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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Acoustical quality in office workstations, as assessed by occupant surveys

  • Author(s): Jensen, K.
  • Arens, Edward
  • et al.

We analyzed acoustic satisfaction in office environments in buildings surveyed by The Center For The Built Environment (CBE). A total of 23,450 respondents from 142 buildings were included in the analysis. Acoustic satisfaction in the CBE survey is a function of satisfaction with both noise and speech privacy. In the database people are significantly more dissatisfied with speech privacy than noise level (P < 0.01). Occupants in private offices are significantly more satisfied with the acoustics than occupants in cubicles (P<0.01). The results shows also that occupants in open office environments are significantly more satisfied with noise level and speech privacy than occupants working in cubicles (P<0.01). Among occupants dissatisfied with acoustics the most prevalent problems are: “People talking on the phone”, “People overhearing private conversations” and “People talking in surrounding offices”. Over 50% of cubicle occupants think acoustics interfere with their ability to get their job done.

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