Winter Park, Florida-based tech company Highwinds, a content delivery network provider, was rapidly outgrowing its old office and needed a new space with room to expand. The company’s new space, located within a recently constructed building, promised an open, collaborative environment with plenty of unique design features and natural light.
While providing more options for architectural and design considerations, Highwinds’ new open office space had far fewer walls for blocking sound, meaning speech privacy would be compromised and noise distractions would be elevated unless a solution could be found.
Director of IT Dave Herrell asked Highwinds’ property manager, CNL Real Estate, if they could recommend a vendor who could provide audiovisual solutions for the conference, lobby, and break rooms. CNL recommended Sound Stage, also of Winter Park, to handle the integration. Given the open nature of the new office, Chet Neal from Sound Stage suggested that sound masking, the process of adding unobtrusive background sound to an environment to reduce noise distractions, could prove to be beneficial. By making nearby conversations unintelligible, sound masking protects speech privacy and allows individuals to work more productively in a space with fewer interruptions. Additionally, sound masking is more cost-effective than other acoustical treatments such as partitions or soundproofing materials.
Sound Stage determined the best solution for the project to be Biamp’s QtPro™ sound masking system, which utilizes barely visible speakers which were seamlessly installed within the office’s unique octagonal-cloud-ceiling design. These speakers were then connected by cables to a QtPro™ control module residing in the server room.
Highwinds was able to create an open office environment that’s both beautiful and functional. Office chatter in the area is unintelligible (and therefore less distracting) at distances over fifteen feet, and conversations in the break room, lobby, and corridor don’t spill over into the work area. As an added bonus, the small emitters fit in design-wise with the office’s unique ceiling.
“The Qt® 300 that Sound Stage installed is incredibly easy to manage and gives us greater reduction of noise and distractions, allowing our staff to be more productive and feel more private,” says Herrell. “QtPro™ even meshed aesthetically with our multistyle tile ceiling design. Employees don’t notice the emitters directly above them.