office noise wrap up: Oscar Acoustics’ 2023 journey

SonaSpray K-13 in grey throughout inclusive London workspace for Global NGO client. BW Workplace Experts, TP Bennett & Tom Green Photography.

The new year is going to bring all sorts of exciting news and events, not least the completion of our brand-new HQ, which we’re excited to be moving into over the coming months.

But first it’s worth taking a look back at some of the highlights of 2023, including our win at the National Building & Construction Awards for Subcontractor of the Year! Last year also saw us complete plenty of fantastic projects, and we worked harder than ever to get our message out about the importance of quality office acoustics with our whitepaper, Office Noise.

To wrap up 2023, we’re having a look at some of the key insights gleaned from the research that went into writing ‘Office Noise’, as well as highlighting some of the projects where we put our acoustic expertise into practice. Read on to find out.

Inclusive London workspace for global NGO client SonaSpray K-13 in grey throughout workspace. Credit to TP Bennett, BW Workplace Experts & Hufton+Crow photography.

office noise whitepaper

Last year we released Office Noise, our whitepaper which took a deep-dive into modern office trends. Our extensive research explored the rising demand for premium office spaces, the crucial role noise control can play in staff productivity and the growing importance of sustainably designed workplaces.

As employers have sought to increase the draw of their office spaces for hybrid workers, demand for attractive, high-specification offices has risen, while lower quality buildings are now at more risk than ever of becoming stranded assets.
This, as well as increasing pressure to improve energy ratings, has led to a “redevelop or die” attitude among commercial building owners. However, redevelopments that don’t include effective acoustic treatments will fall short of a truly premium offering.

Harvard Business Review found that 82% of business decision makers see getting employees back into the office as a concern, but our research suggests that ignoring the impact of noise in the workplace will lead to more working from home – and less productivity in the office.

Our findings show that 8 in 10 employees believe excessive workplace noise negatively affects their productivity, and 37% believe this led to a poorer quality of work. However, even though 83% of senior managers reported receiving staff noise complaints, just 15% believed noise to be an obstacle to employee productivity.

With the drive for premium workspaces and sustainability making redevelopments a necessity, now marks a golden opportunity for building owners to put acoustic design at the heart of their offices. By choosing the right acoustic products, owners could transform their buildings into spaces that promote business’ office attendance, productivity and environmental goals.

Let’s have a look at two businesses who put that sentiment into action by choosing SonaSpray, our recycled and fire-rated acoustic spray range.

Credit to BW Workplace Experts, TP Bennett and Tom Green Photography.

2023 Acoustic Project Highlights

76 Charlotte Street

When award-winning architectural practice dMKF turned its eye to refurbishing its own offices on Charlotte Street, it knew the importance of combining an appealing aesthetic with acoustic balance. By investing in market-leading acoustic design, dMKF wanted to create an inviting, collaborative environment that encouraged staff into the office.

Tasked with delivering this vision, Oscar Acoustics found that the number of hard reflective surfaces in the building looked great, but meant there was potential for a great deal of reverberation. It was important to find an effective noise dampening solution that wouldn’t negatively impact the attractiveness of the space.

Photo by Killian O’Sullivan

In the areas most likely to be excessively noisy, like communal areas, meeting rooms and co-working spaces, Oscar Acoustics applied SonaSpray K-13 in pale grey colourways on the ceiling. By absorbing sound rather than reflecting it, the acoustic spray solution significantly reduces noise reverberation and ensures employees can work without distraction.

Julian de Metz, Director at dMFK, said, “We’re thrilled with how the office looks and performs. Oscar Acoustics’ SonaSpray is the single most noticeable and effective material in our office and directly contributes to day-to-day comfort and the ability to work collaboratively without bothering others.”

dMFK Architects choose SonaSpray K-13 acoustic ceiling spray in grey for its London HQ office. Photo by Killian O’Sullivan.

20 Water Street

Real estate giant JLL’s peaceful waterside offices had a number of priorities to juggle including sustainability, fire safety, aesthetics and staff welfare. Oscar Acoustics’ was enlisted by fit-out experts Tétris Design x Build to help.

A focus on staff wellbeing meant that noise control was essential within JLL’s offices. As well as undermining productivity, excess noise can contribute to health issues including higher stress levels, hearing loss and serious heart conditions.
SonaSpray K-13 was applied to ceilings throughout to bring acoustic clarity, making it possible for staff to undertake focused work and also collaborate in shared spaces without having to raise their voices.

As one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK, JLL’s office had to ensure that eco-friendly materials were used.

SonaSpray has numerous environmental accreditations including being M1 Classified as Low Emitting Material and GREENGUARD Gold Certified for Indoor Air Quality, as well as contributing towards SKA, Living Building Challenge and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). These green credentials meant Tétris could include SonaSpray confident that the utmost sustainability standards were being met.

And, as a third party-accredited fire-rated acoustic spray, the application of SonaSpray would ensure that staff safety was prioritised.
Augustin Dufour, Managing Director at Tétris UK, said “Our vision for 20 Water Street was to create a flexible, collaborative, health-led and inclusive workplace, so we knew that noise control would be a major factor in creating a dynamic but comfortable working environment.”

“When looking for the right acoustic solution, we found that Oscar Acoustics is one of the very few companies that could prove due diligence on the fire safety ratings of its products. 20 Water Street was an ambitious project, but SonaSpray matched our design plans perfectly.”

20 Water Street – SonaSpray K-13 Special in white applied to ceiling for reverberation control. Tétris design x build & Jonathan Banks Photography.

The importance of high quality office acoustics

With 78% of hybrid workers suggesting they’d be more willing to come into work more often if their workplaces offered spaces that supported both quiet and collaborative work, the merits of quality acoustic control are clear.
To get the full picture and learn how acoustics products could make your office a more pleasant and productive place to work, download our free whitepaper.

Contact us

Thank you for reading our 2023 wrap-up, it’s been a fantastic year for the company, with lots more exciting news to come in 2024. If you’re looking to improve the acoustics in your workplace, school, restaurant or any other type of space, we’re here to help.
Contact us today to learn more about our award-winning services.

SonaSpray K-13 Special white applied to ceilings throughout 20 Water Street, London. Tétris design x build & Jonathan Banks Photography.

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