As other establishments hosting (regularly or occasionally) children under 6 (e.g. crèches, kindergartens), a daycare center is a place for which it is often necessary to consider a posteriori anacoustic improvement (to limit noise).
Indeed, in France, there is currently (i.e. at the start of 2020) no regulatory text setting the minimum acoustical characteristics of such buildings.
Because of this (it's sad, but it is so: there is a cause and effect link), it is not uncommon for a daycare center to be, at the origin (i.e. during its construction or when fitting out such a space in a building which had not previously been intended for this use) devoid of any noise limiting device, in premises for which they are however necessary due to their use e.g. atrium, play rooms of the different sections, sleeping rooms, offices, medical rooms, rooms reserved for staff, halls and stairwells likely to be used by children on a regular basis.
Thus, acoustic improvement of a daycare center (to limit noise) often consists of making up for the lack of materials that sufficiently absorb sounds at mid and high frequencies, which is at the origin of the phenomenon (undesirable when too accentuated) of reverberation, with different consequences:
- poor speech (and, where appropriate: music) intelligibility
- increase in sound levels (each child - but also: each adult ? - speaking louder to try to be heard, which is counterproductive)
This lack of acoustic comfort results in various problems:
- for children a weakening (and a lack of profitability ?) of certain learning processes
- for adults (i.e. for staff in daycare centers): deplorable working conditions
ITS participated in acoustic improvement (to limit noise) of a daycare center in the Nantua region, in the Ain department (Auvergne Rhône Alpes region, France).
A key moment in the project was the on-site measurement (by ITS, in accordance with existing standards) of the reverberation time (which turned out to be too high due to the absence of any constructive arrangement likely to favorably affect this fundamental indicator of the acoustic quality of premises) and also the assessment (made on this occasion: with dimensional surveys and inventory of available surfaces).
On this diagnosis (based on experience: precise, reliable, exhaustive) depended the level of optimization (finally: high, both technically and from a budgetary point of view) of actions for acoustic improvement of this daycare center (to limit noise), which were the subject of a complete study (by ITS) involving, with regard to different possible materials and constructive systems: their selection, the definition of their positioning, the determination of their quantities (as needed).
After considering, to remedy the problems (direct: those mentioned above, and indirect, which were not all described to us in detail: claims and decrease of visits of childs decided by their parents ? adults absenteeism ?) what constituted for this daycare center its absolute lack of acoustic comfort, different scenarios of treatment of the excessive reverberation of the room (each one: associated with a level of acoustic performance simulated by ITS), the solution was selected and proposed (by ITS ) which appeared to be the one for which the compromise in terms of acoustic performance and cost (taking into account the possibility of implementation) was the best as far as sound insulation in buildings was concerned.
From all this resulted a materialization, in the form of the supply and installation of suspended absorbent elements:
- for walls
- for the ceiling and in the form of elements hung below it (the vocabulary to designate them, when followed by the adjective "absorbent" or "acoustic" or "soundproofing" is not always - even in the profession - the dubject of a consensus: baffles, linings ...)
ITS has marketed these soundproofing devices, which are both effective and play their part in terms of decoration : ITS has therefore be a compagnion, from one end to the other, for this step of acoustic improvement of a daycare center (to limit noise).