AVCO Security Systems, with offices in Bayport, N.Y., and Mooresville, N.C., is a well-established security integration firm that has been in business 43 years, but it was only recently that owner Larry Beigel did his first-ever sound masking installation. The company’s primary focus since 1980 is installing security systems, network deployments and surveillance cameras, with about half of its business residential and half commercial.
So, when a law firm in North Carolina needed sound masking for its offices, it was a new category. So, Beigel turned to Lencore for assistance.
“This was the first sound masking project that I have ever personally done. My business partner has used Lencore in the past, so he suggested I use Lencore,” he says.
The project was an extremely large law firm in North Carolina located in a 20,000-square-foot office space that once housed a cotton mill. The 120-year-old building has brick walls with 16-foot-high wood ceilings and hardwood floors and nothing in between to dampen the sound. The office has multiple conference rooms and offices, as well as an open-space collaborative environment.
“Because it is a law firm, it is a very quiet environment. If someone is speaking in one area, you could hear them perfectly from 100 feet away. Their big concern was that people would be able to overhear conversations in an adjacent office or sitting area. This is a super-quiet environment… you could hear a pin drop on the other side of the office.”
Noise mitigation was necessary both inside the enclosed offices as well as in the open space. To determine the necessary sound masking equipment needs, Beigel provided Lencore with a floorplan of the law office. Via its free quoting tool, Lencore engineered the entire project at no cost for AVCO, and that design was used by AVCO to create the proposal.
Deploying 32 Lencore Pendant Speakers
Using standard Category cable, AVCO deployed 32 speakers in total covering about one third of the square footage of the building. The Lencore Pendant speakers are deployed about 14 feet off the floor throughout the office environment, with the Lencore source components in an equipment rack connected to the client’s network in a closet. The only exception to the pendants was in the bathrooms, which have sheetrock ceilings, so architectural in-ceiling Lencore speakers were deployed in those locations.
The Lencore Pendant Speaker offers a decorative, direct-fire option when aesthetics is a concern. They are specifically designed to be used in office spaces with open environments. The white noise emanating from the speakers sounds similar to the hum of an HVAC system. The decibel level of the white noise is fully adjustable for individual areas within the facility.
Since the Lencore system is connected to the facility’s wireless network using a static IP address, the clients can adjust the volume level on their own via a tablet computer; however, Beigel prefers to have an AVCO technician make those adjustments using a decibel meter on site. The standard decibel level set for the project is about 48 decibels, but that can be adjusted up or down based on a request by the client.
The installation itself took an AVCO two-person crew six days to complete, with the technicians working while the office was open and filled with staff from the law firm. According to Beigel, mounting the pendants was the biggest challenge on the project, but not because of the technology, but simply the sheer height off the floor. The AVCO crew had to have ladders of sufficient height to be able to safely deploy the speakers in the high ceilings. The cost of the installation was not disclosed.
“The owner of the law firm absolutely loved the look and the end results of the performance of the sound masking,” says Beigel. “The owner is ready to move forward with phase two of the project, which is another 64 speakers covering the rest of the building.”
Consider Beigel to be a newfound fan of sound masking.
“From where I sit, it is another profit center,” he adds simply.
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