Final Thesis

Exploring methods to relate room acoustics and in-situ measurements with noise perception of children in schools

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Master Thesis of Klein, Simon

Poor acoustic conditions in educational institutions affect children. A noisy environment puts children under constant stress and impairs their performance. Most of the present research and standards concerning classroom acoustics focus on reverberation time and background noise level, although it is agreed upon that these measures do not provide comprehensive information on the noise perception of children. The noise perception is, however, closely related to children’s performance and well-being. Literature states that physical, psychoacoustic, and psychological parameters influence the perception of noise. Various models on this objective exist, yet none takes room acoustics into account and is widely accepted in the context of classroom acoustics. Hence, this study aimed to examine the noise perception of children in an educational environment in more detail. An explorative data analysis of room acoustic and in-situ measurement data from 31 rooms of schools and day care centres was carried out. This study presents how various psychoacoustic and room acoustic variables relate to each other. A prediction of children’s noise perception by the parameters was sought. The most influential variables were associated with three underlying factors. A significant model was found to relate sharpness S and interaural cross correlation coefficient IACC to the subjective noise perception of children in school.