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Classrooms

The requirement is pretty clear: The students must be able to hear clearly what the teacher says. Also, the teacher must be able to understand what the students are saying.

Yet some effort regarding noise control may have to be exercised according to the type of class; for example, small children can be quite agitated, so extra-absorptive treatment must be considered, especially with exercise classes.

There is a balance to achieve between the minimal acoustic absorption required, so as to guarantee reverberation control, and the necessary minimal spatial sound level decay needed, to ensure that the teacher’s voice does reach the back rows of students. This is a reason for several regulations and standards that impose both a lower and an upper limit on the reverberation time (RT) value (e.g., [3]).

It is also necessary that the students at the back rows are not unduly annoyed by the noise coming from the classroom next door. This is not that easy an exercise, as there often are doors communicating from one classroom to another for both safety and operational reasons. A 40 dB target really is a minimum, with some regulations allowing a slight reduction of the required sound insulation between classes when there is a direct communication door (e.g., [7]).

 
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