IndependenceFirst is a non-profit agency directed by, and for the benefit of, persons with disabilities, primarily serving the four county metropolitan Milwaukee area. IndependenceFirst renovated a building in the historic 5th Ward of Milwaukee, WI. This beautiful structure is an open environment with wood ceilings and exposed ductwork – embracing the “loft” feel.
With employee and customer needs top-of -mind, IndependenceFirst was particular about the products they installed in their facilities from carpet to countertops to sound masking. To better understand how the introduction of sound masking would impact the office space, executives from IndependenceFirst asked to visit other facilities where Lencore Sound Masking was being used. The executive team liked what they heard and agreed to a 30 day trial of the Lencore system.
Lencore was asked to evaluate the space and offer a solution. Taking each area of the 40,000 square foot facility into account, Lencore tailored a solution for IndependenceFirst. In order to maintain the integrity of the design and still provide the customer with an unconditional warranty, Lencore modified their Classic product to incorporate an extension bracket for installation. The result was a custom solution which inverted the units using a strap that was minimally invasive aesthetically.
By elevating the ambient background sound of the space, Lencore was able to reduce distractions and provide levels of speech privacy without creating speech intelligibility issues for employees. “At first the change was somewhat noticeable but as soon as we turned the system off the employees complained about the noise and we realized how effective the sound masking was. We turned it back on and the complaints stopped, proving that the system really worked,” stated Scott Luber, Administrative Director.
After the trial, Lencore was asked to triple the size of their original project scope because of the comfort and privacy that the sound provided.
The successful outcome is evident in employee and customer satisfaction. IndependenceFirst commented that, “The environment exceeded the high expectations set by management for this challenging design.” Lencore’s solution provided IndependenceFirst with a superior employee experience by significantly reducing audible distractions while allowing the open-plan facility to maintain its overall aesthetic and design integrity.
“It is about time we designed things that can be used by ALL people – which is the notion behind accessible design. Designing for people with disabilities almost always leads to products that work better for everyone.”
– Don Norman, Design Professor, Northwestern University
“At first the change was somewhat noticeable but as soon as we turned the system off the employees complained about the noise and we realized how effective the sound masking was. We turned it back on and the complaints stopped, proving that the system really worked.”
– Scott Luber, Administrative Director, IndependenceFirst