July 18, 2022

Transforming the Workplace: Enhanced Acoustics, Architecture and Technology

As the world and workplace continue to evolve, so do our NBS showrooms. Recently, our very own team redesigned and reconstructed a space we call “The View,” a collaborative meeting space in our Troy showroom. We integrated architectural elements, furniture and technology solutions to create an incredible space that would best accommodate our team members, whether in-person or remote, when meeting and presenting.

Before the renovation, the space was only surrounded by Steelcase Glass Selections modular walls. But as the role of the workplace changed and hybrid meetings became more common than traditional in-person meetings, we felt that it was time to add on a ceiling. Having an exposed ceiling allowed the room to fit nicely into our open plan at the time. However, it ended up causing acoustical issues with sound transfer while video conferencing, making our team members less likely to meet there. Luckily, these walls are highly flexible and easily reconfigurable. To better support our team’s new needs and work styles, we took the walls down, installed a steel frame, added a lid to the top and built the walls back up.

NBS The View Transformation

“We initially intended for this room to serve as a presentation space, but we found that was difficult to do without the proper technology and acoustics to support our team, especially in a world where hybrid meetings are so common,” said Nick Mighion, NBS Architect, who helped design the new space. “The structure we installed not only provides more privacy and improves the space’s acoustical performance, but it will also be easy to take down and interchange if we want to evolve the space in the future.”

At the top of the steel frame, we installed structural insulated panels, as well as acoustical panels for enhanced performance. The beautiful wooden look along the ceiling and down the wall, not only adds a unique design element to highlight the space’s audiovisual equipment, but the product’s felt material is also excellent for (you guessed it!) acoustical performance.

While the new architectural and acoustical elements have significantly improved this space, so has the room’s new technology equipment. This room features an interactive display with T1V ThinkHub, that allows us to collaborate, video conference, and have a more engaging experience with our internal teams and clients. Whether we are in person, working from home or anywhere around the globe, ThinkHub allows all participants to contribute equally.

To accompany the interactive display, we now have a secondary display on the side. This can conveniently be used during hybrid meetings for note-taking, housing remote participants or displaying the agenda so that we can have more room to work collaboratively on the main display. The camera on top of this display uniquely captures a different viewing angle for remote participants.

We also integrated a microphone in the ceiling that captures audio throughout the room, and in-ceiling speakers that allow us to clearly hear those who are tuning in from home. The camera in the back of the room allows remote participants to not only see the people in the room, but it also gives them a clear view of the in-person presenter and the display – replicating what they would see if they were physically sitting in the back of the room. What better way to provide an equal meeting experience for all?

Now that The View has more advanced, yet easy-to-use technology, and the proper acoustical and architectural solutions, it is a much more suitable space for hybrid meetings. Our team now feels more comfortable coming here to connect with others from a variety of locations, while having compelling conversations and productive meetings in privacy.

“With our integrated approach, the NBS AV engineer worked closely with the NBS architect and interior designers to ensure that the room would have great acoustics, proper lighting levels and placement to eliminate glare, and functional seating. By doing so, we not only created a remarkable space, but also a seamless and engaging experience for our team and clients,” stated Jack Waite, NBS AV Technical Specialist.

Our team is passionate about curating environments that bring people together to do their best work. Come see how the new, integrated design of The View is improving our hybrid collaboration and creating a more equal experience for everyone involved! Contact us today to schedule a tour of our Troy showroom and learn how we can help transform your workspace to become a destination.

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