Room Layout

Good Viewing Area

Keeping seating within the ‘GVA’ ensures everyone can be seen on camera and has a comfortable view of the screens. To calculate the ‘GVA’ we use the horizontal camera field of view, along with the minimum and maximum viewing distances to the screens.

KEY HINTS

This is a common challenge when designing conferencing rooms. Room capacity might become a trade off, but a poor view can really diminish the experience and effectiveness of video conferencing!

Camera View

It is important that everyone can be seen on camera to pick up facial expressions and gestures. The closest participants should be placed to ensure they are within the cameras HFOV (Horizontal Field of View).

KEY HINTS

The field of views for Hangouts Meet Cameras are detailed in the next sections.

Furthest Viewer

To ensure comfortable viewing of images and content, the distance from the furthest viewer to the screen should be no more than 8x the screen height.

Closest View

For comfort, the closest viewer should be no closer than 1.5x the screen height.

Viewer Angle

The horizontal viewing angle to the screen should not exceed 45 degrees. This is measured from the perpendicular of the outer screen edge.

KEY HINTS

The camera view rule will generally over rule this, but be careful of steeper angles in smaller rooms.

What`s my GVA?

Head to the room planner section for ‘Good Viewing Area’ examples over a range of occupancies using Hangouts Meet hardware.

KEY HINTS

PDF and .dwg versions of the room planner illustrations are also available to download.

Huddly Go Camera

Place participants within the camera field of view (120 degrees in this case)

KEY HINTS

The Huddly camera has a great wide angle, but sitting at least ~1m (40″) from the camera is best.

Logitech PTZ Camera

To ensure comfortable viewing of images and content, the distance from the furthest viewer to the screen should be no more than 8x the screen height.

Screen Size

As a starting point, here are some typical screen sizes and corresponding closest and furthest viewer distances:
48″ Screen: 0.9 – 4.8m
55″ Screen: 1.0 – 5.5m
65″ Screen: 1.2 – 6.5m
75″ Screen: 1.4 – 7.5m
85″ Screen: 1.6 – 8.5m

KEY HINTS

Note – the screen size is measured diagonally. Dimensions are assumed from the display screen surface.

Which Camera?

The wide field of view of the Huddly Go camera works best in rooms with up to 4m in length. Longer rooms are better served with the optical zoom of the Logitech PTZ Pro 2 camera.

Which Screen?

Head to the room planner for a full overview of recommended screen size to occupancy, as a starting point:
Up to 8 people: 48″ Screen
Up to 11 people: 55″ Screen
Up to 16 people: 75″ Screen
Up to 20 people: 85″ Screen

The Jamzone

The recommended clear space around the Jamboard to allow effective collaboration is a semicircle of radius 1.5m (60”) in front of the Jamboard.

KEY HINTS

Having a Jamboard at the side of the room might increase the typical clearance around the table.

Jamboard Cam

The Jamboard camera has a built-in downtilt to get users in shot. Typically coverage works best with the Jamboard camera at 1.85m (72″) from the floor.
The horizontal field of view is 73 degrees.
The vertical field of view (at 15 degree downtilt) is 43 degrees

KEY HINTS

With this camera height – two seated users need to be at least 1m (40″) away from the Jamboard and no further back than 1.8m (71″) to get in shot.

Joining Meetings

The Jamboard can be used as a standalone video conferencing tool, using the built in camera, microphones and speakers.

Chromebase

The chromebase is ideal for small 1-2 person micro-huddle rooms, or as a personal device on a desk or home office.

KEY HINTS

Don’t forget to consider space for accessibility, as described in the space planning section.

Chromebase Cam

Place participants within a 82 degree HFOV.

Orientation

Typically orientating the room ‘lengthways’ with the screen wall on the short side of the room will provide the best capacity. The screen wall is ideally a flat, even surface.

KEY HINTS

Small rooms can be an exception. Using the wide Huddly GO field of view can suit having the screen on the longer side.

Clearance Space

Accessibility for all users is important. A turning circle of at least 1500mm (60″) is required for wheelchair access. Assuming a door at the rear – this almost always makes the minimum distance between the table and rear wall 1500mm (60″).

KEY HINTS

Take a look in the room planner section to see how this relates to minimum room sizes.

Access Way

Ensure easy access around seats. We recommend at least 1200mm (48″) clearance around fixed furniture to ensure good accessibility.

KEY HINTS

You might need to increase this when featuring a jamboard at the side of the room.

Entrance

Remember to consider how remote participants see people enter and leave the room. It’s good practice to keep the door in camera view so that everyone on the call can see who’s left or entered the meeting room.

KEY HINTS

This usually makes the rear of the room the best entrance location.

Visibility and Privacy

It’s good practice to allow people to see when a room is busy and avoid interruptions. However you may consider using obscured sections of glass to maintain privacy of participants and screen content. Blinds or drapes can always be added for full privacy.

Equipment

Placement

The speakermic unit should be placed as evenly as possible amongst seated participants.

Coverage

For best audio quality, ensure users are no further than 1500m (60″) from the speakermic.

KEY HINTS

One speakermic typically provides good coverage for up to 6 people.

Speakrmic Spacing

When using more than one speakermic, a good rule is to place them evenly with 1500-2000mm (60″- 80″) between each speakermic.

KEY HINTS

Each room is different, the key is even coverage for all participants, try different speakermic positions to get the setup that works best for the room.

How Many?

Typically additional speakermics are required for rooms of more than 8 people. As a general guide:
Up to 6 people: 1 speakermic
Up to 11 people: 2 speakermics
Up to 16 people: 3 speakermics
18 people or more: 4 speakermics

KEY HINTS

Remember to check the cable lengths you require.

Screen Size

As described in the room layout section, the room size and viewing distances are key to selecting the best screen size. The screen height should be at least an 8th of the distance from the screen to the furthest viewer, with the closest viewer no closer than 1.5x the screen height from the screen.

KEY HINTS

Head to the room planner section for a full breakdown of recommended screen size vs occupancy.

Screen Location

Screens should be mounted centrally to the table. The screen height should allow for comfortable viewing, as a guide keep the bottom of the screen less than 1100mm (44″) from the floor.

KEY HINTS

Remember to use suitable mounts for the size and weight of the screens you wish to use.

Dual vs Single Screens

Single screens work well for everyone in the room. Dual screens can also be used, but care should be taken to ensure both screens can be seen for all participants.

Mounting Position

You can either place the camera on top of the display, or use a suitable mount/surface under the display.

KEY HINTS

The Huddly Go camera works really well above the screen. The Logitech PTZ Pro 2 is usually used with larger screens, and tends to work better mounted underneath the screen.

Dual Screens

In dual screen setups the camera is best mounted between the screens and central to the table.

Mounting Height

Mount the camera as close to seated eye level as possible. When mounted on top of the screen the Huddly go camera is usually optimal at ~1400mm (55″) from the floor. This usually puts the bottom of the screen at around 800mm (30″) from the floor.

KEY HINTS

Cameras mounted at a high angle is a very common problem for conferencing. Remote participants can be made to feel detached from discussion. It’s better to have everyone looking straight into the camera.

Writting Surfaces

It is best to place a writing surface in the view of the camera. If using a sidewall, try to keep it within the camera field of view.

KEY HINTS

Be wary of impacting room acoustics, large whiteboards and glazing in the same room can limit available space for absorption.

Chromebox

The Chromebox can be mounted on the rear side of the display screens, in a cabinet below the screens if you have one, or alternatively under the table.

KEY HINTS

It’s ideal to have a wired network connection for the Chromebox. A wired network connection usually results in better performance than connecting to wireless.

Cabinet

To keep cabling neat and easy to install, a slim cabinet underneath the screens can be an ideal addition.

Location

In conferencing rooms the sides of the room are generally the best locations for a Jamboard, so that users in the Jamzone can be seen on the room camera.

KEY HINTS

Make use of asymmetry in a room when looking to feature a jamboard to maximise space efficiency.

The Jamzone

The recommended clear space around the Jamboard to allow effective collaboration is a semicircle of radius 60” (1.5m) in front of the Jamboard.

Wall Mounting

Jamboards work great and maximise space when mounted to a wall. As a guide the board is best mounted 1m from the floor to the bottom of the screen.

KEY HINTS

Mounting height is also key when considering use of the inbuilt camera.

Floor Stand

Rolling mounts are also available, allowing the jamboard to be moved easily between teams.

Joining Meetings

You can join meetings directly from the Jamboard using the built in camera, microphones and speakers. You can also supplement the setup with a speakermic.

KEY HINTS

Check the Room Layout section for more information about locating users in the Jamboard camera field of view.

Chromebase

Chromebase for meetings is an all-in-one touchscreen video conferencing device. The Chromebase is ideal for small rooms and micro-huddles with 1 or 2 people.

Mounting

The chromebase comes with a stand, but can also be used with an articualting VESA mount.

KEY HINTS

Mounting on an adjustable arm from the desk is a great setup and allows users to adjust to their comfort.

Furniture & Lighting

Face to Background Ratio

A light ratio of 2:1 hitting participants’ faces vs the background directly behind their face is desirable.

Face Light Level

Average vertical illumination on participants’ faces should be around 400 lux. Avoid levels any higher than 500 lux on people’s faces and ensure luminaires are low glare.

General Light Level

Good visual comfort and uniformity is paramount, below are some general guide parameters:
Target uniformity ~0.6Uo
Colour temperature ~4500 kelvin.
Colour rendering index (CRI) ~80+

KEY HINTS

Lighting level on the working plane should still be within CIBSE guidelines.

Light Surfaces

Tables with light-coloured surfaces help illuminate participant faces and boost the face to background light ratio. Ideally table surface should be ~50% reflective

Roon Graphics

Avoid very bright surfaces or intricate patterns, especially any striped patterns falling in the camera shot. It can distract remote participants.

Wall Colour

Neutral and light, subtle colours are the most effective for camera, but avoid white washed walls where possible, as it can reduce colour appearance on camera.

External Windows

Blinds or curtains should be provided on all external windows to control the room light levels and prevent glare, which can affect camera performance.

internal Windows

Blinds or curtains should also be considered on all internal glass walls or windows. It ensures privacy can be achieved and improves acoustics.

Table Depth

Table legs should not restrict seating or leg movement. Generally a depth of at least 750mm (30″) should be provided for each user.

KEY HINTS

Consider adding laptop chargers and easy access power strips to tables

Table Length

As a ‘fixed’ element of furniture the table should comply to clearances described in the room layout section. Generally each user should have a seatway of at least 700mm (28″).

Table Shape

The table should help participants orientate around the screen, for larger rooms tapering the table can improve sightlines to the camera.

KEY HINTS

Remember to consider access around the table ideally at least 1200mm (48″).

Chair Tips

Chair features such as height and armrest adjustment will improve participant comfort. Take care to ensure there is 1200mm (48″) circulation space around fixed furniture for ease of access.

KEY HINTS

Bigger chairs, especially with larger backs may require a little more clearance space for circulation

Acoustics

Wall Rating

The ability of a partition to prevent sound transfer from an adjacent space is measured as an NIC rating. Where louder or more noise sensitive spaces adjoin a meeting room the wall will require a higher NIC rating.

KEY HINTS

The Noise isolation Class (NIC) rating is a single-number rating that describes the degree of airborne sound separation between two adjacent spaces afforded by a partition, door, and window or floor-ceiling assembly. You may also see (STC) sound transmission class used which is the same principle but a lab rating which is typically 5 points higher than NIC.

Between Meeting Rooms

Walls between meeting rooms should be at least

Wall with a Door

Walls with a door that are less than 4.5m from work areas should be at least NIC 30.
Walls with a door that are more than 4.5m from work areas should be at least

KEY HINTS

Where a door features in a wall, the highest achievable rating is limited by the rating of the door, so there is little value in rating the wall any higher.

Walls Without a Door

Walls without a door that are less than 4.5m from work areas should be at least NIC 35.

Walls without a door that are more than 4.5m from work areas should be at least NIC 30.

Wall Height

Partitions should be full height. Half height partitions can create a noise path between the rooms and introduce unwanted noise from adjacent spaces.

Glazing

Glazing is great for open plan office spaces, but it can increase reverberance. Try to limit glazing to the wall with the entry door, and avoid placing glazing between meeting rooms.

Doors

Doors are generally a acoustic weak link as the gaps allow sound to flank around and under the door. Insulated metal doors are preferred, followed by solid wood doors. Generally swing doors perform better than sliding doors. Perimeter acoustic seals will aid the sound separation performance and should be considered for any meeting room.

What is That Noise?

Be strategic about adjacencies, think about where meeting rooms are in relation to predictably noisy and other noise sensitive spaces, including vertically! Noisy spaces above and below meeting rooms are a common problem.

Duct Routing

Short ductwork between spaces are a common cause of unwanted sound transmission. When designing new spaces consider duct routing to minimize this concern.

Back to Back Equipment

Avoid positioning adjacent meeting rooms ‘back to back’ (screen wall to screen wall). This increases risk of noise transfer between meeting rooms.

KEY HINTS

Avoid positioning adjacent meeting rooms ‘back to back’ (screen wall to screen wall). This increases risk of noise transfer between meeting rooms.

Sorry, What Was that?

To make sure participants on each side of the call are clearly heard the room needs to provide a good level of speech intelligibility. The key is to control reverberation time and eliminate any unwanted reflections.

KEY HINTS

Speech intelligibility can be measured and is most commonly seen as Speech transmission index (STI). Reverberation time and background noise are two key components to a good STI.

Target RT Time

The following are suggested target reverberation times for meeting rooms:
Small rooms (up to 8 people): RT60 of 0.45s
Medium rooms (up to 11 people): RT60 of 0.6s
Larger rooms (up to 20 people): RT60 of 0.7s

KEY HINTS

Reverberation Time (RT) is a measure of the rate of decay of sound, helping us quantify how lively or reverberant a room is. RT60 is the time in seconds for a sound to decay by 60dB. A long RT time can hinder speech communication between occupants in the room and for remote participants.

Solutions

To achieve these targets, acoustic treatment in the room will be required. In existing spaces this might be limited to adapting the wall and floor finishes.

Room Shaping

You can look to take advantage of unusually shaped spaces, such as angled, or non parallel walls as they can provide acoustic benefits.

Wall Treatment

The total area of acoustic wall treatment should equal at least 50% of the total floor area of the room plus an additional 5m2, using treatment with an NRC of at least 0.7.

KEY HINTS

NRC (Noise reduction coefficient) is a measure of how much sound energy is absorbed when striking a surface. Measured from 0-1, a good benchmark is to allow for at least 50mm (2″) thick treatment for the walls to achieve NRC 0.7.

Adjacent Walls

Acoustic treatment on wall areas should ideally feature on two adjacent walls to reduce the risk of parallel reflections forming between two opposite reflective surfaces.

Treatment Location

Wall treatment should ideally start just below seated head height approximately 1m (40″) from the floor, continuing to ceiling level.

KEY HINTS

Multiple treatment options exist for walls that should be considered. Some options include felt, fabric wrapped panels, pinnable soft treatments, stretched fabric systems with concealed absorption. This will all depend on the desired look and feel for the room.

Floor Treatment

Soft flooring, such as carpet or carpet tile, is the preferred floor finish for all meeting rooms. Hard floor finishes are a common culprit for poor acoustics in meeting spaces. Area rugs and soft furnishings should be considered in rooms where carpet is not feasible.

Ceiling Treatment

Ideally the entire ceiling should feature acoustic treatment to at least NRC 0.7. Suspended ceilings (ACT), are the most common solution, but other solutions such as suspended fabric wrapped panels or an acoustic spray treatment could also be considered.

Background Noise

Speech intelligibility is key for a good meeting room environment, to ensure easy communication. Aside from reverberation, a low background noise is another key ingredient to good speech intelligibility.

Small & Medium Rooms

A noise criterion rating of NC 30 is recommended for small and medium sized rooms.

KEY HINTS

Background noise is measured by using single number rating (In this case NC rating) that describes the steady state background noise levels within a space due to mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The lower the rating the quieter the room. This criteria will most directly inform the design of the mechanical services system.

Larger Rooms

A noise criterion rating of NC 25 is recommended for larger sized rooms.

Services

Mechanical Equipment

While dependent on the size of the equipment and individual constraints, aim to allow for the following distances from HVAC units (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning units) to diffusers in the meeting room:

Variable air volume systems –
4.5m from unit to first diffuser.

Fan Coil unit systems –
6m from unit to first diffuser.

Ventilation Rates

Consider air velocities and diffuser selection to minimise noise from HVAC systems as much as. Cost is always a factor, but ensuring a low background noise in meeting rooms will massively help the speech intelligibility in the room.

KEY HINTS

We recommend an increase from the ASHRAE 62.1 rates. 30 Cubic feet per metre of outside air per person should be provided to conferencing rooms.

Thermal Control

Providing local temperature control to the room is useful to ensure occupants remain comfortable, irrespective of surrounding conditions.

Diffuser Locations

Avoid locating intake or extract (supply/return) ductwork above or near sensitive conferencing microphones. Unwanted noise from air flow on microphones can cause disruptive noise on the video call.

Power

Power is required to feed the display screens. This can be located in a cabinet directly below, if possible, or directly behind the screens. A second power socket is required under the table.

M&E Load

Typical maximum equipment load for dual screen rooms –
0.5kW / 1705 BTU/h

KEY HINTS

This estimate does not account for occupancy heat load, and peak heat load may be greater than this for short periods of time.

Cable Routes

Don’t forget to consider cable routes, especially where they might be visible or cause a trip hazard! A conduit or concealed cable route behind the wall to feed the screens will help keep the install neat. If the table doesn’t stretch to the wall, then dont forget a route over, or even better, under the floor.

Resource Download

Improving or creating your own meeting rooms? We’ve collected some useful references and CAD resources to help put the information in this guide into action on your project.

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