How to design a meeting room?

Cómo diseñar una sala de reuniones - GESAB

The meeting room is an essential space in any business or institutional environment. It is the place where important decisions are made, presentations are made and collaboration between teams is fostered, so a proper design can significantly improve the productivity and efficiency of meetings.

In addition to its practical function, the meeting room also plays an important role in the image and culture of the company or organization. A carefully thought-out design can convey the values of the entity and create an environment conducive to the exchange of ideas: the arrangement of furniture, the choice of colors and the incorporation of visual elements can help establish an atmosphere that encourages participation and generates a sense of professionalism. In this, the design of the meeting room should not only work in the functional sense, but also in the corporate identity and in the well-being of those who use it.

Below, we’ll explain in detail some of the key aspects to consider, such as lighting, camera and whiteboard position, acoustics, and microphones.

Lightning

Lighting is a crucial factor in meeting room design. Natural light is preferable as it creates a more pleasant environment and reduces eyestrain. However, it is important to control it to avoid annoying reflections on the screens and monitors used during meetings. To achieve this, curtains or blinds can be used to regulate the entry of light.

In addition to natural light, artificial lighting is necessary to focus attention on key elements of the room, such as the meeting table. Pendant luminaires are an excellent option, and it is recommended to position them at a 45 degree angle above the work surface to avoid annoying shadows. If there is a whiteboard in the room, it is advisable to focus the light at the end where it is located, although with caution, since strong light can obscure the faces of the participants.

To illuminate people properly, it is essential to maintain a light intensity between 400 and 500 Lux on their faces. This implies that the maximum light level on the table and its surroundings should be 750 Lux, maintaining a contrast of 1:1.5. It’s also important to avoid overlighting surrounding walls, as this can also make faces appear darker.

Camera position

The position of the camera in the room is crucial to achieve good eye contact with remote participants. This should be placed horizontally in the center of the room and as close as possible to the screen that shows remote participants. It is important to consider both the horizontal and vertical field of vision when designing the room.

The conference table should be positioned so that all participants are within the frame when the camera is in full view, avoiding excessive zooming. For moderate size screens (<80″), the camera can be mounted on top of it. However, for larger screens (>80″), the screen should be mounted on the wall at a suitable height, while the camera is placed under it.

The camera mounting height should be measured from the center of the lens to the ground. Generally the participants will be seated, so the ideal camera height should be between 1.12 m and 1.83 m. considering that if the height is higher, the remote participants can get an aerial view, and the closer ones could be out of the vertical field of view.

Whiteboard position

If the meeting room includes a whiteboard, it is important to place it in a place visible from the main camera. Ideally, the whiteboard should be on the wall opposite the camera lens. However, if this wall is occupied, for example by windows, you can place the whiteboard on a side wall and use an additional camera to focus on it.

The additional camera should point directly and focus on the whiteboard at a minimum height of 1.5m from the floor, which will provide flexibility by allowing you to focus only on the whiteboard or only on the people as needed during the meeting.

Room acoustics

Proper acoustics are critical to ensuring clear, distraction-free communication during meetings. To reduce echo and reverberations, sound-absorbing materials can be used, such as acoustic panels for the ceiling and walls. (Number 1).

Ceiling panels must have an absorption class A or a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.9 or higher for better effectiveness. As for the wall panels, it is recommended to place them on at least two adjacent walls preferably at the same height as the listeners and microphones. Panels must have a minimum thickness of 5mm to be effective. (Number 2).

To prevent the transfer of sound between the interior and exterior of the room, the Sound Reduction Index (Rw) should be around 48 dB on walls and 35 dB on doors. (Number 3).

Table microphones

If microphones are used on the work surface of the table, it is important to consider a few things. One microphone typically covers four people, so at least two microphones will be needed for optimal sound pickup. The closest microphone to the Audiovisual Furniture should be placed between 0.13 and 0.50 m from the end of the table.

If multiple microphones are used on the table, it is recommended to separate them between 1.15 to 1.50 m for obtaining a balanced sound.

Ceiling microphones

In certain situations it is preferable to keep the table free of microphones. In these cases, it is possible to place the microphones on the ceiling, which should be aligned with the edge of the table closest to the system and mounted at a height of approximately 2.15 m from the floor. Orientation should be toward meeting attendees, away from the end of the table.

For longer tables, additional microphones can be mounted 8 to 15 feet apart.

Table position

The position and dimensions of the table are also essential to ensure effective communication between the participants. The width of the table should be slightly larger than the width of the system or screen so that all participants can see it comfortably.

The distance between the table and the audiovisual system must not be less than 0.7 times the width of the front of the table, according to the field of vision of the cameras. If there are three or more participants sitting on the long side of the table, a slightly tilted table can be used, being wider at the end closest to the system to ensure optimal visibility of the screen and that all attendees can be seen by the screen.

Standard Space Specifications

When starting a project we usually know the measurements of the room that we are going to transform into a meeting room. Therefore, it is good to be able to have approximate references of what size table corresponds to that room, based on its measurements and for this we can use this table of specifications as a starting point for space specifications.

If we have a particularly small room, we must try not to exceed the size of the table, even if the client insists that he needs more capacity for people. It can also be seen the other way around, if we are in a construction site and we want to place a table for 10 people, for example, we will be able to know what minimum sizes our room should have.

In conclusion, designing a meeting room involves taking several aspects into account. The spatial distribution of the room, the position of the camera, the microphones and the acoustics are fundamental to guarantee an effective communication and a positive experience in the meetings, without forgetting that the appropriate lighting will create a pleasant and functional environment.

With a careful and well-planned design, the room will become a productive and collaborative space for all business and institutional activities.

Related articles

Contacta con nosotros y solicita más información

Scroll to Top