes — the culprits behind the disruptive audio call noise.
Normally, sound-absorbing materials, like heavy curtains, are added to the glass surfaces to solve the problem. But the client wanted to keep the room transparent and still be able to use an area of the glass wall as a whiteboard for meeting presentations.
So the PTS Acoustics team produced the solution to place sound absorption panels at the top and bottom of the whiteboard area of the glass walls to reduce the flutter echoes and lateral reflections in the room.
The panels effectively minimised the noise and made the room conducive for teleconferences and meetings without having the need to upgrade or change any part of the audio equipment.