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Why do we need standards?

Katrin Bergmark, Concept Developer – Healthcare, Ecophon Sweden.

This question formed the introduction to the overview of acoustic standards in Europe presented by Katrin Bergmark, Concept Developer at Ecophon in Sweden. Katrin talked about the current situation regarding sound in health care premises. Hospitals are often experienced as very noisy, leading to health effects on both patients and staff. In order to create a supporting sound environment we should aim to:
– secure privacy
– lower the noise levels
– facilitate good communication

And develop standards accordingly…
Click here to read Katrin’s paper

Three approaches can be used to assess the sound environment, using building regulations, using occupational health guidelines or using acoustical standards. Acoustical standards are most fit to provide technical guidance to fulfil the acoustic requirements
The acoustic parameters used, differ per country. Several trends will create good opportunities to further develop the standards, like emerging laws on privacy and increased insight in acoustics. Katrin mentioned one study to illustrate this. The results of this study performed at a Thorax ICU in Stockholm showed, that people perceive acoustics differently, even though reverberation times were the same. This requires more than one parameter to be used when defining the desired Room Acoustic

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