Cooking and washing up are noisy activities. In addition to the sound produced by staff, there is also the noise from catering machinery and extractor fans.
Hard surface materials create problematic sound amplification and sound propagation. The sound is transported a long way and so disturbs a large number of people.
Hard flooring creates noisy footsteps.
Building codes and standards
For kitchens, Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) recommends an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation of <1.5 seconds be achieved (N.B. ancillary spaces are recommendations only).
Swedish Standard 02 52 68 recommends a reverberation time of 0.5 or 0.6 seconds, depending on the selected quality level. This applies to normally furnished but unoccupied rooms. The above figure is the highest recommended value for the frequency range 250 - 4,000 Hz. At 125 Hz a value 20% higher is permitted.