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Conference_programme: 10.2 - Building Acoustics and Health

Lecture: Acoustics in Operating Theatres with modular building technique

Author(s): Quinn Maria

Modular solutions for operation theatres made of glass and metal adversely affect the sound environment as the absorption of sound is non-existent. The requirement for reverberation time (RT) in operating rooms is according to Swedish Standard 25268 <0.6 seconds. Modules without additional acoustic supplement are calculated to around 2.0 seconds. This way of building is a growing trend and we believe there is a need for the market to know how the sound environment is affected.\n\nThe noise level in operating rooms can be particularly difficult and may affect the ability of the staff to hear the proper instruction, it also affects their perceived stress and well-being. Sound peaks can reach 110 decibel (dB) when tools are in use. \n\n In our research the modular ceiling was replaced with a sound absorbing ceiling with Absorption Class A. Both normal sized rooms (65m²) and the larger Hybrid room (105 m²) was treated with absorbents. To gain better understanding on the sound environment we also chose to measure Speech Clarity (C50) and Strength (G).\n\n Acoustic measurements in the normal size rooms showed a RT of 0.7 seconds and in the Hybrid 0.9 seconds. The Hybrid would not be approved according to SS 25268. This is important information as a hospital planner might think that if they order a package solution all building demands would be fulfilled.\n\n Clarity (C50) measures A-weighted 4.8 dB in the Hybrid. The measurement is very unevenly distributed over the frequency spectrum with a clear drop at the important frequency range 1000 Hz. Strength (G) also measures unequally with a strong increase in low frequencies. In a hybrid with many installations and a high number of staff, this can be tiring, loud and uncomfortable. \nThe Hybrid needs further acoustic treatment to meet the requirement in the standard.\n

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Corresponding author

Name: Ms Maria Quinn

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Country: Sweden