“A common cause of poor acoustics in conference rooms and executive offices is the transmission of sound between adjacent spaces, especially when the spaces share a common ceiling plenum. Achieving speech privacy between spaces is the goal.
If a suspended ceiling is already in place and there are noise issues, the Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of the ceiling panels is probably under 0.70. Replacing standard ceiling panels with panels that have an NRC of 0.70 or higher will improve acoustics.
If partition walls only go up to the ceiling, and not to the deck, install mineral fiber ceiling panels that have both an NRC of 0.70 and a Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) of 35 to 40. This combination will provide speech privacy along with improved sound quality within the space. Choose the lower rating if masking sound is used; the higher rating, if not used.
Noise issues related to open plenum designs can also be addressed through the use of acoustical clouds, canopies, baffles, and blades — four types of “free-floating” options that add sound absorption while still allowing for the exposed look.