Measuring and predicting speech privacy in open-plan spaces


  • John S. Bradley Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council, Montreal Rd., Ottawa, K1A 0R6


Acoustic variables measurement, Computer software, Data privacy, Signal filtering and prediction, Signal to noise ratio, Speech intelligibility, Speech Intelligibility Index (SII), Workstations


The acoustical design of an open-plan office should aim to reduce the intelligibility and disturbance of unwanted speech from nearby workstations. The success of the design can be assessed in terms of signal-to-noise ratio type measures such as the Articulation Index (AI) or its advanced replacement the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII). Various elements for good design and advanced software tools that make quantitative design and assessment more easily achievable have been introduced. The COPE-CaIc software provides accurate estimates of the expected speech privacy between two adjacent rectangular workstations. It uses an image sources approach and includes all significant reflections. The user specifies the dimensions and selects material properties from the programs database and can add new materials to the database. The user also specifies speech levels and ambient/masking noise levels and the program calculates AI and SII values.

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How to Cite

Bradley JS. Measuring and predicting speech privacy in open-plan spaces. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2007 Sep. 1 [cited 2024 Jul. 13];35(3):136-7. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada

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