How Poor Acoustics Effect Students
31 January 2020
Very few things in anyone’s life are more irritating than excessive noise resulting in a person’s inability to hear. This is particularly so in a school where the need to hear clearly, with a minimum of interference and distraction is mandatory for learning. Excessive noise results in a student’s inability to concentrate, creates an uncomfortable learning environment, inhibits focus and encourages stress. Teacher-student communication is interfered with the student typically “tuning out”. Teachers and often students find the need to “speak louder.”
In a typical classroom, four types of sounds (or “noise”) are present.
- Outside noise from playgrounds, roads, airplanes, yelling etc.
- Impact Noise from objects being dropped, heels on terrazzo or tile floors, dolly wheels, maintenance personnel activities etc.
- Equipment Noise from HVAC systems, sound transfer through ductwork, computers, laboratory equipment etc.
- Internal noises from teachers speech, overlapping conversations, typical classroom activities
The standard of acoustical integrity most relied upon is STC as determined by ASTM E-90. This is the primary source architects use for product consideration. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with the wording and processing in which ASTM E-90 determines an STC rating. Read the reports and analyze the data.
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