Home Engineering Building Acoustics
Sleeping quarters are a feature of kindergarten schools and nurseries. A significant sound insulation value is usually required between exercise areas and sleeping quarters (at least 50 dB). This is typically achieved through the use of thick heavy separating walls (e.g., 20 cm thick reinforced concrete walls) with an air lock (please kindly note that as the doors are considered emergency exits, one must not need to exercise too much effort to open them).
However, it is sometimes admitted that when those sleeping quarters serve the adjoining exercise areas, only the sound insulation can be downgraded to a much smaller value (e.g., 35 dB).
The treatment of such quarters usually calls for an absorptive ceiling and a resilient floor covering.
The gymnasium is usually located away from the other spaces in order to help reduce the eventual impact noise transmission and noise from activities to other parts of the building. Should that be impossible, a floating floor will probably be needed in the gymnasium. The sound insulation with regards to the outside is usually rather poor due to natural ventilation and natural lighting (especially taking into account that most of the time the constructive elements must be shock resistant).
Acoustic treatment of the premises is of primary importance. To start with, the teacher must not be overexposed to the noise from activities; more to the point, he must be able to give instructions without shouting his head off, while the students must not strain to understand him. This acoustic treatment must, of course, be shock resistant, and several manufacturers have such material in their catalog [5, 6]. A typical treatment will call for the ceiling (or the underface of the roof) and two consecutive walls so as to prevent any significant resonance.
Noise control must be applied to heating and ventilating (cf. Chapter 4) so as to limit the sound level value at 45 dB(A) at most.
Usually there are basic requirements (e.g., sound insulation with regards to such sensible spaces such as classrooms, e.g., 53 dB in France , and a maximum reverberation time value too, taken from the regulations and recommendations applicable to sport halls [10, 11]) that are based on the volume of the sport hall.
Workshops of educational facilities are normally covered by the same regulations as professional workshops regarding noise control inside the premises (cf. Chapter 10). In addition, there usually are legal requirements regarding the sound insulation with regards to such spaces as classrooms (e.g., 55 dB in France ).
One must especially be aware of the need for noise reduction inside the workshop, but nevertheless it is necessary for the teacher to be properly heard by the students. In addition to the normal treatment, it is advisable to provide a small space where discussions can be had or phone calls taken without being hampered by the noise of the activities around.
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