Background sound is an intrinsic part of our daily experiences, yet its fundamental role within the built environment is often overlooked. This omission is most apparent in noise mitigation projects where building professionals exclusively rely on absorptive materials and partition assemblies. This singular focus on objective physical acoustics fails to consider the human (psychological and physiological) component—specifically, that occupants can perceive a space with a higher controlled level and spectrum of background sound as ‘quiet.’
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.
Most of the electronic and intelligent elements of safety and security-related tasks are aggregated in MasterFormat’s Division 28–Electronic Safety and Security. Over time, with the advances in technology and the evolution of the security industry, numerous related elements have developed that now reside outside this division.
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