Mace & Jones is a regional law firm with a national reputation in employment, property, construction, dispute resolution and corporate law. In 2005 they relocated to a 1960’s Grade II listed building, which when built was the first open plan office in Manchester.
Due to the listed building status, there was a requirement that the vision across the floor was to be kept as open as possible, which the firm achieved by using glass partitions to enclose their eight meeting rooms and boardroom. However, the partitions were raised floor to underside of the metal perforated ceiling, which caused sound transmission between the rooms and compromised the confidentiality of client meetings.
In addition to this problem the staff at Mace & Jones were particularly concerned about the move from cellular to open plan offices, as much of their time was spent on the telephone or dictating.
Acoustic Comfort carried out a survey and suggested Screen Solutions’ 1600 high desk screens to reduce noise transfer and create more privacy in the open plan area. The LogiSon Sound Masking System was recommended for all areas of the office to aid concentration and give speech privacy in the meeting and boardrooms. The sound masking was installed out-of-hours and the whole process, including tuning, was completed in less than 24 hours.
Sound level tests: cellular office
These example test results measure sound leaking from a closed meeting room into an open plan area.
- For both tests, a person was positioned in the conference room with the door closed.
- Sound pressure measurements were taken in the open plan area.
- For the first half of each test, there was no speech.
- For the second half, the person in the conference room spoke with a ‘presentation’ voice.