Architectural Acoustics | Environmental Acoustics | Noise Control for Industry | Scientific Counsel | Why work with OAA? | Contact Us


Open office acoustics: history, projects, and standards
R. Kring Herbert

In the 1960s, the Quickborner Team brought their management concepts to North America. This involved what were called office landscapes with non-rectangular, free-form, open office layouts that employed conventional desks and curved, freestanding visual barriers. The intent was to provide a non-hierarchical office environment that encouraged communication across the enterprise. Employees in early office landscapes were bothered by noise and poor speech privacy. Starting in 1969 I became involved with finding acoustical solutions. This paper explains the acoustical challenges with many of the first open office projects, looks at the acoustical systems modified, and discusses acoustical standards developed by ASTM Committee E33 concerning open office acoustics. more...