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From Sceptic to Admirer

Siegfried Wögerbauer, Head of Injection Moulding Production, Silhouette International Schmied AG, Linz/A

> Download complete report (PDF, in German)

"When we moved into our new department, we were very proud of our new workplace. After a while, however, more and more people complained about not feeling well, having headaches, feeling restless and irritated, and having difficulties in concentrating. We suspected the loud noise circling around in our gigantic hall to be the source of these problems. [...]
First we contacted AUVA, our accident insurance company, who then performed noise measurements in the hall. These measurements, however, did not produce any meaningful results. Neither the sound level nor the reverberation time exceeded standard levels, so our department was not classified as a "noisy environment". [...]

Then we got lucky: We learned that our CEO, Mr Klaus Schmied, had met Inès Neuhaus and Fabian Neuhaus at one of their lectures. They were said to be qualified acousticians who have a musical approach to spatial acoustics, and transform spaces into exceptional places. [...]
At first I was sceptical of what musical instruments or sound sculptures were supposed to have to do with our production hall. However, after a long conversation with Mr and Mrs Neuhaus I started to realize that a factory hall is a resonator just like the body of a guitar, only bigger. 

As soon as the side elements had been put up and later on the hanging elements, we began to feel good and responded in a positive manner. People from other departments asked in astonishment if we had hired artists to brighten up our grey hall.
I started to realize that the acoustic had become more pleasant, the sound did not seem to resound or circle around any more. It has become much easier to understand what is being said, and the sounds surrounding us have not been bothering us any more. [...]

About a year has passed since, and my co-workers and I still like to talk about the positive change in our work environment. We hope that one day soon we will be able to improve the situation in our second department as well. At the moment I experience this other hall as an acoustical test-space, where, when entering it, one immediately notices how different it is from the hall that has been redesigned.* [...]

Finally, on behalf of my department, I would like to thank our management as well as Mr and Mrs Neuhaus for improving our working conditions. I wish for the Neuhaus company to have many future clients who all find their work as positive and convincing as we do."

Wögerbauer Siegfried
Head of Injection Moulding Production
Silhouette International
Linz, 23 Feb. 2010

www.silhouette-international.com

* [In 2011, Inès & Fabian Neuhaus were commissioned with the architectural acoustic design of the second large production hall of the Injection Moulding Department, which was completed in 2012.]