The acoustical design of conventional open plan offices


  • J.S. Bradley Inst. for Research in Construction, National Research Council, Montreal Rd., Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0R6, Canada


Acoustic wave absorption, Office buildings, Speech analysis, Speech privacy


This paper uses a previously developed model of sound propagation in conventional open plan offices to explore the influence of each parameter of the office design on the expected speech privacy in the office. The ceiling absorption, the height of partial height panels and the workstation plan size are shown to be most important. However, it is not possible to achieve 'acceptable' speech privacy if all design parameters do not have near to optimum values. A successful open office should also include an optimum masking sound spectrum and an office etiquette that encourages talking at lower voice levels.

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How to Cite

Bradley J. The acoustical design of conventional open plan offices. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2003 Jun. 1 [cited 2024 May 27];31(2):23-31. Available from:



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