Cerami & Associates provided acoustical consulting relating to privacy issues in the judge’s chambers and the adjacent corridor of the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse. The main concern was speech privacy for the Judge’s Chambers. After surveying the existing conditions and performing a variety of tests, we discovered that the main problem were louvers in the door that were necessary to transfer air between the chambers and corridor. These louvers also caused a great deal of sound transmission from the Judge’s chambers into the connecting hallway.
After the initial tests were completed, we provided EVP with a number of solutions, taking into account varying degrees of cost, as well as aesthetic impact. These options included a conventional ducted return system, which would allow the design team to close up the openings in the door and still meet the mandatory requirements for ventilation of the chambers. Other alternatives were to provide sound masking in the corridor to reduce intelligibility of speech from chambers, or installing a sound trap/baffle at the chambers side of the door opening.