Acoustics – Office Developments

Office employees have long considered the intrusion of unwanted noise as one of the leading sources of workplace dissatisfaction.

However, factors such as increased workstation densities, a move towards open plan layouts, an increase in the use of speakerphones, and a general trend towards exposed structure roof deck designs indicate that the office environment shows no signs of getting quieter by itself.

It is the intent of acoustic design to achieve conditions that will cause minimal disturbance to most people. The corresponding design criteria translate into the need for specific (or minimum) constructions, details, treatments and materials.

Australia & New Zealand standard AS/NZS 2107 gives recommended design criteria for conditions affecting the acoustic environment within occupied spaces. The recommended design noise levels and reverberation times take into account the function of the area and apply to the noise level measured within an unoccupied space, which is ready for occupancy.

Design noise levels for spaces in office buildings are applicable to steady state or quasi-steady state noises and are the reference criteria for selection and assessment of building components that mitigate noise external to the building (e.g. traffic noise, industrial noise) but also within the building (e.g. building services noise).

Areas in which an office development can benefit from improved acoustics include:

  • Control of internal noise levels for occupant comfort
  • Sound insulation for acoustic privacy between spaces
  • Façade design to minimise environmental noise intrusion
  • Sound masking specification
  • Avoidance of cross-talk via duct work between adjacent rooms
  • Detailed design of ventilation systems to minimise mechanical services noise
  • Specifications for audio visual systems if required
  • Reverberation control to improve speech intelligibility and reduce the build up of noise.

Vipac’s engineers apply their expertise to all stages of a project, from feasibility, option and concept studies through to the design, construction and operational phases.


  • State Bank, Melbourne
  • Coles-Myer Corporate HQ, Melbourne
  • CRA Corporate Computer Centre, Melbourne
  • Fosters Brewing HQ, Melbourne
  • Grosvenor Place, Phase 1, Sydney
  • Russell Offices Defence HQ, Canberra
  • Law Courts, Brisbane
  • Telecom Tower, Adelaide Hang Seng Bank HQ, Hong Kong
  • The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine
  • 9 Queens Road, Hong Kong
  • Thai Wah Tower II, Bangkok
  • All Seasons Place, Bangkok
  • Lane Crawford, Singapore
  • ABN Amro Bank, Singapore.