Archives of Acoustics, 37, 2, pp. 237–243, 2012

Study of the Acoustic Suitability of an Open Plan Office Based on STI and DL2 Simulations

Carolina Reich Marcon PASSERO
Laboratory of Environmental and Industrial Acoustics and Acoustic Comfort – LAAICA Federal University of Parana, Centro Politecnico s/n

Paulo Henrique Trombetta ZANNIN
Laboratory of Environmental and Industrial Acoustics and Acoustic Comfort – LAAICA Federal University of Parana, Centro Politecnico s/n

Many business offices around the world are organized as open plan offices. Therefore, studies about
the acoustic comfort of the people who work in them have become increasingly important. The focus of
this work is the acoustic evaluation of an open plan office combining several architectural characteristics
and levels of ambient noise. This evaluation was performed through a computational model calibrated
from a real office. The rate of spatial decay of sound pressure levels per distance doubling (DL2) and the
speech transmission index (STI) were simulated for the acoustic evaluation of the office, allowing for the
determination of the radius of distraction (rD). These parameters were simulated for 6 situations using
different floor and ceiling covering materials and inserting or withdrawing screens between workstations.
In addition, STI and rD were simulated under two conditions of ambient noise. The results indicated that
the DL2 and rD are adequate acoustic parameters for the acoustic evaluation and improvement of an open
plan office. The DL2 was strongly influenced by the presence or absence of screens between workstations
and by the ceiling covering material. The rD was more sensitive to changes in ambient noise.
Keywords: open plan offices; acoustic evaluation; acoustic improvement
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