Ensuring Good Acoustics and a Comfortable Work Environment for Employees
Eagle Materials Inc. manufactures and distributes Portland Cement; Gypsum Wallboard and Recycled Gypsum Paperboard; and Concrete, Sand and Aggregates from more than 75 facilities across the US. As the lease on their old Dallas headquarters expired, Eagle CEO Dave Powers sought a new space that would provide a welcoming and comfortable office to headquarters’ 108 employees.
Occupying the eighth and ninth floors of a newly constructed building, Eagle’s new headquarters would be much more open and inviting than their previous space, with fewer walls and partitions that block natural light. The space would have fewer private offices, and those private offices would have glass on 2 or 3 sides. Ceilings were high and often exposed, utilizing a mix of exposed concrete, drywall, and acoustical ceiling tile.The office would also have a “homey” feel, with residential furniture in the lounges, a game room, and unique light fixtures. One area would even be lit with string lights to emulate the feel of an outdoor patio. Each section of the office would be a designated neighborhood separated by a distinctive architectural feature. Neighborhoods were named after Flintstones place names, as a fun reference to Eagle’s mining and quarry business.
Powers knew that with fewer walls and partitions to block sound, and more glass to reflect sound, that acoustics and lack of speech privacy would be a concern in the new space. Due to his background in building and construction, Powers was familiar with sound masking technology and how it could make the office more acoustically comfortable. Sound masking is the process of adding an unobtrusive background sound to an environment to cover up excess speech through speakers installed in the ceiling. Powers asked the AV integrator on the project, Texadia Systems, to specify and install the best sound masking system on the market. Texadia chose QtPro sound masking from Cambridge Sound Management, due to its superior uniformity of coverage and the fact that its small, sleek Qt® Emitters would complement Power’s aesthetic vision for the new space.
“ Employees don’t even notice the masking sound—they just notice that the space feels comfortable and private. I’d recommend QtPro sound masking without hesitation.”
– Dave Powers, CEO, Eagle Materials
QtPro® Sound Masking System
Texadia installed QtPro sound masking from Cambridge Sound Management, the world’s leading provider of sound masking solutions, throughout the open office, private office, and conference room space. Small, barely visible Qt Emitters (loudspeakers) were connected to a Qt 600 control module on each floor. For areas with acoustical ceiling tile, emitters were mounted directly to the tile and painted to match the tile’s dark gray color. Other mounts were used for open ceiling areas. The system allowed for different masking volume levels across different zones, allowing Eagle to address sound distractions more aggressively in the open office areas. Automatic ramping was also programmed into the system, allowing the masking sound to be slightly louder at times when the office is at its busiest. “Texadia did a great job with our entire AV integration, including the sound masking,” said Powers.
A More Pleasant Work Environment
The new Eagle Materials office is more functional, productive, and acoustically comfortable than their previous space. Employees can concentrate in the open office environment and can hold meetings in the private offices and conference rooms without concerns of being overheard. Additionally, the small size of the emitters ensures that the sleek interior design wasn’t compromised. “The Qt Emitters really fit in with our new office’s ceiling and design,” says Powers. “Plus, employees don’t even notice the masking sound—they just notice that the space
feels comfortable and private. I’d recommend QtPro sound masking without hesitation.”
About Eagle Materials Inc.
Eagle Materials Inc. (NYSE: EXP) is a leading U.S. manufacturer and distributor of building materials including gypsum wallboard, portland cement, recycled paperboard, and concrete and aggregates. The construction industry uses Eagle’s products to build and renovate America’s residential, commercial and industrial structures and to build and improve our country’s public infrastructure. Founded in 1964, Eagle is the nation’s fifth largest wallboard producer and twelfth largest cement manufacturer.
About Cambridge Sound Management, Inc.
Cambridge Sound Management, Inc., the world’s largest provider of sound masking solutions, manufactures QtPro and DynasoundPro sound masking systems to help organizations across multiple industries protect speech privacy, reduce noise distractions, and increase workplace productivity. Cambridge Sound Management’s proprietary sound masking technology works by emitting a uniform, barely perceptible background sound at the frequencies of human speech. Cost-effective and easy to install, their sound masking, office paging, and background music systems are deployed in hundreds of millions of square feet of space throughout the world including commercial organizations, healthcare facilities, financial services, government agencies, and educational institutions. Cambridge Sound Management is a Biamp Systems company.