The Role of Acoustics in Architectural Design of Medical Centers: A Review

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Architecture Faculty of Art, Architecture and Urban Planning, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

2 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Art, Architecture and Urban Planning, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

Abstract

Today, medical centers are considered to be healing environments. A healing environment provides a space with a positive effect on its occupants. Architecture has an undeniable role in creating such an environment. Comfort factors should be carefully considered when designing health centers. Amongst these factors, acoustic comfort in hospitals plays a prominent role. The adverse effects of noise on patients have been well documented in many studies. Architectural design can have a major impact on the quality of a hospital's acoustic comfort. In this article, studies related to the acoustic design of therapeutic buildings are reviewed. First, different approaches to building acoustic analysis will be reviewed. Then, architectural approaches for controlling noise pollution in medical centers are discussed. Common criteria concerning acoustic comfort in healthcare spaces are introduced. Major acoustic annoyance factors in medical centers are discussed and some potential solutions are presented. This review shows that factors such as site selection, arrangement of different sections, facilities, internal and external noise sources, geometry and structure of the interiors and construction materials have a direct impact on the acoustic comfort of the hospital. General guidelines in acoustical design of medical centers are presented. Some psychological and mental factors associated with acoustic annoyance have also been introduced.

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