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ABSTRACT: This paper describes a newsyste of speech privacy criteria in terms of Speech Privacy Class (SPC) values. SPC values can be used to specify the required speech privacy for new construction or to assess the speech privacy of ex-isting closed rooms. The ASTM E2638 measurement standard defines SPC as the sum of the measured average noise level at the position of a potential eavesdropper outside the room, and the measured average level difference between a source room average and the transmitted levels at the same potential eavesdropper location. For a given combina-tion of level difference and ambient noise level, the likelihood of transmitted speech being audible or intelligible can be related to the probability of higher speech levels occurring in the meeting room, based on the statistics of speech levels from a large number of meetings. For a particular meeting room speech level, there is an SPC value for which transmitted speech would be at the threshold of intelligibility or even at the threshold of audibility. One can create a set of increasing SPC values corresponding to increasing speech privacy and for each SPC value one can give the probability of transmitted speech being either audible or intelligible. This makes it possible to accurately specify speech privacy criteria for meeting rooms and offices, varying from conditions of quite minimal to extremely high speech privacy, with an associated risk of a speech privacy lapse which is acceptable for each situation.
National Research Council Canada
Institute for Research in Construction (IRC)