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AIS Releases Acoustic Research

Ahead of the launch of its latest publication ‘A Guide to Office Acoustics’ the Association of Interior Specialists (AIS) has released the research upon which its guide is based.

‘A Guide to Office Acoustics’ has been developed by AIS to promote best practice in the design and installation of acoustic solutions in offices and designed to encompass the needs of a range of audiences, from first time office occupiers to designers, architects and acousticians.

The starting point for the document was a lack of comprehensive guidance on office acoustics, so in 2009 AIS commissioned a review of available research on office acoustics by Bridget Shield, professor of acoustics in the faculty of engineering, science and the built environment at London South Bank University.

Her report, which is available at http://tinyurl.com/acousticresearch presents a review of research published over the past 40 to 50 years. Subjects covered include annoyance and disturbance caused by noise; effects of noise on performance; and the development of new parameters and guidelines on the acoustic design of offices.

‘There is remarkable consistency between the results of the various studies, with them all leading to very similar conclusions concerning the detrimental impacts of office noise and potential design solutions,’ says AIS technical manager Joe Cilia. ‘The balance between the need to communicate, the need for privacy and the ability to concentrate need to be managed. Acoustic problems can be alleviated easily and economically by applying knowledge and care at the design stage.’

‘It was apparent from the early subjective studies of the office environment that noise was the main cause of dissatisfaction, particularly in open plan offices,’ he continues. ‘Recent studies show the same result, indicating that the problem of how to reduce annoyance and disturbance caused by office noise has still not been resolved.’

‘A Guide to Office Acoustics’ will be officially launched on 18 May at the AIS AGM in London. Priced at £35 per copy.

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