Offices are characterized by communication – discussions between colleagues, chats on the telephone, and conversations in meetings. That’s why good acoustics are a vital element when planning and furnishing offices. Whether occupants are performing silent work or project work, or are in open-plan offices, a conference room, or closed-door offices, different activities and spaces require different acoustic conditions. From Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, 2010, at ORGATEC (the leading international trade fair for the modern office and facility), the Competence Centre Acoustics & Interior Design will also be presenting innovative acoustics solutions in concrete applications. The Competence Centre will be equipped with acoustics solutions and laid out as an open-plan office. This layout will demonstrate how acoustics solutions can harmoniously fit within the office design. It will also demonstrate acoustics solutions using concrete office workplaces with different use concepts. Various experiments will also enable visitors to interactively gain an understanding of the acoustic effects.
To underline the differing requirements on room acoustics, the Competence Centre will feature specific workplaces that illustrate different use concepts, such as silent work, project work, meetings, or video conferences. The workplaces of a secretary and a managing director, a meeting table with a conference situation, and the work area of a creative department will all be represented with their corresponding acoustic backgrounds. The application and effects of various acoustics solutions (absorbent surfaces and materials, such as furniture, ceilings, floors, wallcoverings, or acoustic screens) will be demonstrated using these realistic office examples. At the same time, the different requirements with respect to reverberation time, intelligibility of speech, and the direct sound level will be explained and presented.
These four room scenarios will also be enhanced with two sound isolation booths in which a videoconferencing system will be operated. This set-up will focus on the interaction between room acoustics and modern media technology, concentrating primarily on the intelligibility of speech in videoconferences. To this end, conference circuits will be established between the two sound isolation booths. One booth has fixed, good acoustics; the other offers variable acoustics so that differences in the acoustic effect can be made clear. In addition to the limitations on hearing due to the spatial acoustic and technical conditions, age-related hearing loss is also illustrated. A prototype integrating hearing technology in the form of hearing aids into the conference technology will also be presented.