It is intuitive the acoustical environment plays a key role in the wellness, education, and productivity of building occupants. Sound is all around, and the acoustical environment impacts everyone, whether consciously or not.
Typing the word “privacy” into a search engine yields a lengthy stream of entries describing the many ways in which privacy can be violated, including reports of hackers acquiring credit card information, law enforcement agencies mining social networking sites, and voice-activated electronics with the ability to eavesdrop on their owners.
With mounting recognition of the need to support focused work and promote wellness, many organizations are looking to provide building occupants with improved speech privacy, noise control, and acoustic comfort.
From their early uses in commercial offices to relatively newer applications such as patient rooms in hospitals, sound masking systems are becoming a more common component of interior design. This technology distributes an engineered background sound throughout a facility, raising its ambient level in a controlled fashion.
The rise of the cubicle in the 1960s and ’70s began from a desire for private workspaces. They became so popular that offices used to look like cubicle farms, until these row-upon-row ‘bullpens’ began to draw criticism for their appearance and their limitations on peer interaction and collaboration.