What do you as an acoustician need to consider regarding Room Acoustic Comfort™?

Human, activity and room. Room acoustic comfort  – a natural part of the indoor environment

In many environments where people are present and communicate, high sound levels are perceived as one of the most disturbing factors. High noise levels have a negative effect on us and affect health, communication, safety, economy (effectiveness/productivity), learning and general wellbeing.
 
It is therefore important that you as an acoustician remember that room acoustic comfort does not only involve a certain reverberation time. To reduce sound levels, it is important to consider other descriptors that are directly linked to sound levels, such as Strength (G).
 
The reverberation time is decided by:
- Added absorption and how it is placed
- The quantity and placing of sound-scattering objects such as furniture, shelves etc.
- The size and shape of the room
 
 The sound level is essentially determined by:
- The amount of absorption
 
Clarity of speech is essentially determined by:
- Early sound reflections in relation to late sound reflections
- Background noise
 
Room Acoustic Comfort™ (RAC™) means that, when performing an evaluation of room acoustics, it is important to take into account different types of rooms and what people do there.
Give priority to the different acoustic properties such as reverberance, speech clarity and sound level, depending on what the room is used for.
 
For example:
  • Sound level reduction will be most important in a kindergarten.
  • In a music room, the response of the room in the form of reverberance can be the most important aspect.
  • In a teaching situation, it is important to give priority both to speech clarity and to reduction of sound level.
  • In an open office landscape, it is essential that the sound propagation is restricted in order to minimise disturbance, mainly between different work groups. It is important that the sound level falls quickly with distance.
 
The room acoustic descriptors are guidance for achieving the desired acoustic function and for ensuring room acoustic comfort where people, and what they do, are put in focus.
 
Remember

Remember:
  • In many environments where people are present and communicate, high sound levels are perceived as one of the most disturbing factors
  • High noise levels have a negative effect on us
  • The reverberation time is decided by:
    - Added absorption and where it is placed,
    - The quantity and placing of sound-scattering objects such as furniture, shelves etc.
    - The size and shape of the room
  • The sound level is essentially determined by the amount of absorption
  • Clarity of speech is essentially determined by:
    - Early sound reflections in relation to late sound reflections
    - Background noise