When Saunders Havill Group found the perfect premises for their Brisbane-based headquarters – a large, high-ceilinged warehouse in a convenient location – internal noise levels were a major drawback. Entirely open plan, with lofty ceilings, the building presented both design opportunities and acoustic challenges.

Combatting noise in a large environment

Despite the popularity of open-plan offices – which often create a more sociable, light, airy workplace environment – their biggest disadvantage is noise. In fact, studies have shown that even fairly low-level background noise in an office can directly impact productivity, stress levels, and general health and wellbeing (Cornell University).  

When Saunders Havill Group found the perfect premises for their Brisbane-based headquarters – a large, high-ceilinged warehouse in a convenient location – internal noise levels were a major drawback. For Bianca Diluzio, Design Director at Squaredesigns Corporate (SDC), the objective was to create a beautiful, functional, calm environment for Saunders Havill’s urban designers, landscape architects, and surveyors to work in.

Acoustic challenges

Acoustic challenges

The existing warehouse was entirely open plan, with a small mezzanine level and lofty ceilings, which simultaneously created design opportunities and challenges for Diluzio and her team. “It’s a wonderful building and the client was keen to maintain the industrial look, retaining features such as the exposed brick… but you could literally hear a pin drop. As we started peeling back the previous building finishes, it grew louder, so finding the right acoustic solution became the key concern, and the only way we were going to be able to make this a viable space for staff to work autonomously”.  

 

The requirements

The requirements

Key requirements for the project included sourcing from local suppliers, as well as using sustainable materials throughout; factors which, combined with the need for best-in-class acoustic performance, made Autex the obvious choice. “I’ve worked with Autex previously, so I was well aware of the incredible performance of their products”, reveals Diluzio. 

 

   

The solution

For maximum effect, Diluzio specified a range of Autex products throughout the space including Frontier™ Acoustic Fins above the collaboration areas, Cascade™ hanging screens between the 36 workstations, 3D Tiles surrounding the TV area, and Cube™ wall pinboards on the mezzanine level. “The effect was instant”, enthuses Diluzio. “I had high expectations, but I was absolutely blown away by the difference in noise levels – that’s a testament to the efficacy of Autex’s products. In addition, the products add so much more to the ambience of the space; the colour scheme doesn’t detract from the industrial look of the building and the screens add a feeling of privacy without actually being enclosed”. 

Working with such a reliable supplier also proved to be an added bonus for Diluzio, who was forced to expedite product orders in order to avoid the delays posed by the impending COVID-19 lock-down measures. “Autex is always willing to go the extra mile to keep projects on track, and their commitment and professionalism as a supplier is outstanding”, enthuses Diluzio. “This project was the result of a great team effort, and the finished look and feel of the space are even better than I’d envisioned”.  

Benefits of Acoustic Products

Delivers excellent acoustic performance

Cascade is provided as a complete system, simple to install straight out of the box

Cascade is customisable for limitless branding and design options through in-house cutting

In-house design team dedicated to customisation

Configure Frontier to fit the space perfectly

Frontier can be dismantled or remove the system from its setting and reassemble or reposition just as easily and quickly