The Wacosystems GmbH honeycomb technology arose from an attempt to automate and accelerate the previously very time-consuming and cumbersome production of transparent film honeycomb structures.
This task was implemented using fully automated machinery developed and built in-house and using a new weaving process to thermally weld the foil strips into stable free-standing honeycomb cells. This process and our honeycomb design are patented as WaveCore®, which is used as transparent thermal insulation (TTI) and as a core material for lightweight construction applications.
When the visually appealing and very even honeycomb is bonded with transparent covering layers, the result is a lightweight yet rigid honeycomb panel. Our ViewPan® PET and ViewPan® PMMA honeycomb panels are the base materials for our ready-to-assemble Kandela® solutions, such as the Kandela® T38 partitions or the Kandela® ST27 mobile walls, which we offer including corresponding frames, adjustable feet and/or fasteners. For years these have been utilized as sound shielding elements in open plan offices due to their attractive appearance and transparent/light permitting features.
Sound absorption and insulation in open space rooms as well as between workspaces is also an important planning criteria for achieving good room acoustics in open-plan offices.
This is reflected in the new acoustic standard for open-plan offices DIN EN ISO 3382-3, which is a relatively simple concept. The use of sound absorbent ceilings, acoustic screens, ceiling sails or acoustically effective furniture fronts, significantly reduces the reverberation (echo) time and thereby also the basic noise level in office spaces. This of course has a positive effect on well-being, since it is more pleasant to work in quiet, acoustically dampened rooms.
In recent years, however, it was discovered that although low sound reverberation times are important for reducing office sound levels, they also lead to higher speech intelligibility in open-plan offices. People intuitively try to pick up any speech information that occurs around them and can thereby be distracted in their work process. The effects are poor concentration, stress and a resulting drop in performance.
Practical Implications of the new Standard
» In order to create good acoustic working conditions for employees in open-plan offices, not only sound shielding, i.e. the reduction of noise, but also sound insulation (using sound absorbers) is of high relevance. In future, sound reduction targets and a good reduction rate will only be achieved through room-high or large-area shielding, such as glass or plastic elements and/or high sound-shielding partition walls. «
The new DIN EN ISO 3382-3 standard now addresses this problem and provides metrological methods regarding the spatial propagation of sound, as well as the distraction and confidentiality distances on the office floor. The STI (speech intelligibility index) is used to determine a distance to the speech source, which indicates the distance from which it is possible to work without distraction. Necessary measures to reduce distracting noise sources are wall elements or mobile partition walls, which can be designed as zoning at desks.
Acoustic simulations on identical offices with different types of zoning elements were carried out. A satisfactory result could only be achieved using larger sound-absorbing elements. Room-high wall elements were ideal. These need to be transparent or translucent in order to maintain room openness and brightness. Our Kandela® range precisely offers such solutions. You can find more information on this in the technical article “Match der Absorber” (German only) by Dr. Wiesinger, which has been published recently.