Privacy Booths: A [Re]Emerging Technology

Matisen Anders and Jeffrey Chiu

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Feb 21, 2024

Workspaces have evolved over the last few decades, with more offices adopting open-space concepts to foster a collaborative work environment and eliminate wasted space. But with open offices come excessive noise and numerous distractions, which can impede concentration, productivity and the quality of interactions. Privacy booths, or phone booths, have become a staple in many open office spaces worldwide to help satisfy the need for private, acoustically insulated spaces for phone calls and virtual meetings.

Although they may offer a convenient, cost-effective alternative to adapting traditional "stick-built" construction, privacy booths present challenges for determining safety and code compliance. Privacy booths are essentially enclosed spaces, requiring a level of safety consistent with the remainder of the building.

In their article for Construction Today, Fire Safety Consultants Matisen Anders and Jeffrey Chiu review essential fire and life safety requirements for privacy booths, along with the applicable codes and standards. Establishing consistent code considerations with a specific focus on finishes and textiles, occupant egress, sprinkler protection, and notification appliances can help streamline evaluations and ensure the safety of the built environment.

Read the article here.

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About the author

Matisen Anders
Matisen is a Senior Fire Protection Engineer who is experienced in building construction and design, and has a firm understanding of the application of life safety codes, including NFPA, IBC, and California Building Codes. Her experience includes code compliance review, egress analysis, alternative design requests, property condition assessments and life safety code assessment surveys, and engineering calculations used for system design.