Healthcare Acoustic Design
Acoustic design to best support health and well being.
The document HTM 08-01 provides guidance on noise intrusion, M&E noise, sound insulation, and reverberation in key spaces.
As sound can have both physiological, and psychological effects on people, designing the optimal acoustic environments for both patients and healthcare providers is of upmost importance. Unwanted sound can have several adverse health effects, for example noise exposure can result in increased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. These can result from chronic, or even acute exposure to increased levels of noise.
As well as acoustic privacy, it is essential that speech intelligibility is preserved, while minimising the effects of background noise from mechanical an electrical equipment. As well as being a general requirement for many healthcare providers, the use of HTM 08-01 will get the project well on its way to achieving the desired BREEAM credits.
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Health Technical Memorandum 08-01
Health Technical Memorandum 08-01: Acoustics is the primary reference document when considering the acoustic design of health care facilities. The document provides guidance on noise intrusion, M&E noise, sound insulation, and reverberation in key spaces.
As well as being a general requirement for many healthcare providers, the use of HTM 08-01 will get the project well on its way to achieving the desired BREEAM credits.
While this particular health technical memorandum does not provide specific details, criteria are provided to guide the design and to inform the projects acoustic specialist.
As disused within the document, it is generally accepted that it would be unwise to design a healthcare development without specialist acoustic advice right from the outline design stage. The cost of correcting poor acoustical design will in most cases exceed the cost required to have things initially designed to an appropriate spec.
Role of the Acoustics Professional
The acoustic consultant or engineer will have input into a healthcare project at many stages. During concept design and planning we will help to provide the most effective layout and assist with the relevant site suitability studies. Through detailed design, we will provide the intricacies and technical knowledge required to input into the design team discussions, providing the relevant detailed drawings and mark ups. Finally, during completion and commissioning testing we will help to confirm designs have been implemented appropriately.
Advice may be required on any scale, from small community hospitals and GP surgeries, through to City hospitals and refurbishment projects.
It will be the role of the acoustic professional to provide solutions to achieve the criteria for noise intrusion. These are the noise levels from external sources that should be achieved within various internal spaces. Common external sources of noise will include road traffic, recreational noise from local facilities, and air traffic. This will need to be considered in aggregate with noise contributions from internal noise sources, primarily noise associated with medical equipment, or mechanical and electrical services.
Another key consideration will be the design of internal partitions in order to both ensure adequate privacy, as well as protection from adjacent areas, such as communal spaces or food preparation areas.
Testing and validation are essential, and a testing programme should be agreed at the earliest stage possible.
Testing will be required to include both airborne and impact sound insulation. This will be in addition to an assessment of noise levels generated by mechanical and electrical services equipment. These measurements should be completed both to confirm suitable internal ambient levels, as well as confirming that any impact on adjacent noise sensitive areas complies with the local authorities’ requirements.
T: 0845 508 0890
M: 0787 245 0205
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65 Lowther Road,
Dunstable, LU6 3NL
T: 0845 508 0890
M: 0787 247 0205