Utilising Ceilings for optimum office flexibility with Acoustic Treatments

08 Mar 2022

The working world currently seems to have a love hate relationship with open plan offices, most of which centres around noise, but the open plan office concept is highly successful for several reasons.

It is cost effective, allows room for expansion and changing team dynamics, creates more working collaboration, reducing the need for separate meetings. It creates a ‘buzzy atmosphere’ enhancing the office culture and enjoyment at work. Every business wants more happy workers as they influence an organisation’s success and performance.

So, here’s the conundrum - the open plan concept is the right solution for increasing engagement and creating happier more productive employees, but the noise byproduct affects individuals, driving them to
grab their headphones and retreat into their own world, or even work from home.

The great news is, that by utilising the ceilings with acoustic treatments, we can address the issue with
style and gravitas.

The recently completed project for the new London office, at 80 Fenchurch Street of Arcadis, designed by Office Principles North is a fantastic example of good acoustic design which elevated the building to another level both visually and aurally..

This fantastic building has more than 20 different types of workspace - ranging from open plan desks to collaborative and private workspaces, touchdown areas, call rooms and informal meeting areas, in addition to a purposebuilt innovation area and a flexible event space, and has been designed as a place for collaboration,
shared ideas and social interaction, but crucially also in a way that supports the health of employees.

As one of a new breed of sustainable office buildings, it has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, and reflects best practice in sustainable design and health and wellbeing by maximising natural and atmospheric light and incorporating biophilic design and planting.

The clients said “For us, it isn’t just a onetime fit-out, it’s a step change in how we use and curate space. It’s about people working in a very different, more mobile, flexible and even healthier way.

“Arcadis was recently recognised as one of the best companies to work for in London, and its commitment to building a great environment for its staff shows that they are firmly at the heart of its plans for the future.”

Crucially, as an open plan layout with very little wall space, acoustic treatments on the ceiling was paramount. Soundtect was approached to supply the acoustic solutions throughout the building, and as a manufacturer of sustainable and recyclable products these worked perfectly with the company’s sustainable beliefs and design,
which heavily focused on BREEAM. The Freestyle baffles, which were supplied in a number of lengths and colours for the different zones, worked perfectly with the overall design theme for the project and slotted in nicely with the planned layout and overall feel of the building, to handle the spread of noise and retain a
calm atmosphere once the client’s many employees had moved in.

So, the solution is straight-forward; to improve the cognitive performance of your team in an open plan office environment, more consideration needs to be given to noise dynamics and how you can reduce them with effective acoustic solutions like Freestyle® and as you are also buying into the sustainable solution offered
by Soundtect, you are also lessening environmental pollution at the same time.

For the full case study please visit https://soundtect.com/projects/arcadis-80-fenchurch-street/

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