Effect of Variation in Noise Absorption in Open-plan Office: a Field Study with a Cross-Over Design

Regular paper

Frans Davidsson

Saint-Gobain Ecophon

Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 14:00 - 14:20

0.9 Athens (118)

Noise has repeatedly been shown being one of the most recurrent reasons for complains in open-plan office environments. However, the studies investigating the impact of noise on people are either conducted in laboratories with low ecological validity or have a simple design with low predictive validity. The aim of the present study is to investigate if repeated changes between better and less good room acoustics characteristics in open-plan office environments can improve respectively deteriorate employees health and performance. Employees on two different floors (N = 137) were followed as three shifts were made in room acoustics on each of the two floors. For one of the floors the changes were better less good better acoustical condition while for the other floor the changes were less good better less good acoustical condition. Two week after each change surveys were gathered from the employees. In addition objective measures were gathered according to the new ISO-standard 3382-3: 2012 for open- plan. The objective measured revealed small changes between the two condition at each floor and the analysis of survey data, carried out through means of repeated MANCOVAs, showed that the better acoustical condition impact employees self-rated perception of disturbances and cognitive stress, but not personal efficiency.

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