Assessment of kindergarten noise by means of psychoacoustic metrics

Invited paper

Jan Rennies

Fraunhofer IDMT

Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 08:40 - 09:00

0.6 Madrid (49)

In many studies conducted for the monitoring of the health situation of Kindergarten child care workers in Germany, the high noise level in the facilities has been pointed out by approximately 70% of the workers as one of the most stressful factor. This is also considered as one of the main reasons leading to early retirement or work place change. Although some studies have reported that in Kindergarten rooms a noise level that can cause hearing impairment is never reached continuously over 8 hours, the factor noise is clearly and consistently reported as highly annoying and stressful. This study presents results of subjective assessments of various kindergarten sound scenes. Loudness was evaluated by means of categorical loudness scaling, and the experimental data are compared to predictions of level-based measures, standards to compute loudness, and other psychoacoustical models. The goal was to test if existing metrics can reliably predict the loudness of kindergarten noise. The results of the study are also compared to a questionnaire-based assessment of kindergarten noise by child care workers and to long-term measurements, during which daily kindergarten noise has been measured over a period of several weeks.

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