Effects of Noise on Health & Healthcare Environments
Noise or ‘unwanted sound’ can increase the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and even blood cholesterol levels. Conversely, pleasant sounds help create a sense of well-being. Music can be used to treat depression, to reach autistic people and to calm and relax tense patients.
Good acoustics in healthcare is important; not just for speech communication between professionals but to assist patients to make a full recovery. A pleasant sound environment can improve patient privacy and dignity and promote sleep patterns. It can also improve staff morale as well and efficiency as a result.
Assessment of acoustics is a requirement under ‘Health Technical Memorandum 08-01: Acoustics’ (HTM08-01). It covers the acoustic design criteria for healthcare premises. It addresses issues such as the provision of temporary healthcare facilities, refurbishments and the control of noise and vibration during construction and on-site testing. The guidance is not a building regulations requirement but is often a requirement of desired acoustics related BREEAM credits. Environoise Consulting Limited provides acoustic consultancy services to meet the requirements of the most recent guidance (HTM 08-01), or projects requiring the previous guidance of HTM 2045 and HTM 56.
We provide advice to designers and assess health care environments to achieve good conditions for privacy and acoustics. We advise from the initial planning stage, to the detailed design and post construction testing.