The COVID-19 pandemic prompted intense review of workplace design considerations and solutions. Amongst the A&D community, there is growing conviction that occupant well-being and engagement must be supported through concern with equity—and applied to real-world needs such as acoustical privacy. To reliably design buildings to function acoustically for their users (e.g., provide adequate speech privacy, freedom from distraction, reduced annoyance, a good night’s sleep, and so on), one needs to establish a known and consistent level of spectrally neutral background sound.

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce the concept of acoustical equity.
  • Discuss the role acoustical privacy plays in achieving acoustical equity.
  • Describe the need to control the temporal, spatial, and spectral qualities of background sound within the built environment.
  • Explain the importance of tuning minimum background sound to meet a masking spectrum.

Pre-Requisite: None.