ITS participated in the reduction of acoustic discomfort in a canteen by means of noise-reducing screens in the vicinity of Melun (France - Ile de France region).

The implementation of such soundproofing hardware (cf. claustras brochure) allows, in terms of acoustic performance of such a restaurant space, to combine two complementary effects:

  • reverberation diminution, due to the sound absorption properties of their filling (the absorption coefficient is close to 100% at medium-high frequencies i.e. in the bands of 1/1 octave with a central frequency 500 Hz, 1000 Hz and 2000 Hz for which the average value of the reverberation time[1] is regulated[2])
  • the limitation of sound propagation from one canteen table to another, due to the obstacle thus interposed between the noise source which is the mouth of some children when they speak or even when they emit more noise than those normally associated with a conversation (e.g. if they are playing, or if they shout) and the receivers constituted by the ears of other children, and also those of service personnel (when they are in places where the noise is attenuated due to the non-direct sound waves paths)

This is beneficial for improving speech intelligibility and limiting ambient noise:

  • avoiding sound overstatement when everyone raises their voice to (what is wrongly believed) make themselves heard better
  • by favoring the components of acoustic comfort which are, for such premises - but also for shared workspaces in the form of open plan offices i.e. open spaces) discretion[3] and confidentiality[4]

Reducing acoustic discomfort in a canteen by means of noise-reducing screens is particularly indicated:

  • to complement the implementation of sound-absorbing materials at the physical limits of the room (walls, ceiling or under-roof), which can then be perfectly coordinated (see brochure here)
  • (a fortiori) when the implementation of sound-absorbing materials at the physical limits of the room (walls, ceiling or under-roof) is not possible in practice (e.g. due to the presence of glazed surfaces, furniture of large dimensions such as cupboards or self-service elements, decorative elements such as frescoes, or openings to other spaces) or is not desired (e.g. if the considered premises are intended to accommodate canteen users only temporarily, which may discourage investment in permanent solutions); the shielding effect can then, in such a context be (at least: locally i.e. in some locations of the room) quite dramatically reduced due to the reflections of sound waves on hard walls resulting in a circumvention of the obstacle to a direct sound propagation due to the screens

In addition, the reduction of acoustic discomfort in a canteen by means of noise-reducing screens is an easy to implement and practical solution:

  • not requiring any work strictly speaking (no on-site works)
  • consisting only of (simply) positioning elements completely prefabricated in a factory, usually delivered (on legs or wheels) in one piece (a linking device is possible to form sets e.g. in a straight line, a right angle)
  • allowing adaptations to all catering room layouts, and to their possible changes over time (also with possible re-use in the event of a canteen moving)
  • surfacing with a resistant fabric allows the expected longevity (for ordinary use)

Finally, the careful realization of the noise-reducing screens marketed by ITS and the color chart with shimmering hues offered makes it possible to positively contribute to the visual atmosphere of spaces for which the decoration counts, when it comes to appreciating the level of comfort they offer to users.

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[1] is the time required for the sound pressure level to decrease by 60 dB (i.e. with a ratio of 1 million to 1) after a noise source has stopped in a room; therefore characterizes the persistence of sounds over time which is measurable - e.g. by ITS, before or after a soundproofing action - using a sound level meter and a noise generator (electro-acoustic hardware)

[2] in France, an order of April 25, 2003 relates to the limitation of noise and sets a limit to reverberation time depending on volume for different spaces e.g. premises for teaching or for practical activities, administration, library, information and documentation centre, music room, meeting room, staff room, medical and infirmary room, multipurpose room

[3] situation obtained when an effort is required to understand the content of a transmitted conversation; then, the conversation is not a source of distraction

[4] situation obtained when even with an effort to understand a conversation sent, it remains incomprehensible

Acoustic comfort in buildings

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