Andrew Parkin, Partner and Global Head of Acoustics at Cundall, notes that modular meeting pods have significantly increased in popularity over the past few years. Although they have been around for some time, they are now increasingly used in the post-Covid workplace. But, he says, be cautious when interpreting performance claims.

THE idea is that workers can have private phone calls or discussions, often in the middle of the office area, without having to book a formal
meeting room. They also offer the benefit of being quickly and easily (re-)deployed, requiring only power and data connections, without the need to employ specialist subcontractors to build partitions etc.

Pods can range from single person phone booths up to modular meeting rooms accommodating 10+ people. Even high-backed furniture or booth seating can be classed as pods. Some are completely enclosed; some are open on one side or even on the top. For the purchaser and specifier; this area is a technical minefield. In manufacturer literature there are all sorts of performance claims, from ‘soundproof’ to ‘x dB sound reduction’, some even using testing methodology for fixed partitions (i.e. ISOs 717 and 140) or for quiet rooms in industrial settings. It really is like the Wild West. The big problem is that there is no common methodology for rating pods.

Continue reading to find out about the new methodology for rating meeting pods and the new FIS Specifiers Guide for Partitioning and how this can assit you when writing a specification.