5 Acoustic Design Elements for Video/Tele Conferencing Facilities.

  • Low Ambient background noise levels
  • Sound transmission loss between rooms
  • Speech Privacy
  • Controlled reverberation
  • High Speech intelligibility

Video Conferencing is an essential feature in commercial office fit outs. The acoustic aspect should always be considered at an early stage and incorporated into the design brief. This space needs to be a star performer in terms of being,

a. A source room for capturing accurate speech intelligibility.
b. A meeting room for multi party discussion.
c. A listening room .

This applies to both VC communication spaces.

With the improvement of network standards and Video displays, Video Conferencing systems are capable of simultaneous video and audio for natural communication between people in real-time.

The Video Conferencing system allows for the speakers natural voice range, added nuances and inflections to be heard as if in a face to face conversation.

The cost for Video Conferencing technology can be substantial, but the room must be considered as a critical link in the communication chain. It is the transmission path from the human speaker to the microphone and…. the transmission path from the loudspeaker/s to our ears. In most cases there is no acoustic design in the brief and poor acoustic conditions are highlighted when the room is operational and the users are unable to effectively communicate.

The manufacturers of VC systems realise the importance of good acoustics for quality reproduction and recommend a reverberation time (RT60) between 0.3s and 0.5s with a noise floor of 30dBA.

In order to optimise the acoustic performance of Voice Conference meeting rooms the following needs to be considered.

Position of the venue relative to noise sources
Shape of the room
Size of the room
Wall and soffit detail
Glazing thickness
Door detail
Privacy requirements
Sound Transmission loss from Adjacent Venues
Movable acoustic partition specifications and installation detail
Building service and mechanical noise
Internal furnishings and fittings
Microphone pic up patterns
Microphone sensitivity
Loudspeaker directivity and effective user coverage