U. S. Courts Design Guide
The degree of acoustical privacy required in chambers, conference rooms, and support offices
must be considered in the selection of wall construction and finishes.
Due to the need for a quiet work environment within judges' chambers, all ceilings and floor
surfaces must be finished with sound-absorptive materials (e.g., acoustic tile on the ceilings
and carpet on the floors). Sound absorption on walls is also necessary; however, wall surfaces
can be more sound-reflective. Walls must be properly constructed to prevent sound
transmission to adjoining spaces, both inside and outside the suite. Wood-paneled walls and
wood wainscoting around the lower portion of the wall are common features.
Noise-producing office equipment must be placed in separate areas, and surrounded by either
walls or sound-absorbent partitions. Sound-absorbing wall treatments must be provided in
Partitions forming the perimeter of the suite, the judge's chamber, and the
reference/conference room must be slab-to-slab.
The design must provide a "confidential" acoustic separation grade for all judge's chambers,
reference/conference rooms, and studies (USCA only).
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.
To ensure that
or conversation carries
from one space to another, all openings carrying piping through the slab or partitions must be
sealed with flexible caulk. All air ducts leading to and from confidential spaces must be
acoustically treated with two inches (50 mm) of duct lining for a distance of at least 12 feet
(3700 mm) from the diffuser. This ensures minimal transmission of conversation from
Plumbing. Plumbing runs must be isolated from noise-sensitive spaces.