Helping Two Offices Minimise Noise From A Shared Corridor

PTS came to the rescue of two offices sharing a corridor, so employees can still engage in small talk as they pass through without distracting others.



Location: Singapore

Overview

While those inside the offices don’t mind their colleagues having small talk as they pass through the shared corridor, there were times when they could clearly hear their conversations and get distracted from their work.


The situation slightly improved when the users closed the sliding doors, prompting the crowd to disperse upon realising that they may be talking too loudly.


The corridor layout consisted of glass partitions, a glass sliding door, a gypsum ceiling and a carpeted floor that it shared with the offices. The offices were installed with sound absorptive ceiling tiles, had office furniture, wall coverings, a glass whiteboard and window blinds.


The Challenge

Following a discussion with the stakeholders, they preferred to not close the offices for renovation works and just spend the least amount of office downtime possible for any improvement installations.


A 3D rendering of the offices and their shared corridor.


Normally, the solution would be to provide a means of improving the sound insulation by replacing the glass partitions/doors with a higher sound insulation system. But it would lead to a long downtime for those to be demolished and rebuilt.


The Solution

To achieve the desired result and meet the client’s requests, the 10-mm monolithic glass partitions were replaced with a 13.52-mm laminated glazing.

Its installation improved the area’s overall sound insulation and was done over the course of just two weekends while the office was closed.



Table 1 and 2 showing the difference in the sound insulation performance of a 10-mm monolithic glass and a 13.5-mm laminated glass (Source: Viracon Glass).


The 13.52mm laminated glass shows a much better overall sound insulation of STC 39 as compared to the 10mm monolithic glass, which only had an STC 30 rating. There were also several dB improvements in the 500Hz to 8000Hz region, the sound range to which the human ear is sensitive.


According to a noise control detailed study:


“The ear is not equally sensitive at all frequencies. For example, the sound pressure level of two different noises may be the same.
One noise may be perceived as being louder if the sound power is concentrated in a single frequency or a range of frequencies where the ear is more sensitive. The second noise may have a single frequency or a range of frequencies where the ear is less sensitive.
The sensitivity of hearing is generally limited to a range of 10 Hz to 20,000 Hz; however, the human ear is most sensitive to sound within a range of 500 Hz to 8,000 Hz. Beyond this range, our hearing capability gradually becomes less sensitive.”

In the end, the two offices were able to allow healthy small talks to transpire along their shared corridor, while keeping the focus of those who worked inside with healthy noise levels they needed and deserved.

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