ACOUSTIC COMFORT

MULTICOMFORT buildings have acoustic environments that are well-balanced – blocking out unwanted, harmful noise and enhancing those sounds that we want, and indeed need, to hear.

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What is ACOUSTIC COMFORT?

Today’s world is often noisy. Over half of the global population now lives in cities – surrounded by noise-producing transport, equipment and activity.

Many of us fi nd ourselves disturbed by annoying sounds on a daily basis. In Europe alone, 331 million households have adjoining neighbors.

This brings new acoustic challenges to our day-to-day lives.

Research has shown that well-designed sound environments in offices or schools help to improve concentration and enable better communication. Learning is more effective and less tiring when students can comfortably hear and understand their teacher. In hospitals, reducing the stress and sleeplessness created by high noise levels helps patients recover faster and facilitates the work of the staff. In our own homes, protection from noises contributes to a sense of security and privacy.

Aside from direct damage to hearing, unwanted noise can be detrimental to our health in other ways. Additional consequences of noise exposure include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, headaches, hormonal changes, psychosomatic illnesses, sleep disorders, decreased physical and mental performance, stress reactions, aggression, constant feelings of displeasure and a decreased sense of general wellbeing.

What’s clear then, is that when we are acoustically comfortable – when unwanted noise is blocked and we can clearly hear beneficial sounds – we’re more productive, happier and experience fewer health issues.

DID YOU KNOW?

More Information

Source: FUNDAMENTALS OF ACOUSTICS, Professor Colin H Hansen, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide.

While the human ear is sensitive to a very wide range of frequencies, low frequency sound – such as the vibration noise of an air-conditioning unit, for example – is generally perceived as particularly annoying.

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What contributes to
ACOUSTIC COMFORT?

The quality of sound in any given indoor space is determined by the sources of the sound or noise and quality of the building envelope. These sources can include:

1.

Exterior noise

from nearby traffic

2.

Interior noise

from music or phone conversations

3.

Impact noise

such as footsteps

4.

Background noise

from appliances, ventilation systems or electronic equipment

The effect of noise on a specific individual depends on many different factors. These include the predictability and familiarity of the sound, the controllability of the sound, personal attitude and sensitivities, information on the contents of the sound, and the necessity for the sound. For instance, we are more likely to tolerate noise from neighbors we like, than those we don’t.

Interior

Intermediate

Exterior

Designing for ACOUSTIC COMFORT?

Whenever we’re designing or renovating a new space, we need to carefully consider each of the above factors in the context of the building’s current function and use, as well as the requirements of future occupants.

Of course, acceptable sound levels also depend on the activities to be performed in a particular building or room. The requirements for a high-concentration working area are different to those of concert hall, for example. Likewise, kitchens require different acoustics to bedrooms.

Another important point to bear in mind is that our living habits are changing. Spaces now rarely have a single use, but must be multi-functional, with several activities co-existing. People are increasingly working from home, and resting or online shopping in the office. A deep understanding of the impact of acoustics on our overall mood and wellbeing is therefore increasingly critical.

DID YOU KNOW?

More Information

Source: www.gov.co.uk

Almost all people admit that their concentration is impaired by office noise such as unanswered phones and background conversations.

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Learn how our bodies experience ACOUSTIC COMFORT

Find out more about the ways that human beings identify and react to different sound levels.

Explore the other angles of MULTICOMFORT

Thermal Comfort logo - Comfort From Every Angle
Cartoon showing people at different temperatures
Visual Comfort logo - Comfort From Every Angle
Cartoon showing different light levels.
Acoustic Comfort logo - Comfort From Every Ang
Cartoon showing different sounds from everyday life
Indoor Air Comfort Logo - Comfort From Every Angle
Cartoon showing airflow through a house
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