Why is noise so prevalent in healthcare facilities? It’s a place of flat, hard surfaces and long hallways. In such an acoustically harsh environment it takes much longer for the noise to stop bouncing around. Think of a tennis ball. Throw it against a hard surface, and then throw it against a pillow. When the ball hits the hard surface it keeps bouncing around. When it hits a pillow, it drops. That’s like what happens to noise.
Hospitals and healthcare buildings are a significant challenge to acoustic consultants and designers. These buildings are typically a hive of activity and include a multitude of different spaces with a wide range of sensitivity and privacy requirements. Each space may be used for a variety of activities that have differing sensitivity levels and generate varying levels of noise.
Design of efficient, effective hospitals must incorporate noise control as a critical primary consideration. The best test for design is whether building spaces allow people to thrive mentally, socially and physically. As a result, design expectations must be adjusted so that the optimism of occupants’ physical and mental well-beings is a priority for architects and building designers. Is this design model going to have a positive impact on patients’ health?