Case Study 2

YMCA Victoria Head Office

Since opening its doors in Victoria in 1853, the YMCA has been empowering young people, building community connections and helping Victorians lead healthier and happier lives.

The Challenge

The YMCA Victoria head office is in tightly packed space with conventional partition walls and a suspended ceiling that gave no allowance for sound isolation or privacy between rooms. Private conversations would ‘leak’ from meeting rooms and executive offices into the main open-plan office space and could be easily overheard by workers nearby. In addition, noise from the main office floor would sometimes penetrate the private offices and meeting rooms.

Creating a Solution

We identified that the main source of sound leaking from the private spaces into to open-plan office area was the cavity above the suspended ceiling. The sound would travel freely through the grid tiles and straight over the partition walls into the next room. In addition, sound was also leaking from small air gaps in the corners of the rooms. We sealed all air gaps with silicone to make the rooms as airtight as possible, and installed acoustic insulation in the ceiling cavity along the length of the walls to prevent sound travelling freely, essentially extending the partition walls all the way to the underside of the concrete slab.

The Benefits

By preventing the sound from leaking — while avoiding a costly, disruptive and lengthy renovation process — staff in meeting rooms and offices can now have confidential conversations without the risk of being overheard. It was possible to install the retrofit solution in just a few days, and the offices remained fully functional during the process.