Sound control is a very important part of constructing any new building but is also one that many builders often overlook. Someone looking to have a new building constructed may think about energy efficiency and the overall look of a building when choosing its layout and materials, but not think about the acoustics of that building. If you're the owner of a company and are considering having a new building built for yourself, note why you should consult with an acoustics engineer and consider sound control to be a very important part of that building's construction.
1. Worker productivity
Working in a noisy environment can be distracting to workers in a variety of ways; they may not be able to hear when they're on phone calls and in turn, customer service can suffer. Being distracted by constant noise can also cause headaches and other discomfort that keeps them from working as effectively as they should. The noise itself may simply distract from their work; a worker may be tuning into a conversation happening across the room rather than concentrating on their work, and in turn their productivity suffers.
When sounds are very loud, high-pitched, or constant, they may actually cause damage to a worker's hearing. This is especially true if that worker is exposed to this noise over the course of many years. In turn, an employer can be liable for that hearing loss. Some employers may provide hearing protection but this can be expensive or inadequate.
3. Professionalism and confidentiality
When customers or clients visit an office, they may wonder if their conversations will remain confidential when they can be heard through thin walls or carried through ductwork. If clients and customers can hear other conversations, they may realize that their conversations can be heard as well! It may also seem very unprofessional to be in a building where a person can hear toilets flush, phones ringing in another room, and so on. Acoustics can then be a part of your company's overall appearance when visitors enter your building.
If there is an emergency in a building, workers may be alerted by sirens or alarms, but there may also need to be announcements and instructions given over the speaker system. If the building has poor acoustics, workers may struggle to hear what is being said and in some cases may not even hear an alarm that is sounding in a far corner of a space or room. To protect workers in the event of an emergency or for any company that often needs to give instructions over loudspeakers, acoustics need to be considered.