- 72 ADA accessible design standards
- 73 Ergonomics: visual and physical
- 74 Exterior noise intrusion
- 75 Internally generated noise
- 76 Thermal comfort
- 77 Olfactory comfort
- 78 Reverberation time
- 79 Sound masking
- 80 Sound reducing surfaces
- 81 Sound barriers
- 82 Individual thermal control
- 83 Radiant thermal comfort
- P4 Impact reducing flooring
79. Sound masking
Ambient silence can be just as distracting as a loud environment as it highlights acoustical disturbances and decreases speech privacy. Overhearing private conversations is reported as a specific cause of employee acoustic dissatisfaction in open offices. Sound masking systems supply a low level of background noise to provide workers with a degree of confidentiality in their communications and can decrease distraction associated with aural interruptions.
This feature aims to mitigate uncomfortable acoustic disruptions and increase speech privacy by providing low background noise through the use of sound masks.
All open office workspaces use the following:
If sound masking systems are used, sound levels fall within the following range, when measured from the nearest workspace:
|Core & Shell||New & Existing Buildings||New & Existing Interiors|
|Part 1: Sound Masking Use||-||O||O|
|Part 2: Sound Masking Limits||-||O||O|
|Commercial Kitchen||Education||Multifamily Residential||Restaurant||Retail|
|Part 1: Sound Masking Use||-||-||-||-||-|
|Part 2: Sound Masking Limits||-||-||-||-||-|
Verification Methods Matrix
|Letters of Assurance||Annotated Documents||On-Site Checks|
|Part 1: Sound Masking Use||Architect|
|Part 2: Sound Masking Limits||Performance Test|
The General Services Administration's Sound Matters recommends that sound masking should be considered a technique to achieve acoustic comfort in contemporary offices.
The General Services Administration's Sound Matters recommends sound masking at 45-48 dBA for open plan workspaces.
The General Services Administration's Sound Matters recommends sound masking at 40-42 dBA for private offices.