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Mediainformation  Rossoacoustic

28. November 2016

Translucent and acoustically effective

No problems with concentration for staff at the call centre of the Gothaer insurance company in Cologne – thanks to acoustically effective panels from the Nimbus Group

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Loud communication is the norm at a call centre – and the workplaces are usually in an open-plan office. That is also the case at the Gothaer insurance company's offices in Cologne, which were designed by OCC Office Competence GmbH. However, the acoustics were significantly improved by Rossoacoustic panels, and reverberation times were carefully balanced out so the 90 or so employees can work efficiently and in a pleasant atmosphere. This solution does not obstruct the passage of natural daylight, and visual contact among the employees is maintained. The result is an acoustically pleasant, convivial and open working climate.

"When you have a number of people working in an office, it is important for employees' performance as well as for their health to keep the noise level as low as possible and creative conditions conducive to concentration," says Jens Victora, a specialist for room acoustics at Rosso. Moreover, there should be no long-term negative impacton sight lines or the light entering the office, but the workplaces should nevertheless be shielded from one another. Rosso, a brand belonging to the Nimbus Group from Stuttgart, has responded to this frequently recurring wish with the panels from the Rossoacoustic CP30 range: a translucent membrane body with a characteristic honeycomb structure. Thanks to its transparency, visual contact between employees can be maintained but, with the panels, the reverberation time is reduced due to the microperforations in the panel surface and sound is absorbed – a basic prerequisite for concentration and productive work. The microperforations that are so vital in achieving this acoustic effect were developed together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics especially for these purposes and fields of application.

Identifying needs using simulations of the acoustic conditions

Acoustic measurements were made before planning for the call centre got underway. Rosso offers such measurements and carries them out if required. Holistic planning was possible right from the very beginning thanks to a thorough analysis of the acoustic conditions, which, under ideal circumstances, is how it should be. At 700 square metres, the size of the room was one critical parameter along with the acoustically hard surfaces such as the large windows and the concrete ceiling. The planning team determined a requirement for over 300 panels from the Rossoacoustic CP30 range and 100 panels from the Rossoacoustic TP30 range, the latter being fabric-covered room partitioning elements that are also acoustically effective. At 2000 hz, that is to say the level at which, on average, people hear very well, the reverberation time was lowered from 0.6 seconds to 0.48 seconds. This figure is well under the target figure and just above the lower tolerance level. These requirements are specified in the VDI 2569 standard  and are therefore binding for planners.

Besides acoustics, light is also an important factor when it comes to employees' well-being and effectiveness in an open-plan office. Daylight from the ceiling-high windows can pass unobstructed through the translucent CP30 panels. The panel has an air of lightness and almost seems to float in mid-air due to the transparent edging. This almost playful touch contrasts with the predominantly functional room design, thus creating a pleasant working atmosphere. The translucent CP30 elements from Rosso create different zones in the room, yet it still appears open and expansive. As Carsten Tasche, a director of OCC Office Center Competence GmbH, explains: "For many years now, Rosso has been the only partner for us when it comes to deploying transparent acoustic systems."

Acoustic panels in harmony with the interior concept

The CP30 elements mounted at the workplaces themselves are joined by the fabric-covered TP30 room partitioning system. The colourful, fabric-covered, acoustically effective system provides the required flexibility and therefore the best conditions for focused and communicative working. Various shades of green were chosen for the fabric elements to match the material and colour concept of the interior. "High-quality, functional design objects that appeal on an emotional level help to foster a sense of well-being in the office," says Katharina Schmidt, head of product development at Rosso and an interior architect.

Stuttgart, November 2016
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About Rossoacoustic

An architectural brand, a creative head at the helm and innovative products for the design of living and working environments – this is what Nimbus stands for. In February 2019, Häfele acquired one hundred percent of the enterprise. Nimbus founder Dietrich Brennenstuhl will remain active in the management of the company at its present location in Stuttgart and will continue to be responsible for innovations, development and design of the product portfolio. Besides high-quality LED lighting systems and battery powered, cableless luminaires, Nimbus also provides modular, acoustically-effective partitioning and shading systems.

"Light Meets Acoustics" is the claim coined by Nimbus to describe its extensive product range and its holistic approaches, which are realised in both private residences and in the project business.