February 22, 2015 | Written by: Steve Adams | Featuring: Jeffrey Fullerton | Original Publication: Banker & Tradesman

The Noisy Debate Over Open Offices

With intimate views of I-93 ramps, commuter rail switchyards and the Boston Sand & Gravel plant, the $125-million headquarters of EF Education First at first looks like a prime candidate for noise-abating building designs. But consultants designing the 300,000-square-foot East Cambridge office building placed as much emphasis on shielding employees from their colleagues’ chatter as they did damping down the roar of traffic a few feet from their windows. Loudspeakers pipe a steady soundtrack of white noise throughout the offices, providing a waterfall-like backdrop that masks the sound of co-workers’ voices.



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Acentech is an employee-owned company, majority-owned by its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).