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Conference_programme: 10.2 - Building Acoustics and Health

Lecture: Evaluation and improvement of the acoustic comfort in nursing homes: a case study in Flanders, Belgium

Author(s): Thomas Pieter, Aletta Francesco, Vander Mynsbrugge Tara, Filipan Karlo, Dijckmans Arne, De Geetere Lieven, Botteldooren Dick, Petrovic Mirko, De Vriendt Patricia, Van De Velde Dominique, De Vos Paul

In nursing homes, poor acoustic quality of living spaces might have an adverse impact on the behaviour and well-being of both residents and staff, decreasing their everyday quality of life. In the context of the AcustiCare project on the characterization and improvement of the acoustic comfort in nursing homes and the introduction of soundscapes in healthcare for older people, five nursing homes in Flanders (Belgium) were evaluated from the acoustical point of view. Correcting interventions were implemented, where possible. The evaluation of the acoustic comfort was two-fold: (1) sound levels in bedrooms and living rooms were monitored during a one-week period to get insights into typical temporal patterns; (2) the building acoustics of bedrooms, corridors and living rooms was investigated in terms of standardized level difference (DnT), standardized impact sound pressure level (L'nT) and reverberation time (T20). Results for the sound level monitoring indicate that overall sound pressure levels are significantly different between the nursing homes, and daily patterns are observable for different types of spaces in the facilities. Regarding the building acoustics, high reverberation times in living rooms and poor sound insulation from living rooms and corridors to bedrooms were generally observed. In the second part of this study, different acoustic interventions were applied to reduce the reverberation time of the living rooms, as well as the sound propagation to bedrooms. The achieved improvements are presented and discussed.

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Corresponding author

Name: Dr Pieter Thomas

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Country: Belgium