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Noise Pollution and Classroom Acoustics Marc Hodapp Rory Moulton Kari Ricker.

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Presentation on theme: "Noise Pollution and Classroom Acoustics Marc Hodapp Rory Moulton Kari Ricker."— Presentation transcript:

1 Noise Pollution and Classroom Acoustics Marc Hodapp Rory Moulton Kari Ricker

2 Goals Original goal Original goal –Determine noise levels in local classrooms Final goals Final goals –Improve local classroom acoustics –Develop noise reducing materials using recyclable resources

3 Objectives Objectives Objectives –Determine existing local classroom acoustical conditions –Make recommendations to improve local classrooms –Develop innovative acoustical treatments from recycled material that would also apply to other similar buildings

4 Negative Effects of Poor Classroom Acoustics 25% to 30% of teacher’s verbal communication is not heard 25% to 30% of teacher’s verbal communication is not heard Lowered reading comprehension scores Lowered reading comprehension scores Achievement scores below grade levels Achievement scores below grade levels

5 Reading Comprehension UK, Spain, & Netherlands, 2003 Modified from http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/163/1/27 Aircraft Noise, dB(A) Reading Comprehension Scores 100 0 n = 2000 students

6 Standardized Grade Equivalent Test Los Angeles, CA, 2001 Modified From http://www.quietclassrooms.org/library/ICA2001.htm n = 1406 students

7 Population Distribution

8 Methodology Part One: Researching Archival research Archival research –Researched effects of excessive noise –Researched current acoustical solutions –Investigated recycled materials on island Interviews Interviews –Acoustical Engineer –Waste Management Specialist –Industrial Engineer –Mechanical Engineer

9 Methodology Part Two: Selecting Classrooms Obtained permission from the Puerto Rico Department of Education Obtained permission from the Puerto Rico Department of Education Visited four local junior high schools Visited four local junior high schools –Located two classrooms in each school One classroom in noisiest section of school One classroom in noisiest section of school One classroom in quietest section of school One classroom in quietest section of school

10 Methodology Part Three: Noise Measurements Following ANSI standards Following ANSI standards –Used A-weighted time averaging sound level meter A-weighted: Noise as perceived by humans A-weighted: Noise as perceived by humans –Recorded six separate readings of noise levels Every three seconds for thirty seconds Every three seconds for thirty seconds Noted background noises during noise level spikes Noted background noises during noise level spikes

11 Methodology Part Three: Noise Measurements In all visited schools In all visited schools –Recorded two unoccupied classrooms One reading with unoccupied adjacent rooms One reading with unoccupied adjacent rooms One reading with occupied adjacent rooms One reading with occupied adjacent rooms In one visited school In one visited school –Measured an additional room With air conditioner on With air conditioner on With air conditioner off With air conditioner off

12 Methodology Part Four: Classroom Profiling Outdoors Outdoors –Photographed school grounds –Measured distances to noise sources Indoors Indoors –Calculated reverberation time Measured classroom dimensions Measured classroom dimensions Noted classroom objects’ material Noted classroom objects’ material –Distributed teacher surveys

13 Understanding the Results Noise Noise –Originates from inside or outside –Travels as a sound wave –Measured in decibels (dB) –Classroom levels should be less than 35 dB on average

14 Understanding the Results Reverberation time (echo) Reverberation time (echo) –Can be estimated Assuming Sabine room Assuming Sabine room Using absorption coefficients Using absorption coefficients –Can be measured Using a sound level meter Using a sound level meter –Units are in seconds –Classroom time should be less than.6 seconds

15 Reverberation Example www.reverberationtime.com

16 Rafael Martinez Nadal (RMN) Located in Guaynabo Located in Guaynabo Surrounding the school: Surrounding the school: –Bus station –High traffic road (most noise) –Farm –Courtyard

17 Dr. Cesareo Rosa Nieves (CRN) Located in the San Juan area Located in the San Juan area Surrounding the school: Surrounding the school: –Construction site on two sides (most noise) –Elementary school –Housing

18 Sabana Llana (SL) Located in the San Juan area Located in the San Juan area Surrounding the school: Surrounding the school: –High traffic street (most noise) –Courtyard with a basketball court (most noise) –Housing –Parking lot

19 Republica Del Peru (RDP) Located in the San Juan area Located in the San Juan area Surrounding the school: Surrounding the school: –High traffic road (most noise) –Housing on two sides –Basketball court and playing fields

20 Results

21 Results Rafael Martinez Nadal Room 1 Adjacent Room Occupied

22 Results Rafael Martinez Nadal Classroom Comparison Chart

23 Results

24 Results

25 Results

26 Teacher Results

27 98 percent reported that there was outdoor noise during class hours 98 percent reported that there was outdoor noise during class hours 89 percent reported that they have to speak over the outdoor noises 89 percent reported that they have to speak over the outdoor noises 76 percent recorded that they hear noise from other classrooms 76 percent recorded that they hear noise from other classrooms 73 percent recorded that they have to speak over interior noises 73 percent recorded that they have to speak over interior noises

28 Teacher Results

29 Conclusions: Classroom Acoustics Sound levels exceed ANSI, 2005 recommendations Sound levels exceed ANSI, 2005 recommendations Reverberation times exceed ANSI, 2005 recommendations Reverberation times exceed ANSI, 2005 recommendations People cause the most frequent increases in noise levels People cause the most frequent increases in noise levels Noise levels vary within schools Noise levels vary within schools Teachers in all schools agree that noise levels are high Teachers in all schools agree that noise levels are high

30 Results Sound Absorbing Material Polyester as a sound absorber Polyester as a sound absorber http://kr.gobizkorea.com/att/english/offer/PSF-HC1.jpg

31 Results Sound Absorbing Material

32

33

34 Conclusions: Acoustical Tiles Inexpensive fibers Inexpensive fibers Low initial investment Low initial investment Pioneering production Pioneering production Potential for profit Potential for profit Potentially large market Potentially large market

35 Recommendations for The Department of Education Phase Number One: Understanding Noise Phase Number One: Understanding Noise –Purchase low-cost sound level meters –Initiate an island wide sound study –Collect data in a standardized manner –Identify the schools and areas with the most noise problems

36 Recommendations for The Department of Education Phase Number Two: Developing Standards Phase Number Two: Developing Standards –Consult an Acoustical Engineer –Develop and adopt acoustical standards Follow ANSI Follow ANSI Develop standards for Puerto Rico Develop standards for Puerto Rico

37 Recommendations for The Department of Education Phase Number Three: Beginning the Process of Change Phase Number Three: Beginning the Process of Change –Urge schools to consider our low-cost solutions –Consider allocating funds to acoustically treat classrooms –Work with the Environmental Quality Board to reduce noise outside of schools

38 Recommendations for All Puerto Rican Public Schools Step Number One: Know Your Noise Step Number One: Know Your Noise –Take sound level measurements Interactive learning experience Interactive learning experience Involve students and teachers Involve students and teachers –Locate the loudest and quietest sections –Identify the major sources of noise

39 Recommendations for All Puerto Rican Public Schools Step Number Two: Involving Students Step Number Two: Involving Students –Educate students about noise –Demonstrate different sound levels in class –Inform students when their voices are loud

40 Recommendations for All Puerto Rican Public Schools Step Number Three: Designate Quiet Zones Step Number Three: Designate Quiet Zones –Determine which areas are quiet zones Hallways Hallways Classrooms Classrooms Libraries Libraries –Designate one or two break rooms Located in loudest section Located in loudest section –Designate a gathering area outdoors Located as far away from classes as possible Located as far away from classes as possible

41 Recommendations for All Puerto Rican Public Schools Step Number Four: Sound Solutions Step Number Four: Sound Solutions –Low Cost Open windows Open windows Close doors Close doors Limit use of mechanical devices Limit use of mechanical devices –Commercial Solutions Install acoustical tiles Install acoustical tiles Seal windows Seal windows Install central air conditioning Install central air conditioning

42 Summary of Recommendations Locate noise sources Locate noise sources Rearrange classrooms Rearrange classrooms Educate students about noise Educate students about noise Seperate break areas from classes Seperate break areas from classes Open windows to reduce reverberation Open windows to reduce reverberation Limit the use of mechanical devices Limit the use of mechanical devices

43 Thank you Department of Education Department of Education University of Puerto Rico University of Puerto Rico Selected schools Selected schools Interviewees Interviewees ADS ADS PRIDCO PRIDCO REMA REMA


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