The need for privacy is paramount in an office and can be achieved through a number of conventional ways. However, modern office design aesthetics do not advocate closed off office spaces, but instead use glass cubicles and partitions. In this scenario, privacy is achieved by being able to conduct a meeting, presentation, or conference without the adjoining office occupant hearing a thing.
Properly Soundproof Your Office
STC Ratings for Glass Partitions and Cubicles
STC stands for Sound Transmission Class, and it is the level to which a building can block sound. Materials used in constructing offices or buildings have a 1 to 60 rating, 1 being virtually zero sound proof and 60 being completely sound proof.
That said, no office requires the use of materials with a rating of 60, but any that can guarantee average ratings will do. Contrary to popular opinion, particle boards are hardly effective in proper sound proofing, and they need not be considered.
Glass Walls – The Only Real Choice
Without a doubt, the best choice for offices that provides quality soundproofing is glass walls. Capable of high STC ratings, glass has been engineered to be better at blocking out sounds and noise than traditional dry walls. Double glazed glass walls are the best at this and come with virtually all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of traditional walls.
Glass walls give an office an air of transparency, openness, and warmth. Clients can get a sense of what is happening in an office, and see for themselves the faces of the business. They require very little in the way of installation, and unlike their counterparts, they make an office look sleek and aesthetically pleasing.
Further, glass wall installation needs little demolition and consequently, it requires hardly any clean up at all. If one chooses the single pane glass option, it is possible to get decent levels of noise reduction with their STC rating of 26. Double glazed glass walls, however, offer proper sound proofing, achieving as high as a 50 STC rating.
Proper Soundproofing Tips
There are several things to consider when soundproofing, and they can go a long way in achieving the desired level of privacy.
1. Quality carpets
To properly shield against noises made by feet or furniture scraping against the floor, consider lining it with a carpet. There are many inexpensive varieties of floor carpets that are thick enough and made of tough material to simultaneously muffle floor noises and be able to withstand the constant human traffic with the occasional scrapes from chairs and tables.
2. Glass thickness
When choosing a glass wall system, consider the functionality that is required. If there is a need to assure total privacy, such as in a law firm or financial institution, double glazed walls are very appropriate and will function well. Similarly, conference rooms and managerial staff offices should have double glazed wall systems. Front offices, as well as the offices of lower level staff members, need only have a single pane glass wall.
3. Amount of gas space between glass panes
Having chosen the double glazed glass units, one can play around with the level of soundproofing, depending on preferences. It is possible to custom order double glazed glass walls that are differentiated by the gas spaces between them; the larger the space, the higher the soundproofing. This is because the trapped air is a poor medium for conducting sound and the larger that space is, the less noise will be conducted.
4. Hardware spacing
It’s possible to reduce the noise produced in a room, simply by spacing and arranging furniture and hardware. When the objects are made to occupy a bigger area, i.e. increase the surface area they occupy, the chances of sounds vibrating and reverberating are minimized, meaning that no noise is produced.