NCEF Resource List: Classroom Acoustics
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CLASSROOM ACOUSTICS

Information on acoustical standards, studies, and methods of calculating acoustical quality in classrooms and other school spaces, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.


References to Books and Other Media

Assessment of Acoustic Quality in Classrooms Based on Measurements, Perception and Noise Control Adobe PDF
Paulo Henrique Trombetta Zannin, Daniele Petri Zanardo Zwirtes and Carolina Reich Marcon Passero
(Chapter 10 in Noise Control, Reduction and Cancellation Solutions in Engineering, Mar 2012)
This chapter presents an analysis of the acoustic quality of real classrooms based on in situ measurements and computer simulations of acoustic parameters such as Reverberation Time, Speech Transmission Index, Sound Insulation of Façades, and External and Internal Sound Pressure Levels. This chapter also discusses an assessment of the perception of teachers and students about the acoustic quality of the school environment. Lastly, computer simulations were performed in order to identify, from the standpoint of noise control, what actions would be required to improve the acoustic quality of the evaluated classrooms. p202-232

Critical Review: Do Personal FM Systems Improve Speech Perception Ability for Aided and/or Unaided Pediatric Listeners with Minimal to Mild, and/or Unilateral Hearing Loss? Adobe PDF
De Souza, Lindsay
(University of Western Ontario: School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2012)
This critical review examines whether FM devices improve speech perception abilities in unaided and/or aided pediatric listeners with minimal to mild and/or unilateral hearing loss in a classroom environment. Study designs included: single subject with alternating treatments studies and a single group repeated measures design. Overall, the evidence provided by the existing literature suggests that the use of FM devices in a classroom by unaided and/or aided pediatric listeners with minimal to mild and/or unilateral hearing loss does appear to improve speech perception abilities. However, further research is necessary to confirm this trend. [Author's abstract] 5p

The Impact of Sound Field Systems on Learning and Attention in Elementary School Classrooms Adobe PDF
Dockrell, Julie E. and Shield, Bridget
(Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, United Kingdom, 2012)
An evaluation of the installation and use of sound field systems (SFS) was carried out to investigate their impact on teaching and learning in elementary school classrooms. The evaluation included acoustic surveys of classrooms, questionnaire surveys of students and teachers and experimental testing of students with and without the use of SFS. Students’ perceptions of classroom environments and objective data evaluating change in performance on cognitive and academic assessments with amplification over a six month period are reported. Teachers were positive about the use of SFS in improving children’s listening and attention to verbal instructions. Over time students in amplified classrooms did not differ from those in nonamplified classrooms in their reports of listening conditions, nor did their performance differ in measures of numeracy, reading or spelling. Use of SFS in the classrooms resulted in significantly larger gains in performance in the number of correct items on the nonverbal measure of speed of processing and the measure of listening comprehension. Analysis controlling for classroom acoustics indicated that students’ listening comprehension scores improved significantly in amplified classrooms with poorer acoustics but not in amplified classrooms with better acoustics. Both teacher ratings and pupil performance on standardized tests indicated that SFS improved performance on children’s understanding of spoken language. However, academic attainments showed no benefits from the use of SFS. Classroom acoustics were a significant factor influencing the efficacy of SFS; children in classes with poorer acoustics benefited in listening comprehension while there was no additional benefit for children in classrooms with better acoustics. [Authors' abstract] 41p

Proximity of Public Elementary Schools to Major Roads in Canadian Urban Areas
Amram, Ofer; Abernethy, Rebecca; Brauer, Michael; Davies, Hugh; and Allen, Ryan W
(International Journal of Health Geographics , Dec 21, 2011)
Epidemiologic studies have linked exposure to traffic-generated air and noise pollution with a wide range of adverse health effects in children. Children spend a large portion of time at school, and both air pollution and noise are elevated in close proximity to roads, so school location may be an important determinant of exposure. No studies have yet examined the proximity of schools to major roads outside of the US. Data on public elementary schools in Canada's 10 most populous cities were obtained from online databases. School addresses were geocoded and proximity to the nearest major road, defined using a standardized national road classification scheme, was calculated for each school. Based on measurements of nitrogen oxide concentrations, ultrafine particle counts, and noise levels in three Canadian cities we conservatively defined distances <75 m from major roads as the zone of primary interest. Census data at the city and neighborhood levels were used to evaluate relationships between school proximity to major roads, urban density, and indicators of socioeconomic status. Conclusions: asubstantial fraction of students at public elementary schools in Canada, particularly students attending schools in low income neighborhoods, may be exposed to elevated levels of air pollution and noise while at school. As a result, the locations of schools may negatively impact the healthy development and academic performance of a large number of Canadian children. [Authors' abstract]

Classroom Audio – A Study of Acoustic Barriers to Learning [Online Course]
(Hanley Wood University, Oct 2011)
Classroom audio may seem like a small thing, but acoustic quality of a room greatly impacts how students learn. We’ll look at principles of sound and how that affects the classroom environment and the ability to learn. Unfortunately, most classrooms in the U.S. are not free of acoustic barriers to learning. It is very difficult to provide a high quality education in a room that suffers from excessive background noise and high amounts of reverberation and reflection. This course will highlight the flaws in classroom acoustic environments, while defining key concepts and how they relate to sound transmission and impact learning.

Building Design and Classroom Acoustics.
Amarante Andrade, Pedro; Morsomme, Dominique; and Epstein, Ruth
(Paper presented at the Occupational Voice: Assessing the Voice in the Work Place, University College of London , Mar 29, 2011)
Teachers and students suffer from the impact of noisy classrooms. This is due to poor sound isolation, traffic and noise generated by electronic data processors, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) interference and reverberation levels. For teachers, this resulted in increased vocal loading and fatigue, frequently leading to vocal issues. Furthermore, poor acoustic conditions influence children language acquisition process, sometimes leading to impaired concentration, behavioural disorders, and attention deficit. The problem is more enhanced in children with hearing impairment (temporary or permanent) or with other disabilities. Lack of information and normative data on the aspects of building design and classroom acoustics have prompted this review, which comprises of sources originated from Canada, France and Belgium. [Authors' abstract]
TO ORDER: http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/handle/2268/87429

Achieving Acoustical Standards in the Classroom. Study of HVAC Systems and Classroom Acoustics. Adobe PDF
(Trane, 2011)
In recent testing, Trane has been able to prove that the ANSI/ASA S12.60 recommended sound levels can be met in new and existing schools buildings with minimal or no added cost using off-the-shelf HVAC equipment and industry-accepted design and construction practices. Trane built a classroom in its mock-up facility and tested a single-zone air handling unit and packaged rooftop unit. This paper describes those tests, the conclusion, and the resulting recommendations. 10p

Acoustics for Schools. The SRS Guide to BB93 and Building Acoustics for Education. Adobe PDF
(Sound Reduction Systems, Acoustics for Schools, Bolton, England, 2011)
Detailed research has demonstrated that poor acoustics adversely affect both teaching and learning. England's Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) has been implemented to address these issues, promoting good acoustic design and construction of new school facilities. In particular, BB93 offers guidance in these core areas: target ambient noise levels for teaching areas; acoustic separation between adjacent spaces; lower reverberation time to promote speech intelligibility. This guide is intended to be an introduction to the aims of BB93, illustrating how each target can be met and demonstrating example constructions and installations. 8p

Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Verbal Short-term Memory in Young Adults in a Classroom-like Setting. Adobe PDF
Klatte, M.; Lachmann, T. , and Meis, M.
(German Research Foundation, 2011)
Analyzes the combined effects of noise and reverberations on short-term memory for spoken words. Results showed that classroom reverberation increases ambient noise levels and thereby listening effort. 2p

Implementing Classroom Acoustics Standards: a Progress Report.
Mazz, Marsha
(U.S. Access Board, 2011)
This reports on progress in implementing classroom acoustics standards that sets specific criteria for maximum background noise (35 decibels) and reverberation time (0.6 to 0.7 seconds) for unoccupied classrooms. Provides a list of resources and a list of entities that have adopted the classroom acoustics standards and directives, including states, school districts, and countries.

The Impact of Eliminating Extraneous Sound and Light on Students' Achievement: An Empirical Study.
Mangipudy, Rajarajeswari Venkata Surya
(Florida International University Thesis, Jul 2010)
The impact of eliminating extraneous sound and light on students’ achievement was investigated under four conditions: Light and Sound controlled, Sound Only controlled, Light Only controlled and neither Light nor Sound controlled. Group, age and gender were the control variables. Four randomly selected groups of high school freshmen students with different backgrounds were the participants in this study. Academic achievement was the dependent variable measured on a pretest, a posttest and a post-posttest, each separated by an interval of 15 days. ANOVA was used to test the various hypotheses related to the impact of eliminating sound and light on student learning. Independent sample T tests on the effect of gender indicated a significant effect while age was non- significant. Follow up analysis indicated that sound and light are not potential sources of extraneous load when tested individually. [Author's abstract] 204p

Effects of Classroom Acoustics on Performance and Well-Being in Elementary School Children: A Field Study. Adobe PDF
Klatte, Maria; Hellbrück, Jürgen; Seidel, Jochen; Leistner, Philip
(Presented at Internoise 2010, Lisbon, Portugal, Jun 13, 2010)
Analyzes the effects of classroom reverberation on children’s performance and well-being at school. Performance and questionnaire data were collected from 487 children from 21 classrooms which differed in mean reverberation time from 0.49 to 1.1 seconds. Significant effects of reverberation on speech perception and short-term memory of spoken items were found. Furthermore, the children from reverberating classrooms performed lower in a phonological processing task, reported a higher burden of indoor noise in the classrooms, and judged the relationships to their peers and teachers less positively than children from classrooms with good acoustics. The results demonstrate the importance of good acoustical conditions in classrooms. {Authors' abstract] 9p
TO ORDER: http://eab.sagepub.com/content/42/5/659.abstract

Acoustical Characteristics of Ohio State University Classrooms.
DeLong, Andrew
(The Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science Honors Theses., Jun 2010)
Learning in a classroom requires that students be able to hear the instructor’s speech signal without undue strain or discomfort. In 2002, the American National Standards Institute created a new standard for acoustical variables in K-12 classrooms nationwide. The standard sets forth maximum values for background noise levels and reverberation times and provides suggestions for how best to limit those values during the construction or renovation of a classroom. Nine classrooms were selected from an informal survey of college students about which rooms they had experienced were either "good" or "bad" acoustically. The purpose is to test the background noise levels and reverberation times and compare them to the standard and attempt to find a predictive characteristic amongst them that pointed to exceptionally good or bad acoustics. Results from the nine rooms show that both background noise levels and reverberation times are within the standard’s limits. Concluded that there is not a predictive characteristic that can determine whether or not a room will be exceedingly noisy or reverberant. [Author's abstract] 22p.

Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirement, and Guidelines for Schools, Part 1: Permanent Schools.
(Acoustical Society of America, Melville, NY , Apr 28, 2010)
Addresses acoustical performance criteria, and design requirements for permanent classrooms and other learning spaces. Annex A provides procedures for optional testing to determine conformance with the source background noise requirements and the noise isolation requirements of this standard. Annex B provides commentary information on various paragraphs of this standard. Annex C provides guidelines for controlling reverberation in classrooms. Top of Form 42p.
Report NO: S12.60-2010/Part 1


Evolving Acoustical Standards and Criteria for Green and High Performing Buildings in North America. Adobe PDF
Evans, Jack
(JEAcoustics, Austin, TX , Apr 2010)
Addresses building design standards and criteria that have been introduced and evolved in recent years to increase sustainability and enhance operations in new facilities. Acoustical and noise control criteria are incorporated into new standards and criteria for green and high performing buildings. Governmental legislation and regulation have created or modified some standards. In many cases, non-governmental organizations (NGO) have written or sponsored voluntary standards, of which some NGO standards have been adopted into governmental regulations, building codes or ordinances. Standards and Criteria covered include the most recent versions of: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); ASHRAE Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Buildings; Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities; Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); Energy Star, Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings; and American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools. 6p.

Acoustics in Schools. Adobe PDF
(Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association, St. Charle, IL , Nov 2009)
Introduces acoustical issues commonly encountered in school projects. Practical design responses to these issues are presented in practitioner-friendly language. Original sources and a glossary of terms are also included to provide further information. The paper discuses why acoustics matter, who benefits from improved acoustics, fundamentals of sound and acoustics, understanding the primary acoustic problems in schools, background noise, reverberation, signal-to-noise ratio, acoustical design strategies, general classrooms, classrooms for the hearing-impaired, open-plan classrooms, collaborating with others to improve classroom acoustics, meeting the American National Standards Institute standard S12.60-2002, LEED for schools, and acoustics and indoor air quality. Includes 32 references. 31p.

Acoustical and Noise Control Criteria and Guidelines for Building Design and Operations. Adobe PDF
Evans, Jack; Himmel, Chad
(JEAcoustics, Austin, TX , Nov 2009)
Presents concepts for enhancing building operations through reduction of noise from building systems and structural vibration. Topics covered include roof-mounted building equipment, fan sizing for low noise and improved efficiency, noise and vibration control for building electrical and power systems, equipment selection for central plants and outdoor HVAC equipment, engine/generator noise and vibration control for building interiors and environmental noise crossing property boundaries, power plant turbine/generator vibration isolation and noise control, acoustics in LEED certification, and structural concepts for imaging and research. 15p.

Reduction of Tonal Noise in Lecture Room Air Conditioning Supply Ducts. Adobe PDF
Evans, Jack
(JEAcoustics, Austin, TX , Aug 2009)
Addresses the potential for aerodynamic and duct geometry contributions to noise generation, and solutions proposed to mitigate the sound. The case of a higher education lecture hall afflicted with audibly tonal background noise is cited. The ductwork, rather than the mechanical equipment, was responsible for the sound. Observations, measurements, and findings from the ductwork examination are presented, as are recommendations and implementation of the solution. Eight references are included. 6p.

Winter Indoor Air Quality, Thermal Comfort and Acoustic Performance of Newly Built Secondary Schools in England.
D. Mumovica, et al
(Building and Environment, Volume 44, Issue 7, Jul 2009)
Previous studies have found that classrooms are often inadequately ventilated, with the resultant increased risk of negative impacts on the pupils. This paper describes a series of field measurements that investigated the indoor air quality, thermal comfort and acoustic performance of nine recently built secondary schools in England. The most significant conclusion is that the complex interaction between ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics presents considerable challenges for designers. The study showed that while the acoustic standards are demanding it was possible to achieve natural ventilation designs that met the criteria for indoor ambient noise levels when external noise levels were not excessive. Most classrooms in the sample met the requirement of limiting the daily average CO2 concentration to below 1500 ppm but just a few met the need to readily provide 8 l/s per person of fresh air under the easy control of the occupants. It would seem that the basic requirement of 1500 ppm of CO2 is achieved as a consequence of the window areas being just sufficient to provide the minimum of 3 l/s per person at low and intermittent occupancy. Thermal comfort in the monitored classrooms was mostly acceptable but temperatures tended to be much higher in practice than the design assumed. [Authors' abstract] p1466-1477
TO ORDER: http://www.mendeley.com/research/winter-indoor-air-quality-thermal-comfort-and-acoustic-performance-of-newly-built-secondary-schools-in-england/

Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools. Part 2: Relocatable Classrooms.
(Acoustical Society of America, Melville, NY , Jan 2009)
Includes siting requirements, acoustical performance criteria, and design requirements for relocatable classrooms. These criteria, requirements, and guidelines are keyed to the acoustical qualities needed to achieve a high degree of speech intelligibility in learning spaces. 34p.
Report NO: ANSI/ASA S12.60-2009


Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition.
Cavenaugh, William; Tocci, Gregory; Wilkes, Joseph
(John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ , 2009)
Provides design professionals with information on basic concepts, acoustical materials, and technologies for controlling wanted or unwanted sound within and around buildings. The book covers fundamental acoustic principles, design criteria, acoustical materials, control strategies, and methods for a wide variety of building types, including educational facilities. Particular attention is given to places for listening and performance such as theaters, concert and recital halls, outdoor arenas, classrooms, multiuse auditoria, libraries, music practice and rehearsal rooms, recording and broadcast studios, and sports venues. 352p.

Why Classroom Amplification Systems Help Teachers Teach and Students Learn: Preventing Teacher Vocal Disorders and Helping Students Hear in the Classroom. Adobe PDF
(SMART Technologies ULC, 2008)
White paper explores how classroom amplification systems offer a simple, affordable way to improve classroom acoustics, save teachers’ voices, and enhance student engagement and performance. 9p.

Classroom Acoustical Study. Adobe PDF
ATS&R; Kverstoen, Ronnholm, & Associates
(Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute , Aug 27, 2007)
Summarizes a study of existing classrooms in light of ANSI standard S12.60, Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools. The study revealed that meeting the standard will require care in the application of HVAC equipment, the costs of implementing the standard are significant, partition walls that did not meet the Standard failed because of poor construction quality, and almost all classrooms met the Standard for reverberation times, even though that did not guarantee an acoustically acceptable room. 48p

Improving the Classroom Environment: Classroom Amplification Systems.
Blazer, Christie
(Miami-Dade County Public Schools Research Services , Mar 2007)
Describes typical configurations of classroom amplification systems, sources of classroom noise, and how children can benefit from classroom amplification. A variety of research on indicating the benefits of classroom amplification to learning and teacher vocal health is reviewed. Includes 36 references. 9p.

Designing Quality Learning Spaces: Acoustics. Adobe PDF
(New Zealand Ministry of Education, Wellington , 2007)
Advises on acoustics of learning environments, the effect of acoustics on learning, the perception of sound, how to make acoustic improvements, acoustical considerations for specialized teaching spaces, accommodation of special needs students, and planning new buildings and additions for proper acoustics. A flow diagram for assessing acoustics , an acoustics survey, and 26 references are included. 68p.

Architectural Acoustics.
Egan, David
(J. Ross Publishing, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2007)
Presents in a highly illustrated format the principles of design for good hearing and freedom from noise in and around buildings. More than 540 illustrations serve as the core of the basic principles of sound and hearing, sound absorption and noise reduction, sound isolation and criteria for noise, control of HVAC systems noise and vibrations, auditorium acoustics design, and electronic sound systems. Also included are checklists of design aids, data tables of sound absorption and sound isolation properties for a wide variety of building materials, case study examples of common problems and step-by-step practical solutions, access to useful formulas, a metric system conversion table, a summary of common building acoustics terms, and extensive references. This book is an unabridged republication of a 1988 edition by the same title. 448
TO ORDER: http://www.jrosspub.com/Engine/Shopping/Catalog.asp?store=

Acoustic Comfort. [Whole Building Design Guide]
Paradis, Richard
(National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, D.C. , Aug 2006)
This section of the Whole Building Design Guide focuses on acoustic comfort in offices, classrooms, and conference rooms, and discusses the following: site selection; glazing, HVAC noise issues, natural ventilation, sound masking, emerging issues, relevant codes and standards, and additional resources.

Acoustical Society of America Position on the Use of Sound Amplification in the Classroom.
(Acoustical Society of America, Melville, NY , Jun 2006)
This ASA statement advises schools not to use sound-amplification systems in their efforts to overcome noisy conditions in classrooms. While acknowledging that amplification systems have many valid uses in schools, ASA's statement urges the use of American National Standard Institute (ANSI) S12.60-2002 (American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools) to improve classroom acoustics. The ANSI standard sets out guidelines for designing new classrooms, or renovating old ones, to reach acoustical performance criteria needed to make sounds intelligible for most participants in learning spaces. 2p.
TO ORDER: http://acousticalsociety.org/

Classroom Acoustics Guidelines. Adobe PDF
(Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore , Jun 2006)
Discusses the components and importance of good classroom acoustics, the American National Standards Institute Standard S12.60-2002 for classroom acoustics, typical existing classroom conditions, and the cost impact of the Standard. Advice for new construction, renovation, and retrofit is included that covers planning, design, furnishings, equipment, HVAC systems, plumbing noise, construction practices, post-occupancy inspection, sound field amplification systems, indoor air quality considerations, and portable classrooms. Includes 42 references. 36p.
TO ORDER: Maryland Department of Education, School Facilities Branch, 200 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201; Tel: 410-767-0098
http://marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions

EMGT Field Project: The Impact of Civil Rights Legislation on Classroom Acoustics.
Teel, Jeffrey
(University of Kansas, Lawrence , Dec 16, 2005)
Reviews events leading up to a 1997 petition to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, alleging that poor classroom acoustics constituted an architectural barrier to students receiving an education. This ultimately led to the 2002 creation of ANSI Standard S12.60 for classroom acoustics. Levels of and reasons for compliance and opposition to the standard are reviewed, and suggestions for furthering the work of the standard are included. A glossary and 25 references are included. 30p.

Personal Computer, Printer, and Portable Equipment Noise in Classrooms.
Hellweg, Robert; Dunens, Egons; Baird, Terrance; Olsen, John
(Acoustical Society of America, Melville, NY , Sep 2005)
Recommends maximum sound power levels for personal computers, laptops, printers, projectors, and servers in classrooms. Also matches the types of devices with their respective sound output levels, with suggestions on how to arrange equipment so that noise impact is minimized. 4p.

HVAC Systems Acoustical, Cost & Energy Study Prepared for the Los Angeles Unified School District
Maroko & Shwe, Inc Professional Engineers
(Los Angeles Unified School District, Jun 06, 2005)
Study was initiated to explore the costs and benefits of five basic classroom air conditioning systems for new schools, specifically relative to the background sound levels generated by each system, their relative capital costs, and energy usage. The general conclusion of the five system study was that improvement in the background sound levels in the classroom can be achieved with more centralized HVAC systems in lieu of unitary systems, but at considerable increase in capital and operating costs. 96p

Classroom Acoustics. Implementing a New Standard.
(U.S. Access Board, Apr 2005)
This provides background information on the development of a classroom acoustics standard, and lists states, local jurisdictions, and boards of education that have taken action on classroom acoustics.

Researching Cost Effectiveness
(The Institute for Enhanced Classroom Hearing, 2005)
Examines the cost effectiveness of installing sound enhancement sysems in classroom. Sound enhancement systems cost on average $1500 per classroom. However, the cost may be offset in financial savings resulting from declines in teacher absenteeism and declines in special education referrals. These savings alone may be significant enough to completely recover the initial cost in two to five years.

Acoustics in Educational Settings.
Anderson, Karen; Brannen, Susan; Crandell, Carl; Nelson, Susan; Seltz, Anne; Smaldino, Joseph
(American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Subcommittee on Acoustics in Educational Settings, Bioacoustics Standards and Noise Standards Committee , 2005)
ASHA has provided a position statement, guidelines, and acoustical improvement strategies to be considered when adding to, remodeling, or building new schools. Acoustical interference caused by inappropriate levels of background noise and reverberation presents a barrier to learning and communication in educational settings and school-sponsored extracurricular activities, particularly for students with hearing loss or other language/learning concerns. 5p.

Does the Classroom Assist or Impede the Learning Process?
Bradley, J. S.
(Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada, Jan 2005)
Even moderate levels of noise and poor room acoustics can impair children's ability to understand clearly spoken words. In many everyday classroom situations, children will only understand a portion of the words that are spoken to them, even if they are clearly spoken simple words. The problem becomes more acute for younger children and others such as hearing impaired and second language listeners. It is therefore very important that the acoustical conditions in classrooms be specially designed to encourage and not impede the learning activities that take place in these rooms. [Author's abstract] 6p.

Lecture Halls-Room Acoustics and Sound Reinforcement.
Eggenschwiler, Kurt
(ForumAcusticum 2005 , 2005)
Describes the author's experience with lecture hall acoustics, sound reinforcement, and audio frequency induction loops for the hearing impaired. Proper room shape, background noise issues, and sound systems, reverberation times, and speech intelligibility are covered. Includes 16 references. 6p.

Acoustics for Libraries. Adobe PDF
Salter, Charles M.
(Libris DESIGN, funded by The Institute of Museum and Library Services , 2005)
The acoustical design issues for libraries involve the following principal issues discussed in this document: 1) site noise considerations; 2) establishing noise standards for each use space, including limitation of excessive ventilation noise; 3)room acoustics considerations; 4)sound isolation between various use spaces; 5)vibration control for mechanical equipment; and 6)audio/visual system considerations.

Acoustic Design of Schools. Building Bulletin 93. [United Kingdom]
(Department for Education and Skills, Architect and Buildings Branch, London, UK , Dec 2003)
This bulletin provides a regulatory framework for the acoustic design of schools in the United Kingdom; gives supporting advice to and recommendations for planning and design of schools; and provides a comprehensive guide for architects, acousticians, facilities managers, clients, and others involved in the design of new schools. Sections include: 1) Specification of acoustic performance; 2) Noise control; 3) Insulation from external noise; 4) The design of rooms for speech; 5) The design of rooms for music; 6) acoustic design and equipment for pupils with special hearing requirements; 7) Case studies; and 8) Appendices. 207p.
Report NO: ISBN: 0112711057


Listening for Learning 1: The Importance of Good Classroom Acoustics.
(U.S. Access Board, Washington , Oct 2003)
Describes the role that excess noise can play in limiting learning and refers to resources for parents, advocates, and designers. 2p.

Listening for Learning 2: Will Our New Classrooms Meet the Standard? Adobe PDF
(U.S. Access Board, Washington , Oct 2003)
Suggests resources to obtain and questions to ask of an architectural firm regarding acoustical considerations in new schools. 2p.

Listening for Learning 3: Counting the Costs of Noisy vs. Quiet Classrooms.
(U.S. Access Board, Washington , Oct 2003)
Compares the higher cost of providing individual acoustical accommodation on an as-needed basis to building a new school that is acoustically accessible to all. 3p.

Listening for Learning 4: A Checklist for Classroom Acoustics.
(U.S. Access Board, Washington , Oct 2003)
Presents a checklist for sources of excessive noise that can inhibit hearing and comprehension, especially for children whose developing language skills require higher speech intelligibility. 2p.

Listening for Learning 5: Retrofitting a Noisy Classroom.
(U.S. Access Board, Washington , Oct 2003)
Presents a list of possible building modifications to control excessive classroom noise at the source and along its path. 3p.

Classroom Acoustics II: Acoustical Barriers to Learning.
Nelson, Peggy; Soli, Sigfrid; Seltz, Anne
(Acoustical Society of America, Melville, NY , Apr 2003)
Provides an overview of the need for quiet classrooms, with information on the problems experienced by students and teachers as a result of excessive noise and reverberation in classrooms. The evidence of children's special need for favorable classroom acoustics, as revealed in research, is detailed, with special attention focused on children learning English as a second language, with ear infections, and with permanent hearing loss. Includes 150 references. 13p.
TO ORDER: http://lshss.asha.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/356

Acoustics and Learning. Adobe PDF
Avant, Jim
(3D/I, Houston, TX , 2003)
Reviews ways to reduce mechanical noises and disturbance from neighboring spaces within schools, and offers suggestions on controlling reverberation and sound enhancement technology. 5p.

Case Study: Four University Law Lecture Auditoria Renovated for Improved Acoustics. Adobe PDF
Knight, Sarah B.; Evans, Jack B.
(JEAcoustics, Austin, TX , 2003)
Describes the renovation program for four university lecture auditoria, built in 1961 and previously renovated in 1980. The auditoria consisted of tiered levels with fixed tables and hinged seating. Speech intelligibility was poor due to incorrectly placed absorptive and diffusive surface finishes. Before and after acoustical measurements, the complete list of recommendations (some of which were not implemented), photographs, drawings, and data charts are provided. (Includes 5 references.) 8p.

A Crash Course in Classroom Acoustics.
Nixon, Mike
(Acoustical Surfaces, Inc., Chaska, MN , 2003)
Provides lay-language guidance for evaluating the acoustics of a classrooms. A variety of acoustical factors are described, including room shape, materials and surfaces, potential internal and external noise sources, occupant considerations, construction techniques, and even the speaking voice of the teacher. Sound wave behavior and reverberation is described, along with instructions for measuring and reducing excess reverberation. 13p.

Acoustics in Schools. Adobe PDF
Singer, Miriam J.
(Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ , 2003)
This paper explores the issues associated with poor acoustics within schools. Additionally, it suggests remedies for existing buildings and those under renovation, as well as concerns for new construction. The paper discusses the effects of unwanted noise on students in terms of physiological, motivational, and cognitive influences. Issues are addressed for both the regular learner and the special needs student. The cost of inadequate or inappropriate acoustical control is also described. Included is a technical discussion relating to the appropriate levels of signal to noise ratio, articulation loss of consonants, noise criteria rating, and reverberation. 18p.

The Importance of Interior Design Elements as They Relate to Student Outcomes. Adobe PDF
Tanner, C. Kenneth; Langford, Ann
(Carpet and Rug Institute, Dalton, GA. , 2003)
This study investigated the following questions: (1) "What are the perceptions that elementary school principals have concerning the influence of interior design elements such as floor and wall coverings, lighting, flexibility, acoustics, color, texture, patterns, cleanliness, and maintenance on student achievement, teacher retention, and student attendance?" (2) "Do the acoustics of the environment relate significantly to student achievement?" (3) What floor coverings in the classroom relate significantly to the acoustics of the classroom?" and (4) "Are there any possible links between floor coverings in the classroom and student achievement?" The study found that in all subject areas studied, students attending schools having carpeted classrooms had higher achievement scores than those attending schools having hard surfaced classrooms. The study also found that the importance of a school's interior design is slightly higher for school principals than for teachers. 49p.

Progress Toward A New Standard on Classroom Acoustics. for Children with Disabilities Adobe PDF
(U.S. Access Board, Washington, DC, Oct 2002)
Describes steps taken since 1997 by the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) to develop a new standard for classroom acoustics. The standard is intended particularly for children who are hard of hearing but benefits all teachers and students. This document provides resources on acoustics, including a general subject overview, journal and magazine articles, textbooks on acoustics, information about training, and links to related organizations. 4p.

American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools.
(Acoustical Society of America, Melville, New York , Jun 26, 2002)
This standards publication provides acoustical performance criteria, design requirements, and design guidelines for new school classrooms and other learning spaces. The standards may be applied when practicable to the major renovation of existing classrooms. These criteria, requirements, and guidelines are keyed to the acoustical qualities needed to achieve a high degree of speech intelligibility in learning spaces. Design guidelines in the appendices are intended to help facilities meet performance and design requirements, however they do not guarantee conformance. Test procedures are provided when conformance to this standard is to be verified. This standard is now available for download at no cost. You will be asked to set up a user name and password and go through the check out screen but no credit card information is required and there is no cost. 50p.
Report NO: ANSI S12.60-2002


Classroom Acoustics: A New Zealand Perspective. Adobe PDF
(Oticon Foundation, Wellington, New Zealand , Jun 2002)
Presents the findings of a research project into the acoustical characteristics of New Zealand primary classrooms. Teachers were asked to rate their classroom listening environment on a scale from 1 being very good to 5 being very poor, the mean rating was 2.8, with the median and mode values being 3 (i.e. the "acceptable" rating). 7% of teachers rated the listening environment as very good, 32% good, 34% acceptable, 21% poor and 6% very poor. When asked why they rated a room as "poor" or "very poor" the majority listed "too much echo", and "noise level produced by students too high" or cited noise from outside the room as a problem. A discussion of teaching styles, classroom acoustical characteristics, noise sources, speech perception, and hearing impairment is included, along with recommendations for proper classroom acoustics. 44p.

The Acoustical Environment. Adobe PDF
Smith, Melissa
(Carpet and Rug Institute, Dalton, GA , May 25, 2002)
Asserting that without an adequate acoustical environment, learning activities can be hindered, this paper reviews the literature on classroom acoustics, particularly noise, reverberation, signal-to-noise ratio, task performance, and recommendations for improvement. Through this review, the paper seeks to determine whether portable classrooms provide acoustically adequate environments for learning. 19p.

Health, Energy and Productivity in Schools: Overview of the Research Program. Adobe PDF
Woods, J.E.; Penney, B.A.; Freitag, P.K.; Marx, G.; Hemler, B.; Sensharma, N.P.
(Indoor Air 2002, The Ninth International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Monterey, CA , 2002)
Describes a research program that has been initiated to quantify the effects of simultaneous control of indoor exposures (i.e., thermal, indoor air quality or IAQ, lighting, and acoustics) on specific measures of human response, student and teacher performance, and productivity. The pilot study is being conducted in six elementary schools in Montgomery County Maryland. Two matched triplets of schools have been selected, each with three 3rd grade and three 4th grade classrooms. Exposure, questionnaire, and system performance data are being acquired periodically before and after interventions. (Includes five references.) 6p.

Good Classroom Acoustics is a Good Investment.
Lubman, David; Sutherland, Louis C.
(Paper presented at the 17th Meeting of the International Commission for Acoustics, Rome, Italy, Sep 2001)
Identifies and estimates some of the costs for good acoustics in new construction, economic benefits of good acoustics, and hidden costs of marginal or poor acoustics. Compares costs and benefits using recent data available in the United States. Notes that the economic benefits of good acoustics far outweigh the costs and that it is therefore a good economic investment to ensure that classrooms have good acoustics. Provides two charts and a reference to a related paper. 4p.

The Impact of Classroom Acoustics on Scholastic Achievement.
Sutherland, Louis C.; Lubman, David
(Paper presented at the 17th Meeting of the International Commission for Acoustics, Rome, Italy, Sep 2001)
Discusses the relationship between scholastic achievement and acoustics, as well as the need to set clear limits for noise and reverberation in classrooms. Examines noise and reverberation, discussing how these two controllable variables are the main factors determining the effectiveness of speech communication in classrooms. Reviews speech communication criteria and studies linking scholastic performance with acoustical noise or reverberation. Concludes that poor classroom acoustics in the form of excessive background noise can create a barrier to learning and reduced scholastic achievement. Lists seventeen references. 6p.

Classroom Speech Intelligibility
(Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2001)
This document notes that controlling excess reverberation time is a critical factor in providing speech intelligibility in classrooms. The researchers provide both graphs and actual sound clips of speech when the reverberation time is varied for a test classroom that measures 40 feet by 40 feet, with 10-foot ceilings.

Classroom Acoustics: Understanding Barriers to Learning. Adobe PDF
Crandell, Carl C., Ed.; Smaldino, Joseph J., Ed.
(Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Washington, DC , 2001)
This monograph is for parents, teachers, school administrators, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, or architects. Guides through the process of thinking about, and improving, classroom acoustics. Topics include the effects of background noise and reverberation, specific acoustical modifications, the demographics of classrooms (and how this affects the need for good acoustics), legal issues, assistive technology, and more. 63p.

Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise FICAN Position on Research into Effects of Aircraft Noise on Classroom Learning. Adobe PDF
(Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise, San Diego, CA , Sep 2000)
Presents proceedings from a symposium session that examined the effects of external noise from aircraft on the classroom environment. The research focused on the cognitive and mental health effects of noise on children, the acoustical needs of classrooms, and the practical implementation of sound insulation in schools. The report incorporates the full text of the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise Position on Research into Effects of Aircraft Noise on Classroom Learning. 7p.

Classroom Acoustics I. A Resource for Creating Environments with Desirable Listening Conditions. Adobe PDF
Seep, Benjamin; Glosemeyer, Robin; Hulce, Emily; Linn, Matt; Aytar, Pamela
(Acoustical Society of America, Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics, Melville, NY , Aug 2000)
This booklet provides a general overview of classroom acoustic problems and their solutions for both new school construction and renovation. Practical explanations and examples are discussed on topics including reverberation, useful and undesirable reflections, mechanical equipment noise, interior noise sources, and sound reinforcement. Examples of good and bad acoustical classrooms are highlighted along with a case study involving an older classroom in an older university building where complaints of poor acoustics had been received. The booklet's final section addresses acoustical guidelines for special rooms such as cafeterias and gymnasiums. An appendix provides quantitative definitions and calculations as well as resources for more detailed information. 16p.

Using Caltrans Noise Analysis Protocol Methodology to Determine Insertion Loss of Classrooms at a High School
Greene, Michael
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 02, 2000)
The construction of a new freeway adjacent to an existing high school in eastern San Diego County, California, prompted the need for a rigorous analysis of the noise effects on the school. The insertion loss of structures (with windows and doors open and closed) at a high school was measured using the recently published California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Noise Analysis Protocol. Both the school district and Caltrans agreed upon the details of the measurement methodology prior to the tests. The test setup consisted of two commercial-grade loudspeakers mounted atop a manually operated lift, associated amplifiers, pink-noise generator, a real-time noise analyzer, and sound-level meters. Noise levels were measured at equivalent distances in the absence of and then inside the room of interest, to derive the structure's insertion loss. This was done at incident angles of 30, 45, 60, and 75 deg to the building facade. The resultant data from these measurements required the use of specially designed spreadsheets to effectively analyze and present the results. The results of the measurements indicated that improvements to the older classrooms near the freeway would be necessary in order to meet the indoor noise standard for classroom spaces.
TO ORDER: Michael Greene,URS Greiner Woodward Clyde, 2020 E. First St., Ste. 400, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Eliminating Acoustical Barriers to Learning in Classrooms---Case Study of Reverberation Reduction in Elementary School Gymnasiums
Brooks, Bennett M.
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 01, 2000)
A gymnasium can be a highly reverberant space. This is a consequence of the large room volume coupled with an abundance of hard surfaces. School designers frequently overlook the need for reverberation control in gymnasiums, cafeterias, and other large school rooms. The high level of reverberation promotes a high noise level and interferes with speech intelligibility, degrading the primary functions of those spaces. Moreover, those rooms are often used for additional functions, such as student assemblies, community meetings, and school performances, which will also suffer from excess reverberation. A case study is presented for two elementary school gymnasiums, each with mid-frequency reverberation times of about 5 s. Renovation treatments to control reverberation were developed using simple computer models. Significant reductions in reverberation and noise level were achieved. As a result, student manageability was improved, and teacher sanity was restored.
TO ORDER: Bennett M. Brooks,Brooks Acoust. Corp., 27 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066, bbrooks@brooks-acoustics.com

Eliminating Acoustical Barriers to Learning in Classrooms---Case Study of Window Ventilator Noise
Brooks, Bennett M.
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 2000)
Room ventilation systems have long been a major cause of noise in classrooms. The recent drive for energy efficiency has motivated schools to partner with utility companies to replace aging central HVAC systems with individual room heat pump window ventilator units for space heating and cooling. An unfortunate consequence is that these window ventilators are significant noise sources. A typical window unit can produce 70 dB(A), or more, at 1 m. Clearly, this is unacceptable. Either ventilator manufacturers must commit to reduce unit noise output by at least 30 dB, or school designers must abandon the wall ventilator option in favor of quiet central HVAC installations.
TO ORDER: Bennett M. Brooks, Brooks Acoust. Corp., 27 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066, bbrooks@brooks-acoustics.com

A Classroom Acoustic Model to Evaluate Prescriptive Options to Meet a Performance Standard
Godfrey, Richard D.
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 01, 2000)
A standard to prescribe the acoustical performance of classroom spaces is now under development. As drafted, the standard will contain performance requirements, and many members of the working group would like to include prescriptive requirements as well. In order to make these two approaches consistent, an acoustical model of the classroom space is needed to predict the effects of component performance on the overall acoustic performance of the space. A model based on classical acoustics has been developed which allows the designer to select components performance characteristics from menus of measured performance. These input data are entered into an energy balance which predicts the classroom sound pressure level as a function of position in the room and the reverberation time. These performance characteristics are then compared to various metrics being considered by the working group. In this paper the formulation of the model is described, and proposed prescriptive options evaluated for consistence with the performance metrics.
TO ORDER: Richard D. Godfrey, Integrex, Bldg. 75, 2790 Granville Rd., Granville, OH 43023, dick.godfrey@owenscorning.com

Designing and Building for Quiet in a School for Deaf Children
Guenther, John; Adrian, Marcus; Weissenburger, J. T.; Clark, William
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 01, 2000)
Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) recently completed construction of a new 42,000-square foot school for deaf children. High priority was placed upon designing and building a facility that would provide ideal acoustic environments that fostered learning and auditory/oral communication for students wearing powerful hearing aids or cochlear implants and teachers. A team composed of scientists, architects, and acoustical engineers was assigned the task of designing and building a school that would provide classroom environmental levels at or below the NC 20 contour, interclassroom attenuation exceeding 50 dB, reverberation times on the order of 0.4 s, and sound reinforcement for teachers' voices when facing the blackboard. In group spaces and in the hallways, higher noise levels and longer reverberation times were sought to provide students with experiences more like those faced in the real world. Challenges included a site bounded by a busy interstate highway and a medical center heliport. The team developed and implemented numerous unique acoustic treatments for the facility which are reviewed in the presentation. Although designed as a school for the deaf, the approaches are useful for designing any educational classroom environment. The school opened on January 10, 2000 and met all acoustic criteria.
TO ORDER: http://scitation.aip.org/

Improving Existing Classroom Sound Isolation for Advance Media Capabilities
Hougland, Dana
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 01, 2000)
A series of tests was conducted to assess the incremental improvement of the noise reduction and sound transmission loss between adjacent classrooms with various impovements to the demising construction. Classrooms were originally constructed without full height walls. Tests were conducted before modifications were implemented and after each modification was completed. The investigation was conducted as part of a larger classroom improvement project design to bring advanced media capabilities into 60 college classrooms campus wide. The results of the testing program are presented.
TO ORDER: Dana Hougland, A CODA Acoustic, LLC 9603 E. Orchard Dr., Englewood, CO 80111, acoda@aol.com

Classroom Acoustics: The Effects of Background Noise and Room-Finish Materials on Speech Intelligibility
Siebein, Gary
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 01, 2000)
This paper reviews recent research conducted at the University of Florida defining conditions in actual school classrooms that contribute to speech intelligibility. Many classroom settings were observed to determine how communication paths among teachers and students occurred in modern classrooms. A survey of classrooms was conducted with measurements of background noise levels, STI, and reverberation time made in the rooms at locations corresponding to those found in actual rooms. A computer model and a physical model of a typical classroom were constructed to further study classroom acoustic situations. A second-order curve was found relating RASTI to background noise levels (as a result of air-conditioning system noise) and distance from the teacher. The effects of room-finish materials played a secondary role in increasing RASTI once background noise levels of NC 32 or less were achieved.
TO ORDER: Gary Siebein, Dept. of Architecture, Univ. of Florida, P.O. Box 115702, Gainesville, FL 32611-5702

Acoustical Design of Learning Spaces
Tan, Paul
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, GA, Jun 01, 2000)
Discusses the criteria for designing a fully integrated learning environment, wherein human factors and technological systems function symbiotically within a carefully optimized space. This paper explores the impact of room acoustics, sound isolation, building systems, and equipment noise on the functionality and success of the modern learning environment through selected design cases.
TO ORDER: Paul Tan, Pelton Marsh Kinsella, 1420 W. Mockingbird Ln., #400, Dallas, TX,75247, tanpl@c-b.com

Subjective Evaluation of Speech Intelligibility
Nilsson, Erling; Hammer, Per
(Paper presented at the Institute of Acoustics 2000 conference, University of Liverpool, UK , Apr 17, 2000)
The acoustics of a classroom is one of the important factors that influence the educational achievement of children. The aim of this work was to investigate how subjectively perceived speech intelligibility is influenced by different types of ordinary absorber treatment in a classroom. Especially the relation between subjectively perceived speech intelligibility and reverberation time respectively RASTI-values was investigated. A listening test was carried out in order to classify the different treatments in respect to achieved speech intelligibility. The non-diffuse character of the sound field in rooms with ceiling treatment was observed and discussed.
TO ORDER: Health and Safety Executive, Magdalen House, Stanley Precinct, Bootle, Merseyside. L20 3QZ. U K

Empirical Prediction of Speech Levels and Reverberation in Classrooms.
Hodgson, Murray
(School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene and Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver , 2000)
This paper discusses the development of empirical models for predicting speech levels and reverberation times in classrooms in various states of occupancy. The models were shown to re-predict the average values of the measured quantities in the original data set with high accuracy, but they tended to underestimate the variability in the data. Predictions are presented to illustrate the performance of the models in the case of small and large hypothetical classrooms with low and high surface absorption, when unoccupied and occupied. The results are consistent with those measured in real classrooms. In particular, the speech-level model predicts physically realistic decreases with distance from a speaker to a listener. The experimental data is also used to determine typical effective absorption coefficients for three classroom features: carpeted floors, absorbent ceilings, and upholstered seating on carpeted floors, indicating the real-world performance that can be expected of these features. 1-14p.

Response to Petition for Rulemaking on Classroom Acoustics.
(Federal Register, Nov 08, 1999)
This document responds to a petition for rulemaking on classroom acoustics. The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the Access Board) will support the development of a standard on classroom acoustical design by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Committee on Noise (S-12), under the secretariat of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Resources and technical assistance on classroom acoustics are provided in this document.

Classroom Acoustics. Adobe PDF
Erdreich, John
(Council of Educational Facilities Planners International, Scottsdale, AZ , Jun 1999)
This report examines the problem of acoustic inadequacy in the classroom, how it affects students and teachers, and possible solutions. It explains how to predict classroom adequacy for communication by assessing the level of speech in competition with other noise, and the level of that competing noise itself in terms of reverberation that allows sound buildup. How classroom adequacy for communication can be calculated is explained along with the calculation of the Articulation Index in relation to heating and ventilation system noise. Final comments provide recommended approaches to new designs or retrofits. 4p.

Classroom Amplification: Not Just for the Hearing Impaired Anymore
Dahlquist, Lori Hubble
(Paper presented at The Center on Disabilities conference "Technology and Persons with Disabilities," Los Angeles, CA, Mar 15, 1999)
This paper discusses the difficulties that children with central auditory processing difficulties can have in the classroom environment. Classroom acoustics that can hinder a child's accessibility to instruction are discussed, including open windows or windows not designed to be acoustic barriers, increased reverberation time in rooms with high ceilings, bare floors and walls, and high ambient noise. Soundfield equalization is described as a classroom listening strategy that creates an environment where each child is at a favorable speaker-listener distance by routing the teacher's voice through small, wireless, high-fidelity public address systems self-contained in the classroom. The positive results that students have had in classrooms with soundfield equalization are highlighted.

Rethinking Classroom Acoustics.
(Proceedings from ASHRAE Winter Meeting Seminar HVAC Noise in Classrooms: Overcoming Barriers to Learning , 1999)
Summaries of presentations on acoustical criteria made simple; the effect of acoustical barriers to learning in the classroom; factors affecting children's speech communications in classrooms; designing quiet HVAC systems for classrooms; and cost of noise control in classroom HVAC systems.

Seeking Improved Speech Intelligibility in a University Classroom
Heerwagen, Dean R.; Sampson, Paul D.
(Paper presented at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlanta, Ga, 1999)
Speech intelligibility has been studied while systematically modifying an existing classroom. The ``original'' classroom had acceptable background noise levels, but excessive reverberation. Room modifications included installing a lowered ceiling and successive additions of absorption to the classroom walls. The unoccupied rhyme tests (RTs) at 1 kHz progressed from an ``original'' 1.10 s to a ``final'' 0.53 s. Modified rhyme tests (MRTs) were also conducted with a volunteer group of faculty and staff. For each room condition, MRTs were administered across a range of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions. The principal parameters of this study were the physical conditions of the room (as indicated by RT and U50 measures), the test scores, the SNRs for the tests, distances between a loudspeaker and each volunteer, whether the volunteer was a native English speaker, and whether the volunteer was normal hearing or hearing impaired. Statistical analyses of the data indicate that the most important determinant of test performance was the SNRs. The correlation between test scores and RTs is also significant, but less so. Additionally, correlations between test scores and native and non-native speakers and between test scores and those with and without hearing impairment were also significant.
TO ORDER: Dean R. Heerwagen, Univ. of Washington, Box 355720, Seattle, WA 98195-5720

Design of Child Care Centers and Effects of Noise on Young Children.
Maxwell, Lorraine E.; Evans, Gary W.
(Design Share , 1999)
There is a considerable amount of research documenting the effects of noise on children. The effects are largely negative. Research findings in this field are described, current research by Maxwell and Evans is discussed, and design issues related to noise and child care centers are outlined. 4p.

Adapting the Regular Classroom for Students Who Are Deaf/Hard of Hearing Adobe PDF
Easterbrooks, Susan R.
(Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children, Minneapolis, MN , Apr 18, 1998)
This paper describes several tools that teachers can use to ensure that modifications for students with hearing impairments in the regular classroom are both available and of sufficient quality. Specific suggestions are offered for modifying the acoustic environment so that standards for the ambient noise level and the signal to noise ratio are met. Guidelines for using an interpreter in the classroom and information on interpretation, types of certifications, interpreter roles and responsibilities, and the relationship between interpreter and teacher are offered. The use of classroom note-takers is discussed including technical equipment and decisions regarding use of a professional or a volunteer. Handouts and overheads are attached. 28p.

Acoustics and Noise Control Handbook for Architects and Builders
Irvine, Leland; Richards, Roy
(Krieger Publishing Company, 1998)
A guide for lecture courses for architectural and engineering students at the graduate or undergraduate level, but also a reference for professionals with no background in acoustics or building noise control. Emphasizes the most common categories of projects, including educational and medical facilities, office buildings, multifamily residences, multipurpose auditoria, and churches. Most of the acoustic data is presented graphically, and the principles and procedures are explained in text. 194p.

Eliminating Acoustical Barriers to Learning in Classrooms
(Acoustical Society of America, Washington, DC, Dec 06, 1997)
This collection of presentations covers technical aspects of classroom acoustics; design regulations, guidelines and standards; noise control options; classroom audio amplification systems; multimedia and classrooms of the future. 220p.
TO ORDER: Lou Sutherland, 27803 Longhill Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-3908

Workshop on Acoustics and Learning Los Angeles, CA
(Presentations from the Workshop On Classroom Acoustics held at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, California. , Dec 06, 1997)
Summaries of sessions on technical aspects of classroom acoustics, students at risk, acoustic design requlations, clinic on noise control options, classroom audio amplification systems, and multimedia and classrooms of the future.

Guidelines for Classroom Acoustics in New Construction
(Acoustical Society of America, Workshop on Acoustics and Learning, Washington, DC , Dec 1997)
This classroom acoustics design guideline checklist was developed in response to the Request for Information of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Includes questions and answers intended to assure that acoustical considerations are appropriately addressed in the design process and in construction of new schools.

Pilot Studies of Speech Communication in Elementary School Classrooms: Literature Review and Methods.
Abbott, Phillip; And Others
(Paper presented at Acoustical Society of America Conference, State College, PA , Jun 17, 1997)
This paper describes a study that will investigate the dynamic, reciprocal interactions among young children, teachers, learning and communication in classroom settings. The study seeks to identify concerns from teachers and students who use the rooms, addressing the following issues: how teachers and students assess the quality of communication and learning in the rooms; the perceived qualities to acoustical attributes or architectural features of the rooms; the importance of these communication and acoustical qualities to other aspects of the classroom environment; and how these selected data from previous research are highlighted and how the current acoustical measurements, speech recognition tests, and learning qualities tests to be used. (Contains 20 references.) 4p.

Pilot Studies of Speech Communication In Elementary School Classrooms
Crandell, Carl et al
(Abstract of paper presented at the 133rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, State College, PA , Jun 1997)
The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the relations between teaching methods, speech-recognition measures, acoustical measurements, and the architectural design features of classrooms. Data obtained will be used to develop appropriate classroom acoustics for elementary school children.

Can Noise Levels at School Gymnasia Cause Hearing Loss: A Case Study of a Physical Education Teacher
Jiang, Tao et al
(Popular version of paper presented at the 133rd Acoustical Society of America Meeting, State College, PA, Jun 17, 1997)
Noise at schools has attracted attention from acoustic scientists and audiologists; there is amounting evidence that excessive noise is widespread in educational settings. Poor acoustic conditions reduce speech intelligibility in classrooms and affect attention and academic performance of students. Noise makes teachers uncomfortable and can even be detrimental to their teaching.

America's Need for Standards and Guidelines to Ensure Satisfactory Classroom Acoustics
Lubman, David.
(Popular version of paper presented at the 133rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, State College, PA , Jun 17, 1997)
National standards or guidelines for classroom acoustics are a needed response to President Clinton's Call to Action for American Education in the 21st Century. This initiative for classroom acoustic standards is timely because of the national thrust to modernize school buildings and undertake new school construction. 3p.

Impact of Hearing Loss on Children in Typical School Environments.
Nelson, Peggy B. et al
(Abstract of paper presented at the 133rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, State College, PA , Jun 17, 1997)
Childhood hearing loss is a widespread problem with significant impact, an invisible condition resulting in communication problems that can ultimately interfere with learning and social development. Includes audio files that illustrate that even a mild hearing loss can have a significant impact on a child's ability to understand the teacher.

Revisiting Speech Interference by Noise in Classrooms and Considering Some Possible Solutions
Picard, Michel; Bradley, John S.
(Popular version of paper presented at the 133rd Acoustic Society of America Meeting, State College, PA , Jun 17, 1997)
Today's classrooms are extremely noisy environments. In fact, they are so noisy that most students from kindergarten to high school are likely to experience significant problems hearing the voice of a teacher. A review of current data on noise and reverberation in these facilities indicates that poor acoustics is the prevailing condition rather than the exception. 2p.

Sound-Field FM Amplification: Theory and Practical Applications.
Crandell, Carl C.; Smaldino, Joseph J.; Flexer, Carol
(Singular Publishing Group, Inc., San Diego, CA , 1995)
The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive and cohesive guide for the use of small, frequency modulated sound-field FM amplification systems in classrooms. The book addresses both theoretical and practical issues with an emphasis on application of information to real-world situations. Worksheets and checklists are included at the end of many chapters. The book's chapters are: (1) "Rationale for the Use of Sound-Field FM Amplification Systems in Classrooms"; (2) "Speech-Perception Processes in Children" (3) "Speech Perception in the Classroom"; (4) "Speech Perception in Specific Poulations"; (5) "Acoustic Measurements in Classrooms"; (6) "Acoustical Modifications within Schools"; (7) "Identifying and Managing the Learning Environment"; (8) "Sound-Field Amplification: A Review of the Literature"; (9) "Considerations and Strategies for Amplifying the Classroom"; (10) "Inservice Training for the Classroom Teacher"; (11) "Listening Strategies for Teachers and Students"; and (12) "Marketing Sound-Field Amplification Systems." 246p.
TO ORDER: Singular Publishing Group

Acoustics of Auditoriums in Public Buildings
Makrinenko, Leonid I.; Ratner, R.S.
(Acoustical Society of America Publications, Washington, 1994)
This book elucidates problems related to acoustical quality in halls of public buildings in terms of the current state of the art in architectural acoustics. Acoustical properties of spaces are discussed and objective acoustical measures are presented. Methods of evaluating the acoustical quality of spaces for speech and musical programs are analyzed in detail. Attention is paid to the methods of the acoustical design of auditoriums including scale modeling. Examples are also given of acoustical solutions carried out in full-scale halls. 172p.
TO ORDER: http://acousticalsociety.org/

Acoustics and Sound Systems in Schools.
Berg, Frederick S.
(Singular Publishing Group, San Diego, CA , 1993)
This book describes materials, equipment, and methods for solving or compensating for acoustic problems in educational facilities. Covers direct speech transmission; reflected speech transmission; noise competition; and teacher-to-student distance. Explores the various aspects of excessive noise and a noise control plan, including vibration protection, noise isolation, test equipment, and recording forms. Discusses roof surface modifications, vocal adjustments and classroom control, instrumental signal control possibilities, wireless technology for sound field devices for classrooms and the specifications and measurements of parameters of south system devices. 257p.

Tips: Improving Acoustics for Music Teaching.
Geerdes, Harold P.
(Music Educators National Conference, Reston, VA , 1991)
A specifications pamphlet offers methods, ideas, and suggestions on how music educators can upgrade their existing music facilities or design new ones correctly. Guidelines address room acoustic fundamentals, how to critique a music room, hints on upgrading acoustic weaknesses, and general tips to follow when trying to maximize acoustics when performances are in other areas besides the music room. Concluding comments discuss the use of a consultant to help improve poor acoustical settings. An acoustics glossary is provided.

Acoustical Design of Music Education Facilities.
McCue, Edward, Ed.; Talaske, Richard H., Ed.
(Acoustical Society of America, Washington, DC , 1990)
This publication provides essays on the acoustical design of music education facilities and reproductions of posters describing 50 projects presented at the 117th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of American held in Syracuse, New York in May 1989. Essays are as follows: "Introduction to the Design Process" (Richard Talaske); "The Acoustical Consultant's Role" (Harold P. Geerdes); "The Architect's Perspective" (Lynn Molzan, Laurence O'Connor, and Steven Robinson); "Cost Control for Music Education Facilities" (James and Richard Vermeulen); "The Compleat Concert Hall" (R. Lawrence Kirkegaard); "Rethinking Recital Halls" (J. Christopher Jaffe); "Rehearsal Room Acoustics" (Edward McCue); "Matching the Organ to the Room" (Robert F. Mahoney); "Keeping Things Quiet" (William J. Cavanaugh); "Media Systems for Music Education" (Jim Gundlach); and "Lighting the Concert Stage" (Joshua Dachs). Project posters from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, South America, and the United States are included. Concluding sections provide a bibliography, an index, and an appendix of notable student designs. (Contains 19 references.) 220p.
TO ORDER: Acoustical Society of America
http://acousticalsociety.org/

School Sound Level Study.
(California State Department of Education, School Facilities and Transportation Division, Sacramento, CA , 1986)
This document is a report completed in 1975 to survey sound levels in different kinds of spaces typically found in a variety of public schools throughout California. On-site surveys were made and measurements taken by staff members at 36 different schools throughout California. All measurements listed and sound levels given in this report of the study are intended to reflect typical active periods at each location. 14p.

Effects of Noise on Academic Achievement and Classroom Behavior
Lucas, Jerome
(California Health and Welfare Agency, Dept. of Health Services, Sep 1981)
This study evaluated student achievement in 15 school in Los Angeles located at different distances from freeways with corresponding different traffic-noise-generated background noise levels in the classrooms. The key result of the study , reading scores vs. noise level in the classroom, showed that "grade-equivalent" reading scores began to decrease as the noise level began to exceed about 35 dB(A). There was also evidence of serious cumulative effect of excessive classroom noise on a child's academic achievement level as he/she progressed through school. Another significant effect was that teachers were unable to hear the children more often than the other way around--an expected result consistent with the fact that the children's voice level tend to be lower.

Profiles of Significant Schools: Schools Without Walls. Adobe PDF
(Educational Facilities Laboratories, New York, NY , Jun 1966)
Discusses California’s approach to building open space schools for the elementary grades. Open space schools provide an environment which encourages innovation and interaction. However, acoustics, space, and scheduling are problems that have to be dealt with in construction and use. Floor plans are included. 60p.

Divisible Auditoriums. Adobe PDF
(Educational Facilities Laboratories, New York, NY , May 1966)
Reviews building designs which have been significant in the development of the divisible auditorium and theater and the fundamental concepts of the multi-purpose facility. The facilities range from teaching auditoriums in high schools to multi-arts theaters at a university. In addition, a section is included on the acoustics of the operable or movable partition which is often utilized in divisible facilities. 54p.

The Effects of Noise on Pupil Performance
Slater, Barbara Ruth
(Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation , 1966)
Effects of school noise conditions on student written task performance were studied. Three noise levels were examined--(1) irregular interval noise, 75-90 decibels, (2) average or normal noise, and (3) quiet condition, 45-55 decibels. An attempt was made to reproduce noise conditions typical of the school environment. A second controlled experiment used similar conditions of white noise. Subjects were 263 seventh grade children from a small urban complex. The STEP (Sequential Tests of Educational Progress) Reading Test was administered both as a test and as worksheets. Questionnaires were used to determine perceptions of noise and anxiety scale. No significant differences were found in analysis of variance for speed and accuracy on test scores. No significant relationship was found between anxiety and perception measures and performance. Conclusions state that written tasks of relatively short duration are not affected by peaks of noise typically found in a normal school environment. 113p.
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Acoustical Environment of School Buildings. Adobe PDF
Fitzroy, Dariel; Reid, John L.
(Educational Facilities Laboratories, New York, NY , 1963)
Discusses results of a field study made of the acoustical environment of schools designed for increased flexibility to meet the spatial requirements of new teaching methods. Questionnaires were sent to teachers in thirty-seven schools in all parts of the country. Teams of acoustical consultants then analyzed each school to accurately determine noise reduction, reverberation, speech interference level and articulation index. The collected data, discussion, and conclusions are presented for each school studied. 129p.

References to Journal Articles

Acoustics and Daylighting
Spector, Marc
School Planning and Management; , p50-53 ; May 2012
Clean, quiet, safe, comfortable and healthy environments are an important component of successful teaching and learning.

Music Rehearsal Room Acoustics: Comparisons of Objectives and Performance Measures.
Freiheit R.
Journal of Acoustical Society of America; v 131 n4 ; Apr 2012
A comparison of the acoustic performance criteria for high school music education rehearsal rooms to standard classrooms in the United States and Asia. High school music rehearsal rooms have acoustical requirements that are very different from traditional classrooms, where academic subjects are typically taught in a lecture-based setting. Due to the extended frequency range and dynamics of music rehearsals, most standard classroom acoustic treatments will not provide effective results for music rehearsal rooms. A number of acoustic measurements will be discussed - comparing rehearsal rooms and standard classrooms. Potential problems and solutions will be identified. [Author's abstract]

LEED For Schools Targets Acoustics, IAQ And Lighting
Kessler, Helen
Building Operating Management; Apr 2012
Of all of the LEED for Schools credits, the acoustics credit has done more than any other to integrate systems — including structural, mechanical, daylighting and architectural — because acoustics considerations, to be affordable, must be considered in the earliest phase of design.

Investigations into Vocal Doses and Parameters Pertaining to Primary School Teachers in Classrooms
Pasquale Bottalico and Arianna Astolfi
Journal of Acoustical Society of America; v131 n4 , p2817-2827 ; Apr 2012
Investigations into vocal doses and parameters were carried out on 40 primary school teachers (36 females and 4 males) in six schools in Italy, divided into two groups of three, A and B, on the basis of the type of building and the mid-frequency reverberation time in the classrooms, which was 1.13 and 0.79?s, respectively. A total of 73 working-day samples were collected (66 for females and 7 for males), from which 54 traditional lessons were analyzed separately. The average value over the working days of the mean sound pressure level of the voiced speech at 1?m from the teacher’s mouth was 62.1?dB for the females and 57.7?dB for the males, while the voicing time percentage was 25.9 and 25.1?%, respectively. Even though the vocal doses and parameters did not differ for the two school groups, the differences in the subjective scores were significant, with enhanced scores in group B. A 0.72?dB increase in speech level per 1?dB increase in background noise level, LA90, was found during traditional lessons, as well as an increase in the mean value of the fundamental frequency with an increase in LA90, at a rate of 1.0?Hz/dB. [Authors' abstract]
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Binaural Room Impulse Response Database Acquired From a Variable Acoustics Classroom
Peng, Z; Lau, SK; Wang, LM; Browne, S; Roy, KP
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; v131, n4 ; Apr 2012
Room measurements were conducted in a variable acoustics classroom mockup space (epod) at Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. Binaural room impulse responses were measured in the epod using a head and torso simulator. Five reverberation time (RT) scenarios were achieved with various combinations of absorptive wall panels and acoustical ceiling tile. These provided a range of mid-frequency RTs from 0.4 to 1.1 seconds. Three of the five RT scenarios were achieved using two different material configurations to also consider material location effects. For each of the eight material configurations, two student-teacher orientations were tested. One orientation had all desks facing the front of the room across the long dimension of the space, while the other had all furniture facing the front of the room along the short dimension of the space. Binaural impulse responses were measured at nine student positions in the longitudinal orientation and ten student positions in the transverse orientation, both using two teacher positions. This database of 252 binaural impulse responses from a variable acoustics classroom provides realistic test cases rather than simulations. These are being used for acoustic investigations on various topics including effects of classroom furniture orientation or acoustic material arrangements. [Authors' abstract]

The ABCs of Green Acoustics
Moeller, Niklas
Construction Specifier; , p30-41 ; Mar 2012
The lack of attention historically paid to acoustics has been detrimental to the overall performance of sustainable space. Article addresses the absorb, block, and cover ABC) rule, three principle methods used by acoustic professionals for noise control.

Measurement and Prediction of Voice Support and Room Gain in School Classrooms
David Pelegrín-García, Jonas Brunskog, Viveka Lyberg-Åhlander, and Anders Löfqvist
Journal of Acoustical Society of America; v131 n1 , p194-204 ; Jan 2012
Objective acoustic parameters have been measured in 30 school classrooms. These parameters include usual descriptors of the acoustic quality from the listeners’ standpoint, such as reverberation time, speech transmission index, and background noise level, and two descriptors of the acoustic properties for a speaker: Voice support and room gain. This paper describes the measurement method for these two parameters and presents a prediction model for voice support and room gain derived from the diffuse field theory. The voice support for medium-sized classrooms with volumes between 100 and 250 m3 and good acoustical quality lies in the range between -14 and -9?dB, whereas the room gain is in the range between 0.2 and 0.5?dB. The prediction model for voice support describes the measurements in the classrooms with a coefficient of determination of 0.84 and a standard deviation of 1.2?dB.
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Experimental Investigation of the Effects of the Acoustical Conditions in a Simulated Classroom on Speech Recognition and Learning in Children
Valente, Daniel L.; Plevinsky, M.; Franco, M.; Heinrichs-Graham, Dawna, Elizabeth C. and Lewis, E.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; v131, n1 , p232-246 ; Jan 2012
The potential effects of acoustical environment on speech understanding are especially important as children enter school where students’ ability to hear and understand complex verbal information is critical to learning. However, this ability is compromised because of widely varied and unfavorable classroom acoustics. The extent to which unfavorable classroom acoustics affect children’s performance on longer learning tasks is largely unknown as most research has focused on testing children using words, syllables, or sentences as stimuli. In the current study, a simulated classroom environment was used to measure comprehension performance of two classroom learning activities: a discussion and lecture. Comprehension performance was measured for groups of elementary-aged students in one of four environments with varied reverberation times and background noise levels. The reverberation time was either 0.6 or 1.5 s, and the signal-to-noise level was either +10 or +7 dB. Performance is compared to adult subjects as well as to sentence-recognition in the same condition. Significant differences were seen in comprehension scores as a function of age and condition; both increasing background noise and reverberation degraded performance in comprehension tasks compared to minimal differences in measures of sentence-recognition. [Authors' abstract]
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Auditoriums/Performing Arts. Sound Advice for School Performing Arts Design.
Prokos, John; Savereid, Chris
School Planning and Management; Dec 2011
Case study of the performing arts facilities at Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts. Discusses acoustical challenges and solutions.

I Can't Hear You!
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; , p32-35 ; Oct 2011
While research shows that voice amplification boosts student performance and cuts teacher absenteeism, most classrooms still don't provide amplification technology. Discusses today's more affordable technologically improved classroom amplification systems.

Furnishing for Acoustics
Rivero, Victor
College Planning and Management; , p40-43 ; Oct 2011
Discusses the system components and designs that should be considered for a classroom amplification system, where they should be installed, price considerations, how to integrate these into existing systems, and the expected life cycle.

Classroom Acoustics Affect Student Achievement.
Ronsse, Lauren M. and Wang, Lily M.;
Consulting-Specifying Engineer; Sep 19, 2011
Findings from a study comparing unoccupied classroom noise levels and reverberation times to the age of the school buildings and the elementary student achievement scores attained by students using those classrooms. Recommends that classroom mechanical systems should be designed with lower noise levels to optimize student reading comprehension.

Enhanced Acoustical Design.
Sullivan, C.C. and Horwitz-Bennett, Barbara
Building Design + Construction ; Aug 2011
Discusses issues of acoustical permformance, how sound is transmitted, and best practices in acoustic design for enhanced occupant/user health and welfare and indoor environmental quality. Describes strategies for reducing decibel levels and unwanted noise, absorbing and isolating sound, and contributing to whole building sustainability.

LEED for Schools.
Hibbs, Dan
Doors and Hardware; v75 n7 , p32,33 ; Jul 2011
Addresses the impact the LEED for schools has on the acoustic performance fo classroom entry doors. The sound transmission class (STC) ratings for walls and doors are discussed, along with determining the difference between background noise and the STC ratings.

Noise Effects on Human Performance: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis
Szalma, James L.; Hancock, Peter A.
Psychological Bulletin; v137 n4 , p682-707 ; Jul 2011
Noise is a pervasive and influential source of stress. Whether through the acute effects of impulse noise or the chronic influence of prolonged exposure, the challenge of noise confronts many who must accomplish vital performance duties in its presence. Although noise has diffuse effects, which are shared in common with many other chronic forms of stress, it also exerts its own specific influences on various forms of cognitive and motor response. We present a quantitative evaluation of these influences so that their harmful effects can be mitigated, their beneficial effects exploited, and any residual effects incorporated and synthesized into selection, training, and design strategies to facilitate human performance capacities. Collective findings identified continuous versus intermittent noise, noise type, and type of task as the major distinguishing characteristics that moderated response. Mixed evidence was obtained for the traditional arousal and masking explanations for noise effects. The overall pattern of findings was most consistent with the maximal adaptability theory, a mental-resource-based explanation of stress and performance variation. [Authors' abstract]

Impacting Learning.
Harris, Bill; Lambert, Chip
School Planning and Management; v50 n5 , p44-46 ; May 2011
Discusses the negative effect of classroom noise on teaching and learning, standards for classroom acoustics, and HVAC design that minimizes noise while using less energy.

Design Considerations for Effective Distance Learning.
Gedemer, Linda
University Business; Mar 2011
Discusses proper classroom acoustics, good speech intelligibility, clear sightlines, proper lighting, and seating arrangements that need to be considered when developing an effective distance learning classroom, which will benefit students and instructors alike.

Creating Quiet, Comfortable Learning Spaces.
Gille, Steve; Fronek, Steve
The Construction Specifier; v64 n3 , p20-22,24,26,28,29 ; Mar 2011
Advises on creating quiet classrooms, discussing determining accurate levels of noise disturbance between decibels and pitch. ANSI and LEED standards are discussed, as are typical sources of noise in buildings. Reducing interior noise and limiting the intrusion of exterior noise is discussed, and extensive information on windows is included.

Listen and Learn.
Fullerton, Jeffrey; Nelson, Peggy
American School and University; v83 n6 , p22,23,24 ; Feb 2011
Discusses the 2010 updated ANSI Standard 12.60 for classroom acoustics. The standard addresses acoustics in permanent and relocatable classrooms, background noise, acoustical isolation, and reverberation. The design implications of the Standard, and how the standard has been incorporated into other building guidelines are also addressed.

Acoustical Odyssey.
School Construction News; v17 n1 , p14-16 ; Jan-Feb 2011
Profiles Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. The building hosts a light-filled shoebox concert hall with outstanding acoustics, a recital hall, classrooms, and rehearsal and practice spaces. Controversy surrounding its funding is also described.

Calculating the Optimum Reverberation Time and Absorption Coefficient for Good Speech Intelligibility in Classroom Design Using U50.
Nijs, Lau; Rychtáriková, Monika
Acta Acustica united with Acustica; , 93-102 ; Jan-Feb 2011
Proposes a predictive model for speech intelligibility, as expressed with the parameter U50, based on objective acoustical values, i.e. the reverberation time RT, signal-to-noise ratio SN, and the relative proportions of sound arriving early and late at the listener. The article introduces the model and derives guidelines for architectural design. The model is illustrated using a typical Dutch classroom as an example. Architectural guidelines are derived for maximum RT values, and compared with existing recommendations. The possible additional need for minimum RT values is also investigated in relation to the phenomenon of 'overdamping' in classrooms. [author's abstract]
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Influence of Classroom Acoustics on the Voice Levels of Teachers With and Without Voice Problems: A Field Study.
Pelegrin-Garcia, David; Lyberg-Åhlander,Viveka; Rydell, Roland; Brunskog, Jonas
POMA; v11 n1 , p060001-060001-9 ; Dec 15, 2010
Examines how classroom acoustics interacts with the voices of 14 teachers without voice problems and 13 teachers with voice problems. The assessment of the voice problems was made with a questionnaire and a laryngological examination. Results suggest that teachers with voice problems are more aware of classroom acoustic conditions than their healthy colleagues and make use of the more supportive rooms to lower their voice levels. This behavior may result from an adaptation process of the teachers with voice problems to preserve their voices. [Authors' abstract]
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Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Speech Perception and Listening Comprehension of Children and Adults in a Classroom-like Setting.
Klatte, Maria; Lachmann, Thomas; Meis, Markus
Noise & Health; v12 n49 , p270-82 ; Dec 2010
The effects of classroom noise and background speech on speech perception, measured by word-to-picture matching,and listening comprehension, measured by execution of oral instructions, were assessed in first- and third-grade children and adults in a classroom-like setting. Children were more impaired than adults by background sounds in both speech perception and listening comprehension. [Authors' abstract]

Considerations When Upgrading Renovating Window Systems.
Gille, Steve
Facilities Manager; v26 n6 , p40-42,44,46 ; Nov-Dec 2010
Advises on window selection for campus buildings, emphasizing energy efficiency, building orientation, appropriate window style, and glass selection. Acoustics, daylighting, thermal comfort, and aesthetics are also addressed.

Media Production Center, Columbia College Chicago.
Gonchar, Joann
Architectural Record; v198 n11 , p115-119 ; Nov 2010
Profiles this urban communication arts facility, built rapidly with pre-cast walls and carefully designed to mitigate noise from nearby train and car traffic. A green roof reduces the noise of rain as well. Photographs, plans, and a list of project participants accompany the text.

Classroom Amplification.
Dolan, Thomas
School Planning and Management; v49 n7 , p32-34 ; Jul 2010
Discusses amplification of teacher's voices, noting professional warnings against the practice, as well as documented improvement of student performance where teacher amplification has been installed. Correct design of sound systems are discussed, as is teacher enthusiasm over the practice.

Sounding Off About Noise Retention Innovation.
Smith, Steve
Doors and Hardware; v74 n7 , p14-16,18 ; Jul 2010
Describes new lightweight doors with high sound transmission class (STC) ratings, that are an alternative to traditional, heavy acoustical doors. The new doors are easier to install and operate. Testing methods and standards for acoustical isolation are also addressed.

Combined Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Speech Recognition Performance of Normal-Hearing Children and Adults.
Neuman, Arlene C.; Wroblewski, Marcin; Hajicek, Joshua; Rubinstein, Adrienne
Ear and Hearing; v33 n3 , p336-344 ; Jun 2010
The purpose of this study was to determine how combinations of noise levels and reverberation typical of ranges found in current classrooms will affect speech recognition performance of typically developing children with normal speech, language, and hearing and to compare their performance with that of adults with normal hearing. Speech recognition performance was measured using the Bamford-Kowal-Bench Speech in Noise test. Results highlight changes in speech recognition performance with age in elementary school children listening to speech in noisy, reverberant classrooms. The more reverberant the environment, the better the signal to noise ratios (SNR) required. The younger the child, the better the SNR required. Results support the importance of attention to classroom acoustics and emphasize the need for maximizing SNR in classrooms, especially in classrooms designed for early childhood grades. [Authors' abstract]
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Say What??
Milshtein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v13 n5 , p49,50,52 ; May 2010
Describes the impact of poor or noisy acoustics on spaces that are otherwise well-designed. There must be a balance of light, temperature control, and acoustics. The article further describes advances since the earlier use of unattractive and sound-deadening acoustical tile on ceilings.

A Little Forethought Can Save Money.
Teel, Jeff
School Planning and Management; v49 n5 , p33,34,36 ; May 2010
Encourages use of a sound engineer in the earliest planning stages of construction or renovation. Gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, and classroom noises can be anticipated and handled effectively with professional assistance.

Characterization of Classroom Noise and Noise Control Techniques and Their Effect on Speech Comprehension while Learning.
SanSouci, Sooch; Guerra, Line; Campbell, Dick
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; v 127 n3 , 2028-2028 ; Mar 2010
Discusses a current study that includes three parts: (1) the characterization of masking invoked by noise commonly found in today's classrooms, (2) the formulation of a metric that intends to associate masking risk to noise features, and (3) the attempt to quantify any increase in speech comprehension resulting from interior acoustic designs that aspire to reduce noise in occupied classrooms. Calibrated recordings made during classroom activities in 9 schools are post processed to allow noise characteristics to be rated based on attributes related to the noise source or type, duration, rate of recurrence, spectra, level, envelope, and peak energy. The results suggest that there are misconceptions in the literature in terms of today's classroom design trends and a few novel principles emerged as being highly effective. [author's abstract]
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Green Classroom Acoustics: Sound or Noise?
Sweitzer, Glenn E.
Journal of Acoustical Society of America; v127 n3 , p1724-1724 ; Mar 2010
Architectural acoustics is underrepresented in current green building rating systems. While acoustics factors are embodied in green building issues, their scoring potentials remain untapped. An alternative, individual user-oriented basis is tested for scoring architectural acoustics factors. Key architectural acoustics factors embodied in the currently prevailing LEED Green Building Rating System are identified. Selected acoustics factors, and relevant criteria, are studied in the context of four similar school classrooms in one K-5 school. Results suggest that passive sound and noise control in individual classrooms can be used to improve STI by academic subject, presentation media, and teacher and student configurations. Accordingly, scoring for an individual classroom will vary by the passive as well as active noise control means used. {Author's abstract]
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Acoustics, Daylighting and IAQ.
Wente, Larry
School Planning and Management; v49 n2 , p20,22,24-26 ; Feb 2010
Advises on insulating school buildings against intrusive external and internal noise, daylighting, and HVAC system selection for maximum indoor air quality. A new Teaneck, New Jersey, school is offered as an example.

Acoustics in Physical Education Settings: The Learning Roadblocks. Adobe PDF
Ryan, Stu; Mendel, Lisa
Educational Facility Planner; v44 n4 , p38-43 ; 2010
Reports results of study measuring noise levels in elementary, middle, and high school physical education settings, and compare them to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) guidelines and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for acoustics in educational settings. The findings show that all of the settings were significantly higher than the established standards. Strategies for reducing high noise levels in physical education settings are discussed.

Noise in Open Plan Classrooms in Primary Schools: A Review
Shield, Bridget; Greenland, Emma; and Dockrell, Julie
Noise Health; v12 n49 , p 225-234 ; 2010
This paper presents a review of research carried out in the past 40 years into various aspects of noise in open plan classrooms. The emergence of open plan classroom design in response to progressive educational reforms is discussed. A limited amount of evidence of the effects of noise in open plan classrooms is presented. Surveys of both background and intrusive noise levels in open plan classrooms are summarized and compared. Differences between noise levels in open plan and enclosed classrooms are also considered. Recommended noise limits and acoustic design criteria for open plan classrooms are discussed, together with some current international standards. The paper concludes with a discussion of appropriate noise control measures to reduce noise and maximize speech intelligibility and speech privacy in open plan classrooms. [Authors' abstract]

Noise in Schools: A Holistic Approach. Adobe PDF
Woolner, Pamela; Hall, Elaine
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; v7 , p3255-3269 ; 2010
Reviews the weight of evidence in relation to classroom noise, considering what implications the results of these studies have for the design and use of learning spaces in schools. Four points are detailed. First, that noise over a given level does appear to have a negative impact on learning. Second, that beneath these levels noise may or may not be problematic, depending on the social, cultural, and pedagogical expectations of the students and teachers. Third, when noise is deemed to be a difficulty, this finding cannot simply be translated into design prescriptions. The reasons for this indeterminacy include differing understandings of the routes through which noise produces learning deficits, as well as relationships between noise and other elements of the environment, particularly the impacts of physical solutions to noise problems. Finally, solutions to noise problems will not be produced by viewing noise in isolation, or even as part of the physical environment, but through participatory approaches to understanding and adapting the structure, organization and use of learning spaces in schools.

Classroom Amplification.
Dolan, Thomas
School Planning and Management; v48 n8 , p28-30 ; Aug 2009
Reviews the history of sound enhancement in classrooms, culminating in the introduction of infrared transmission that made amplification widely deployable without the use of scarce radio frequencies. Technology that adapts the reception of the teacher s voice to the needs of individual learners is described, as is the evolving comprehension levels of students as they get older and improved achievement in environments where audio enhancement is used.

Aural Report.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v33 n4 , p64-66,68,70 ; Apr 2009
Discusses computer modeling of acoustics in athletic facilities to assess and vary sound properties in a three-dimensional model during the design phase.

Acoustics, Sound Amplification, and Electroacoustics.
Bonner, Charles
College Planning and Management; v12 n2 , p40,42,44,46 ; Feb 2009
Discusses natural acoustics, traditional amplification, and sophisticated electronic systems that augment the existing natural acoustics of an auditorium to deliver sound that emulates high-quality natural acoustics.

Noise Control.
Dolan, Thomas
School Planning and Management; v48 n2 , p34-37 ; Feb 2009
Discusses control of noise and reverberation in noisy school spaces, such as gymnasiums. The balance of reflective and absorptive materials is discussed, as are HVAC systems and other sources of background noise. Acoustics should be considered in the design phase, but is frequently overlooked, or eliminated to save costs.

Classroom Sound Systems: Not a Green Substitute for Proper Classroom Acoustics
Riedel, Richard F.
Journal Acoustical Society of America; v125 n4 , p2736-2736 ; 2009
Discusses the negative environmental impact that individual classroom sound systems create when used as a substitute for good acoustical design. School systems are being targeted by marketers of classroom sound systems and being convinced that they are a cost effective al-ternative to the standards that are put forth by ANSI S12.60-2002. This paper presents estimates of the potential waste that is created by these systems through future disposal of outdated technology and batteries used in these devices. [Author's abstract]
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The Components of Good Acoustics in a High Performance School. Adobe PDF
Stewart, William
Educational Facility Planner; v43 n4 , p28-30 ; 2009
Discusses the limitation of outside noise intrusion, minimization of HVAC noise, and reduction of sound reverberation within classrooms. Sources of sound, acceptable levels, mitigation techniques, and national standards for sound attenuation are addressed.

Specifications for Acoustic Performance.
Harrison, Byron
The Construction Specifier; v61 n12 , p26-32,34,36 ; Dec 2008
Discusses inclusion of acoustical specifications in building design and construction, advising on how to accurately merge them into the plans, and the appropriate CSI Masterformat divisions to use. A variety of acoustic products are described, as are the acoustical properties of doors, mechanical equipment, and sealants.

Breaking the "Sound Barrier" for Enhanced Classroom Learning.
Lawton, Christopher
School Planning and Management; v47 n10 , p33,34,36 ; Oct 2008
Discusses HVAC industry attempts to create units that would comply with stricter standards for classroom acoustics, with particular attention to the additional challenges found in portable classrooms. The development and testing of units in selected California schools is detailed.

A Concrete Solution.
Clary, Carl; Golden, Joe
School Planning and Management; v47 n6 , p56,58-61 ; Jun 2008
Cites the virtues of precast concrete for school construction. These include lower construction costs, shorter construction time, high seismic and blast resistance, a wide variety of design options, and acoustical isolation.

UC San Diego's New Music Center Design Combines Acoustic Performance with Striking Visuals.
Boniface, Russell
AIArchitect; Feb 2008
Profiles this facility featuring careful attention to acoustics in all spaces and abundant gathering spaces to encourage student interaction.

Turn it Down: Dealing with Acoustical Issues in Recreational Facilities.
Barkman, Art
Recreation Management; v9 n2 , p8 ; Feb 2008
Discusses strategies for reducing reverberation in recreational facilities, including acoustical ceilings and banners, wall treatments, and transmission of sound from gymnasiums to adjacent spaces.

Classroom Acoustics.
Architectural Record; , p25-28 ; Jan 2008
Advises on acoustical design for classrooms, with attention to ceiling height, reverberation time, material selection, wall construction, and remediation of acoustical problems in existing classrooms.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Schools 2009 Acoustics Prerequisite and Credit Evolution and Future Direction
Kurtz, Alexis; Bruck, Daniel; Lubman, David; Salter, Charles
Journal Acoustical Society of America; v124 n4 , p2546 ; 2008
In May 2008, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released an updated acoustics prerequisite and credit for inclusion in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Schools 2009 Rating System. Guidance for the update was provided to the USGBC by the four acousticians in the Indoor Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group, which focused on identification of key acoustical metrics and development of the credit for greater acceptance within the design and construction community. This paper discusses the process and challenges of balancing market factors, cost, and effective acoustical design for classrooms. The resulting prerequisite and credit are intended to be easily attainable within reasonable cost constraints for classrooms in all geographic regions of the United States. Future direction for classroom acoustics in green design, implications arising from poor classroom design, and the need for greater involvement of the acoustics community in credit development is also discussed.
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Meeting IAQ Guidelines.
Parrish, Richard
School Planning and Management; v46 n11 , p36,38,40,41 ; Nov 2007
Details Minneapolis' new Burroughs Community School to illustrate opportunities for good indoor air quality and classroom acoustics through careful design, materials selection, and construction techniques.

Can You Hear Me in the Back?
SchoolsforLife; n5 , p36-38 ; Jun 2007
Reviews acoustical considerations for educational spaces, listing acceptable reverberation times and noise levels for classrooms, auditoriums, athletic facilities, and music rooms. Conflicting considerations of natural ventilation and noise control are discussed, as are acoustic treatments and amplification systems.

Sound Solutions.
Starkman, Neal
T.H.E. Journal; v34 n6 , p22 ; Jun 2007
Poor classroom acoustics are impairing students' hearing and their ability to learn. However, technology has come up with a solution: tools that focus voices in a way that minimizes intrusive ambient noise and gets to the intended receiver--not merely amplifying the sound, but also clarifying and directing it. Using an Audio Enhancement system, teachers speak into a microphone, and speakers transmit the voice throughout the classroom. Teachers can also hook up the system to computers, DVD players, VCRs, interactive whiteboards, and just about any other classroom tool. They can capture audio and put it on the Internet. They can even tie everything into the school's public address system. [Author's abstract]

The Sound of Learning.
Milshtein, Amy
School Planning and Management; v46 n3 , p46,48,50,51 ; Mar 2007
Reviews the mixed state of classroom acoustics and the high number of students who are challenged at hearing or comprehension. Simple steps to improve classroom acoustics in the design stage and technology that amplifies speech in pre-existing spaces are also covered.

Some Researchers Call for Classroom Sound Systems
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week ; v26 n26 , p8 ; Mar 2007
Some researchers suggest that classroom-amplification systems are needed for all students, particularly the young, those with hearing loss, or those learning another language. The devices also reduce teachers’ vocal strain. The Acoustical Society of America has said such devices can be useful, but should not be routinely installed in classrooms. It recommends architectural improvements such as using acoustical tiles on ceilings and walls, installing carpeting to reduce noise from sliding chairs and desks, installing partitions that extend from the ceiling to the floor, and shielding mechanical equipment or moving it away from classrooms.

What's That You Hear?
Wiens, Janet
College Planning and Management; v10 n3 , p37,38,40 ; Mar 2007
Describes flexible acoustical requirements in the various spaces of a music school. Using San Antonio's Trinity University as an example, features of concert halls, rehearsal rooms, and practice rooms are discussed.

In the Background.
Baribay, Pat
American School and University; v79 n6 , p30,32,33 ; Feb 2007
Reviews the impact of poor acoustics on learning, especially to those at higher risk. Basics of good acoustical classroom design, undertaken at the outset of school design, are covered, as are points of HVAC system design and installation that impact classroom acoustics.

An Evaluation Method for School Building Design at the Preliminary Phase with Optimisation of Aspects of Environmental Comfort for the School System of the State São Paulo in Brazil
Valéria Azzi Collet da Graçaa, Doris Catharine Cornelie Knatz Kowaltowskia, and João Roberto Diego Petreche
Building and Environment ; v42 n2 , p984-999 ; Feb 2007
This study presents a method for evaluating and optimising environmental comfort parameters of school buildings during the preliminary stages of design. In order to test the method, 39 existing public school building designs in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, had their plans analysed and characterised in relation to their influence on environmental comfort. Four aspects of comfort were considered: thermal, acoustic, natural lighting and functionality. Although conflicts between different comfort parameters are apparent, results show that multi-criteria optimisation can be applied as a design tool during the creative process. Maximisation of various aspects of comfort simultaneously was shown to be impossible, but compromise solutions could be found. [Authors' abstract]

Hear and Now.
Mckeaon, Michael; Berry, Lincoln
Reviews the negative effects of poor classroom acoustics and reviews the current American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for classroom acoustics. Reverberation, sound isolation, and low background noise are emphasized. Obstacles to meeting the standards and alternative guidelines from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools are also covered.

Classroom Amplification Systems Allow Teachers to Be Heard.
Kollie, Ellen
School Planning and Management; v45 10 , p60,62-66 ; Oct 2006
Discusses the use of amplification systems in classrooms to improve hearing and learning. Even voice distribution throughout the room, rather than simple amplification, is the goal. Sources of interior and exterior noise that can be overcome with amplification systems are cited, as is advice on selecting a proper system.

Making Sound Decisions: Acoustical Design for Educational Spaces.
Paoletti, Dennis
College Planning and Management; v9 n10 , p46,48 ; Oct 2006
Outlines the basic criteria for good acoustics in educational spaces. Recommendations are made for educational space acoustics that support a variety of learning styles, integrate technology to enhance learning, assist community use of the facility, make healthy and comfortable learning environments, and support non-traditional options for schools and classrooms.

Classrooms for Children with Developmental Disabilities: Sound-Field and Public Address Amplification Systems Compared
Leung, Stanley W. H.; McPherson, Bradley
International Journal of Disability, Development & Education; v53 n3 , p287-299 ; Sep 2006
Background noise poses adverse effects on speech sounds and affects student learning, especially for children with developmental disabilities. Sound-field and public address amplification systems can help to solve this problem by amplifying speech sounds relative to background noise. This study surveyed school classrooms for children with special needs, and compared the performance of a sound-field and a portable public address system in classroom environments. Unoccupied room noise levels and reverberation times were measured in eight classrooms at four Hong Kong schools for children with special needs. Speech levels in each classroom were measured under three conditions: without amplification, with public address system amplification, and with sound-field amplification. Speech-to-noise ratios were calculated for each condition. Noise and unamplified speech-to-noise ratio values exceeded recommended acoustic standards in all classrooms. When sound-field and public address amplification systems were installed, speech-to-noise ratios improved considerably. When either amplification system was used, a uniform sound-field resulted. The applicability of both types of amplification system and their relative merits in special education classrooms are discussed.

Audio Vision.
Popke, Michael
Athletic Business; v30 n8 , p52-56 ; Aug 2006
Advises on audio systems for athletic facilities, including proper matching of equipment components to each other and to the facility's use, environment, and acoustical properties. Ease of operation and maintenance, acoustical consultants, neighborhood considerations, and computer simulation of proposed systems are also covered.

The Air Down There.
Milshtein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v9 n7 , p29,30,32,33 ; Jul 2006
Defines displacement ventilation (DV) and describes its benefits to air quality, energy savings, noise control, and comfort. Also included is a comparison of DV to under-floor air distribution (UFAD), examples of schools that use DV, and architectural considerations for DV installation.

Acoustical Barriers in Classrooms: the Impact of Noise on Performance in the Classroom.
Dockrell, Julie; Shield, Bridget
British Educational Research Journal; v32 n3 , p509-525 ; Jun 2006
Reports the results of a British study that explored the effects of typical classroom noise on the performance of primary school children on a series of literacy and speed tasks. One hundred and fifty-eight children in six Year 3 classes participated in the study. Classes were randomly assigned to one of three noise conditions. Two noise conditions were chosen to reflect levels of exposure experienced in urban classrooms: noise by children alone (classroom babble), and babble plus environmental noise (babble and environmental). Performance in these conditions were compared with performance under typical quiet classroom conditions. A differential negative effect of noise source on type of task was observed. Children in the babble and environmental noise condition performed significantly worse than those in the base and babble conditions on speed of processing tasks. In contrast, performance on the verbal tasks was significantly worse only in the babble condition. Children with special educational needs were differentially negatively affected in the babble condition. The processes underlying these effects are considered and the implications of the results for children's attainments and classroom noise levels are explored.
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The Noisy Drawbacks of LEED-Certified HVAC Systems.
Teel, Jeff
School Planning and Management; v45 n4 , pG32-G34 ; Apr 2006
Narrates the author s experience as an acoustical consultant engaged to assess noise- sensitive areas of a school after a noisy, but highly efficient HVAC system with geothermal wells, was installed.

Environmental Comfort in School Buildings: A Case Study of Awareness and Participation of Users.
Bernardi, Nubia; Kowaltowski, Doris
Environment and Behavior; v38 n2 , p155-172 ; Mar 2006
This paper presents the results of an extensive post occupancy study of 15 schools in the city of Campinas, SP, Brazil. The learning environments were analyzed as to thermal, acoustical, visual, and functional comfort and possible simple solutions to improve the quality of the learning environment. Classrooms and recreation areas were observed and critical comfort conditions were measured with equipment. School directors, teachers, employees and students were questioned as to their perception and evaluation of the comfort conditions and given the opportunity to express their satisfaction and desires about their learning spaces. A low level of intervention toward comfort on the part of users was attributed to discipline codes that restrict student behavior.
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http://eab.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/38/2/155

Acoustical Standards for Classroom Design. Comparison of International Standards and Low Frequency Criteria.
Evans, Jack B.
Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control; v25 n1 , p1-9 ; Mar 2006
Many countries have acoustical standards or regulations for educational facility design and construction. They are based on speaking and hearing abilities of teachers and learners. Criteria are often stipulated for reverberation decay time, sound isolation and allowable background noise. Many educators focus on mid- to high-frequency effects on speech intelligibility, but low frequency noise (LFN) may cause some (upward) masking of speech with reduction of intelligibility. In addition, LFN may affect student attitudes, behaviour, performance and/or fatigue. This paper compares acoustical criteria from several countries with respect to spectrum. Frequency spans or reverberation, sound isolation and background noise are contrasted with hearing and speech characteristics of children and adult learners. Principal findings of some LFN research by others are introduced, such as annoyance, speech intelligibility and fatigue. General recommendations are made, based on findings inferred from review and comparison of standards. [Author's abstract]
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Preschool Teachers' Exposure to Classroom Noise.
Grebennikov, Leonid
International Journal of Early Years Education; v14 n1 , p35-44 ; Mar 2006
Examines exposure to classroom noise of 25 full-time teaching staff in 14 preschool settings. The results indicated that one teacher exceeded the maximum permissible level of daily noise exposure for employees under the health and safety legislation. Three staff approached this level and 92% of teachers were subjected to daily noise exposure which, if occurs repeatedly, is considered potentially harmful. Nine staff recorded peak noise rates in excess of the permitted limit. High levels of noise were evident when large numbers of students were located in confined areas, when they were involved in rough play or were distressed, when the students dropped heavy play equipment, and during music sessions.
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Acoustics Take the Lead in Classroom Design.
Kollie, Ellen
School Planning and Management; v45 n2 , p36,38,40,41 ; Feb 2006
Discusses elements of room size, shape, and surfacing and how they affect classroom acoustics. Examples of how to create desirable and mitigate undesirable internal and external acoustical situations are included, as is a brief review of the American National Standards Institute Standard 12.60 regarding classroom acoustics.

Can you Hear Me Now? Sound Educational Facilities Planning for Increased Learning.
Barrett, Julie
School Business Affairs; v 71 n11 , p26-28 ; Dec 2005
Discusses the benefits of electronic audio-enhancement in the classroom and outlines steps for planning and delivering audio-enhancement systems. These include project goals, key elements of design, space descriptions, budgetary considerations, design and detailing, and quality construction.

Sound Ideas for Better Learning.
McCarty, Paul.
College Planning and Management; v8 n10 , p39-41 ; Oct 2005
Discusses benefits and techniques of audio enhancement in higher education classrooms.

Sound Decisions: How Operable Partitions Affect Room Acoustics.
Curtis, Jim
The Construction Specifier; v58 n7 , p24-26,28,30-32 ; Jul 2005
Discusses practical applications of ASTM s "Standard Guide for the Installation of Operable Partitions," and other considerations to help architects and specifiers properly design for acceptable acoustic performance. Topics covered include the sound transmission classification of the partition itself, top seals, vertical joints, pass-through doors, and track assemblies.

Sound Advice: Acoustic Options for Windows and Curtain Walls.
Fronek, Steve
The Construction Specifier; v58 n7 , p40-46 ; Jul 2005
Describes properties of volume and frequency in sound, the manner in which sound transmission class (STC) ratings are derived for outdoor to indoor sound transmissions, and the acoustical performance of sound insulating strategies such as laminated glass, increased air space, thicker glass, and various window framing systems.

Building a Better Wall: The Elements of Good Acoustics.
Stewart, William
The Construction Specifier; v58 n7 , p33-39 ; 2005
Describes noise criteria for various educational facility areas and sound transmission class (STC) as defined by ASTM E 413-99, "Classification for Rating Sound Insulation." The acoustical properties of the wall elements of mass, airspace, stiffness, couplings are covered, and advice on party walls, metal deckings, common plenums, and acoustical caulk is offered.

Aircraft and Road Traffic Noise and Children's Cognition and Health: a Cross-National Study.
Stansfeld, S. A., et al
The Lancet; v365 n9475 , p1942-1949 ; Jun 05, 2005
Presents the results of a study that assessed 2844 children aged 9 10 years attending European schools near three major airports. Subjects were selected according to extent of exposure to external aircraft and road traffic noise at school as predicted from noise contour maps, modelling, and on-site measurements. Linear exposure-effect associations were identified between exposure to chronic aircraft noise and impairment of reading comprehension and recognition memory, and a non-linear association with annoyance maintained after adjustment for mother's education, socioeconomic status, longstanding illness, and extent of classroom insulation against noise. Exposure to road traffic noise was linearly associated with increases in episodic memory, but also with annoyance. Neither aircraft noise nor traffic noise affected sustained attention, self-reported health, or overall mental health.
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Social and Academic Implications of Acoustically Hostile Classrooms for Hard of Hearing Children
Jamieson, Janet R.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2365 ; Apr 2005
The correlation between lowered academic achievement and classroom noise has been demonstrated for normally hearing children (Shield and Dockrell, 2003). However, the implications of poor classroom acoustics on the socialization and academic performance of children who are hard of hearing have not been examined. Eleven hard of hearing students in one school district, ranging from kindergarten to grade 7, were the foci of the present study. Acoustic measurements of each of the 11 classrooms in both unoccupied and occupied conditions revealed that all classrooms were acoustically challenging for the hard of hearing students, particularly at transition times, when ventilation was operational, and in the primary grades, when language learning needs are greatest. Interviews with parents and teachers underscored the difficulty these students experienced in comprehending teacher instructions and participating in group work. The students seldom initiated conversation or seatwork independently, but, rather, followed the lead of their peers. The hard of hearing students experienced frequent difficulties in understanding or participating in informal peer-to-peer conversations in the classroom, and parents and teachers attributed the children's frequent social isolation and withdrawal at school to the combined effects of poor hearing abilities and hostile classroom acoustics. [Author's abstract]
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Real World Issues in Classroom Acoustics for Hearing Impaired Students
Kleinschmidt, Klaus
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2439 ; Apr 2005
Experience is being gained from evaluating and modifying the acoustical properties and background noise levels of existing classrooms for use by hearing impaired students. Projects include more than 25 schools in public school systems that are mainstreaming handicapped children. Various practical and economic restrictions have led to recommendations for modifications that do not necessarily comply with ANSI S12.60 2002. Examples of real world conditions and practical solutions will be described. [Author's abstract]
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Acoustical Design: Basis of a Sound Education.
McCarty, Paul; Rosen, Larry
School Planning and Management; v44 n2 , pA1-A7 ; Apr 2005
Cites sources of internal and external noise that cause students to be unable to understand 25 to 30% of what is being said in classrooms. A recent case study from the Los Angeles Unified School District is detailed, and the results compared to the ANSI standard for classroom noise. Consequences of poor acoustics particular to children vs. adults and to people of limited English proficiency are discussed, and evidence of improved test scores resulting from improved acoustics and recommendations based on the LAUSD study are presented.

Subjective Evaluation of Speech and Noise in Learning Environments in the Realm of Classroom Acoustics: Results from Laboratory and Field Experiments.
Meis, Markus; Nocke, Christian; Hofmann, Simone; Becker, Bernhard
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2437 ; Apr 2005
The impact of different acoustical conditions in learning environments on noise annoyance and the evaluation of speech quality were tested in a series of three experiments. In Experiment 1 (n=79) the auralization of seven classrooms with reverberation times from 0.55 to 3.21 s [average between 250 Hz to 2 kHz] served to develop a Semantic Differential, evaluating a simulated teacher's voice. Four factors were found: acoustical comfort, roughness, sharpness, and loudness. In Experiment 2, the effects of two classroom renovations were examined from a holistic perspective. The rooms were treated acoustically with acoustic ceilings (RT=0.5 s [250 Hz–2 kHz]) and muffling floor materials as well as non-acoustically with a new lighting system and color design. The results indicate that pupils (n=61) in renovated classrooms judged the simulated voice more positively, were less annoyed from the noise in classrooms, and were more motivated to participate in the lessons. In Experiment 3 the sound environments from six different lecture rooms (RT=0.8 to 1.39 s [250 Hz–2 kHz]) in two Universities of Oldenburg were evaluated by 321 students during the lectures. Evidence found supports the assumption that acoustical comfort in rooms is dependent on frequency for rooms with higher reverberation times. [Authors' abstract]
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Excuse Me?
Milstein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v8 n4 , p30,32 ; Apr 2005
Discusses acoustical design features for classrooms, large lecture halls, and proper HVAC configuration to minimize noise.

The Need for Good Acoustic Design of Schools
Shield, Bridget
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2505 ; Apr 2005
This paper gives an overview of research into classroom acoustics, highlighting the importance of a good acoustic environment in schools to enhance teaching and learning. The paper is aimed at a general audience of people interested in education and school design. In the past 30 years there has been a great deal of research into the effects of noise and poor acoustics in schools on children and teachers. It has been shown in many studies that children have difficulty hearing and understanding their teachers in noise, and both external environmental noise and noise within a school affect children's academic performance. Furthermore many teachers suffer from voice and throat problems which may be attributable to a poor acoustic environment in the classroom. The acoustic design of a classroom has a direct influence upon noise levels and the intelligibility of speech. Poor sound insulation and excessive reverberation have the potential to increase noise levels and reduce speech intelligibility. However, despite the introduction in many countries of legislation or guidelines for acoustic design of schools, in general acoustics still has a low priority in school design and many schools, old and new, fail to meet the current standards. [Author's abstract]
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Classroom Acoustics: Three Pilot Studies
Smaldino, Joseph J.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2365 ; Apr 2005
This paper summarizes three related pilot projects designed to focus on the possible effects of classroom acoustics on fine auditory discrimination as it relates to language acquisition, especially English as a second language. The first study investigated the influence of improving the signal-to-noise ratio on the differentiation of English phonemes. The results showed better differentiation with better signal-to-noise ratio. The second studied speech perception in noise by young adults for whom English was a second language. The outcome indicated that the second language learners required a better signal-to-noise ratio to perform equally to the native language participants. The last study surveyed the acoustic conditions of preschool and day care classrooms, wherein first and second language learning occurs. The survey suggested an unfavorable acoustic environment for language learning. [Author's abstract]
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Implications of the Road Traffic and Aircraft Noise Exposure and Children's Cognition and Health (RANCH) Study Results for Classroom Acoustics
Stansfeld, Stephen A.; Clark, Charlotte
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2363 ; Apr 2005
Studies in West London have found associations between aircraft noise exposure and childrens' cognitive performance. This has culminated in the RANCH Study examining exposure-effect associations between aircraft and road traffic noise exposure and cognitive performance and health. The RANCH project, the largest cross-sectional study of noise and childrens health, examined 2844 children, 9–10 years old, from 89 schools around three major airports: in the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. A substudy indicated high internal levels of noise within classrooms. Schools were matched for socioeconomic position within countries. Cognitive and health outcomes were measured by standardized tests and questionnaires administered in the classroom. A parental questionnaire collected information on socioeconomic position, parental education and ethnicity. Linear exposure-effect associations were found between chronic aircraft noise exposure and impairment of reading comprehension and recognition memory, maintained after adjustment for mothers education, socioeconomic factors, longstanding illness and classroom insulation. Road traffic noise exposure was linearly associated with episodic memory. The implications of these results for childrens' learning environments will be discussed. [Author's abstract]
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Can You Hear Me Now?
Sterner, Jeff
American School and University; v77 n9 , hp18-hp20 ; Apr 2005
Describes typical sources of noise within schools and the paths by which they are transmitted. Materials and design features for mitigation are suggested.

Acoustic Environment Challenges for the Unique Communication Conditions in Group Learning Classes in Elementary School Classrooms
Sutherland, Louis; Lubman, David; Pearsons, Karl
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v117 n4 , p2366 ; Apr 2005
Unlike the traditional ``sage-on-the-stage' configuration of many K–12 classrooms, the group learning or ``guide-on-the-side' configuration does not involve communication between a teacher in front of a seated class of 20 to 30 students. Instead, it can involve, most of the time, communication between the teacher and each of several small groups of students interacting, aurally, with each other. To maintain the desired 15 dB signal-to-noise ratio intended as the rationale for the ANSI standard, S12.60-2002 on classroom acoustics, the ``noise' heard by participants in one of the groups is likely to include the speech levels generated by the participants in the other groups as well as the background noise in the unoccupied classroom. Thus, specification of the speech level within (i.e. the ``signal'), and between (i.e. part of the ``noise') the learning groups, must be considered. Data available to evaluate these speech levels are reviewed and possible models considered to account for the Lombard effect for voice levels of both the teacher and the students. Some of the gaps in these data are suggested as a challenge to stimulate further studies on speech levels of teachers and students in a wide range of communication conditions. [Authors' abstract]
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Quiet in the Classroom: Enhancing Acoustics in the Learning Environment.
Roy, Kenneth
The Construction Specifier; v58 n1 , p42-48 ; Jan 2005
Discusses ANSI standard S12.60 for classroom acoustics, covering signal to noise ratio, reflected sounds, transfer of noise through the ceiling plenum, HVAC noise, and the retrofitting of existing classrooms.

Developing an Acoustic School Design: Steps to Improve Hearing and Listening at Schools.
Hagen, Mechthild, et al
Building Acoustics; , p293-307 ; Dec 2004
Previous research has demonstrated the considerable influence of acoustics on learning and acquisition of knowledge, on social behavior and on the psychic condition of pupils and teachers. This paper describes an approach to an acoustic school design, which includes the improvement of the acoustic conditions of classrooms as well as of the social conditions. Various measures were developed and explored within the project "GanzOhrSein" by the educational department of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. The conclusion is drawn, that it is not enough to improve the room-acoustic measures to contribute to an atmosphere in which listening and in consequence learning is facilitated. A school design should combine technical measures with educational activities to support listening at schools and so contribute to improve individual learning conditions and to diminish stress on students and teachers. [Authors' abstract]
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Source Attenuating HVAC Equipment—Just the Facts
Hallstrom, Arthur
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v116 n4 , p2584 ; Oct 2004
Current classroom designs range from NC 63 to NC 25. The ASA/ANSI 12.60 Classroom Standard sets a relatively low background sound requirement for classrooms. Achieving 12.60 levels economically requires the maximum in source sound attenuation. This paper will provide a manufacturer's perspective on current and low noise HVAC products and the resulting classroom sound levels. Predictive acoustics software will be used to predict the space sound power level and some indication of equipment cost will be provided in order to assist designers in what is the best approach to low noise classroom design. [Author's abstract]
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Healthful School Environments.
Rittner-Heir, Robbin
School Planning and Management; v43 n10 , p17,18,20,21 ; Oct 2004
Describes quieter technologies for fluorescent lighting and HVAC systems that reduce classroom noise that has been typically tolerated for years.

Classroom Acoustics and Architects: Sightlines and Sound
Williams, T.J.
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v116 n4 , p2585 ; Oct 2004
All too often, acoustics in classroom design is a forgotten or ignored subject. Design teams consider structural, mechanical and electrical implications but overlook the fundamental issue of hearing and being heard. As an architect with an interest in architectural acoustics, particularly performance arts venues, we have taken a pragmatic approach, some might say unscientific, to classroom design. A series of case studies is presented that illustrates the challenge of classroom acoustics from an architect's point of view: not "what does it look like," but "how does it sound"! Because classroom acoustics are so closely aligned to the visual presentation of information, seeing and being seen becomes critical also. Sightlines and sound continue to vie for attention. The challenge is making it work. [Author's abstract]
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Huh? Could You Repeat That?
Rittner-Heir, Robbin
School Planning and Management; v43 n8 , p30,32,34,35 ; Aug 2004
Discusses school acoustical considerations, addressing audibility and intelligibility through reduction of unwanted noise in classrooms, gymnasia, corridors, and cafeterias.

Musical Accompaniment.
Sturgeon, Julie.
College Planning and Management; v7 n8 , p44,46,47 ; Aug 2004
Discusses issues of absorption and reflection in acoustics and describes a variety of materials and installations available in rooms where acoustical considerations are paramount.

Acoustical Case Studies of HVAC Systems in Schools.
Siebein, Gary W.
ASHRAE Journal; v46 n5 , p35,36,38,39,41,42,44,46,47 ; May 2004
Describes five sources of HVAC noise and presents eight case studies describing specific school HVAC systems along with their noise abatement features.

Speech Perception Benefits of FM and Infrared Devices to Children with Hearing Aids in a Typical Classroom
Anderson, Karen L.; Goldstein, Howard
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v35 n2 , p169-184 ; Apr 2004
Children typically learn in classroom environments that have background noise and reverberation that interfere with accurate speech perception. Amplification technology can enhance the speech perception of students who are hard of hearing. Purpose: This study used a single-subject alternating treatments design to compare the speech recognition abilities of children who are hard of hearing when they were using hearing aids with each of three frequency modulated (FM) or infrared devices. Results: The infrared ceiling sound field system did not provide benefit beyond that provided by hearing aids alone. Desktop and personal FM systems in combination with personal hearing aids provided substantial improvements in speech recognition. Clinical Implications: This information can assist in making S/N-enhancing device decisions for students using hearing aids. In a reverberant and noisy classroom setting, classroom sound field devices are not beneficial to speech perception for students with hearing aids, whereas either personal FM or desktop sound field systems provide listening benefits.

Fine Tuning.
Jones, Morgan
School Construction News; v7 n2 , p17-20 ; Mar-Apr 2004
Describes techniques and materials for acoustical control used by several architectural firms. These include walls that extend above the ceiling, thoughtful arrangement of rooms and mechanical systems, and sound absorbing block and roof decking.

Classroom Acoustics.
Sturgeon, Julie
School Planning and Management; v43 n2 , p47,48,50,52 ; Feb 2004
Presents an inteview with the Acoustical Society of America s Susan Blaeser that describes the origins and content of ANSI Standard S12.600-2002.

Case-Study Evaluations of the Acoustical Designs of Renovated University Classrooms.
Applied Acoustics ; v65 n1 , p69-89 ; Jan 2004
The acoustical characteristics of 14 university classrooms at the University of British Columbia were measured before and after renovation—seven of these are discussed in detail here. From these measurements, and theoretical considerations, values of quantities used to assess each classroom configuration were predicted, and used to evaluate renovation quality. The results indicate that some renovations were beneficial, others were not. depending on a complex interplay between changes in the reverberation and changes in the signal-to-noise level difference, as affected by sound absorption and the source outputs. Renovations which reduce noise are beneficial unless signal-to-noise level differences remain optimal. Renovations often put too much emphasis on adding sound absorption to control reverberation, at the expense of lower speech levels, particularly at the backs of classrooms. The absorption and noise contributed by room occupants has apparently often been neglected. [Author's abstract]

Designing for Better Sound in Schools: Understanding and Implementing the New Classroom Acoustics Standard.
Evans, Jack
Texas Architect; v54 n1 , p42-58 ; Jan-Feb 2004
Explains the history, content and implementation of the ANSI S12.60-2002 standard for acoustics in schools.

The Ears Have It.
Clark, Greg
American School and University; v76 n3 , p298-300 ; Nov 2003
Discusses the 2002 American National Standards Institute's criteria for classroom acoustics and how to help achieve its 35dBA limit for interior noise level through control of noise from mechanical systems and reverberation within the classroom.

Acoustical Treatments that Make the Grade.
Kate, Sandra; Wiford Rodney D.
School Planning and Management; v42 n11 , p32-33 ; Nov 2003
Discusses design features and electronic assist devices for improving classroom acoustics and sound absorbing features for reducing reverberation in large, noisy spaces.

School Districts Spend to Ensure Good Acoustics
Frangos, Alex
The Wall Street Journal; , B1, B4 ; Jul 30, 2003
According to educational experts, poor acoustics are one of the biggest treatable obstacles to learning. Many school districts are willing to spend extra to ensure adequate classroom sound. School architects are adding ceilings that slope from front to back so sound carries, but doesn't echo, changing the footprint of the rooms to reduce the tendency of sound to reverberate, using double layers of sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, insulated glass windows, and thicker walls where they abut raucous spaces such as stairwells, and installing quieter heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Elements of a Sound Education.
Brooks, Christopher
School Planning and Management; v42 n7 , p18,20-23 ; Jul 2003
Discusses what do to about the poor acoustics in school multipurpose rooms, asserting that because the auditorium is the most critical function of a typical multipurpose room, the stage house is superficial and noise control is essential. Features to enhance auditorium function include a performance platform and reverberation control. The article describes acoustical requirements of speech versus music, discusses adjustable reverberation, and explains what sound systems do.

Sound Advice on Classroom Acoustics.
Sturgeon, Julie
College Planning and Management; v6 n7 , p29-31 ; Jul 2003
Discusses the importance of acoustic standards in classroom design, presenting an interview with the Acoustical Society of America's (ASA's) standards manager which focuses on reasons for the new ASA standards, the standards document (which was written for K-12 classroom but applies to college classrooms), the need to avoid echo and be able to hear, and whether today's manufacturers can deliver these standards.

The Sounds of a Sound Education.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v42 n6 , p51-55 ; Jun 2003
Describes acoustical products and techniques that schools are using to keep distracting noise out of the classroom and to amplify useful classroom sound.

Sound Levels in Classrooms and Effects on Self-Reported Mood Among School Children
Lundquist, P; Holmberg, K.; Burstrom, L.; and Landstrom, U.
Perceptual and Motor Skills; v96 , p1289-99 ; Jun 2003
The principle of this field study is an investigation of recorded sound levels in 24 classrooms and relations between sound level measures and aspects of children's rated annoyance, task orientation, and inattentiveness. Results do not support the hypothesis that lower background-sound level and fewer students per class would improve the sound environment by generating a lower activity noise or the hypothesis that higher sound levels should increase annoyance and inattentiveness as well as deteriorate task orientation ratings.
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Can You Hear Me Now?
Black, Susan
American School Board Journal; v190 n5 , p40-42 ; May 2003
According to ASHA, more than 1 million U.S. children have some degree of hearing loss. This article describes how schools are helping by screening for hearing, addressing acoustics, and accomodating students.

HVAC Systems and Acoustics. Quiet Comfort
Schakel, Eric G.; Tinianov, Brandon
Buildings; , p44-47 ; May 2003
Both the equipment and the duct work in HVAC systems are often the culprits in creating and transmitting unwanted noise. This discusses controlling noise in air-handling systems. A sidebar explores HVAC noise and learning.

Educating the Engineer.
Wallace, Melanie; Wallace, Mack
ASHRAE Journal; v45 n5 , p46-49 ; May 2003
Presented as a conversation between a teacher and engineer about school design, addresses educators' preferences and engineers perspectives on issues such as windows, sustainable design, sinks, acoustics, and natural ventilation.

Small Learning Groups Revive the Open Classroom.
Jones, Morgan
School Construction News; v6 n3 , p16 ; Mar-Apr 2003
Describes educational program and facility design solutions that can help make an open classroom plan successful. Small learning groups are provided with a variety of open, semi-enclosed, and enclosed spaces in which to conduct activities of varying noise levels.

ARI's Views on ANSI S12.60-2002.
Darbeau, Michele
ASHRAE Journal; v45 n2 , p27 ; Feb 2003
States the position of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) toward ANSI Standard 12.60, which addresses classroom acoustics. Explains why it believes the standard creates an overly stringent requirement.

Sound in the Classroom: Why Children Need Quiet.
Nelson, Peggy B.
ASHRAE Journal; v45 n2 , p22-25 ; Feb 2003
Discusses important concepts regarding children's need for specialized acoustical standards in classrooms: (1) all children need good acoustics to understand familiar words and to learn new information; (2) children who have hearing loss, those learning in a second language, and those with auditory or attention problems need even more favorable acoustics; and (3) classrooms are frequently too noisy for learning. Discusses a new classroom acoustics standard.

ANSI Standard: Complying with Background Noise Limits.
Schaffer, Mark E.
ASHRAE Journal; v45 n2 , p26-27 ; Feb 2003
Discusses the new classroom acoustics standard, ANSI Standard S12.60, which specifies maximum sound level limits that are significantly lower than currently typical for classrooms. Addresses guidelines for unducted HVAC systems, ducted single-zone systems, and central VAV or multizone systems.

A Quieter School: An Enriched Learning Environment.
Bronzaft, Arline L.
Quiet Classrooms [Noise Pollution Clearinghouse]; , 3p. ; 2003
The aim of this article is to alert school administrators to the effects of noise on children's cognition, reading skills, and learning ability and to suggest ways they can participate in the growing worldwide effort to lessen the din - not only in the school but in children's homes and wherever else children our exposed to noises. Noises are not only hazardous to our children's mental abilities but to their overall well-being as well. [Author's abstract]

A New Standard for Acoustics in the Classroom
Guckelberger, Dave
Engineers Newsletter; v32 n1 ; 2003
Studies indicate that poor acoustics interfere with learning and pose a particular barrier for students with special needs. So compelling is the evidence that it led to the recent approval of an industry standard, which establishes an ambitious acoustical target for learning environments. This article examines how the new standard will affect school design and classroom functionality.

Background Noise Levels and Reverberation Times in Unoccupied Classrooms: Predictions and Measurements.
Knecht, Heather; Nelson, Peggy; Whitelaw, Gail; Feth Lawrence
American Journal of Audiology; v11 , p65-71 ; Dec 2002
Reports on a study that evaluated the extent of noise and reverberation in 32 unoccupied elementary classrooms in 8 Ohio public schools. Reverberation times and background noise levels were measured and compared to the American National Standards Institute standard for acoustical characteristics of classrooms in the United States (ANSI S12.60 2002) and to the external and internal criteria variables developed by Crandell, Smaldino, & Flexer (1995) to determine if a simple checklist can accurately predict unwanted classroom background noise levels and reverberation. Results indicated that most classrooms were not in compliance with ANSI noise and reverberation standards, and that a checklist was not a good predictor of the noisier and more reverberant rooms. Includes 17 references.
TO ORDER: http://aja.asha.org/cgi/reprint

Classroom Design for Good Hearing. Adobe PDF
Wetherill, Ewart A.
The Quiet Zone [Newsletter of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse]; , 4p. ; Fall 2002
This discusses existing conditions in U.S. schools, children at risk, requirements for good hearings, speech to noise ratio, and the effects of noise and reverberation on speech recognition. Includes figures and diagrams.

Sound Standards for Schools "Unsound."
Davis, Don
Leadership; v32 n1 , p35 ; Sep-Oct 2002
Criticizes new classroom sound standard proposed by the American National Standards Institute that sets maximum background sound level at 35 decibels (described as "a whisper at 2 meters"). Argues that new standard is too costly for schools to implement, is not recommended by the medical community, and cannot be achieved by construction industry. Calls for ANSI to withdraw proposed standard.

Evaluating Effects of the Classroom Environment: Development of an Instrument for the Measurement of Self-Reported Mood Among School Children
Lundquist, P.; Kjellberg, A.; Holmberg, K.
Journal of Environmental Psychology; v22 n3 , p289-293 ; Sep 2002
Describes the construction, analysis, and validation of a new questionnaire for assessing children's mood in the classroom. The questionnaire is recommended for use in studies of the effects of noise on scholastic performance.
TO ORDER: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/

Word of Mouth.
Raiford, Regina
Buildings; v96 n9 , p92-93 ; Sep 2002
Describes how the Acoustical Society of America worked in association with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to create the first standard to control sound levels in classrooms. Includes quotes from various organizations criticizing the standard, particularly its cost implications.

Acoustic Requirements for a Multi-Purpose Hall.
Schulte, W. Allen
The Construction Specifier; v55 n9 , p55-58 ; Sep 2002
This case study examines the proposed design of a new lecture/recital hall in Centennial Hall at Lynchburg College that will be used for lectures, public events, a film studies course, and musical recitals. It explores the audio-visual challenges presented by the differing acoustical requirements for the building.

Sound Barriers.
Popke, Michael
Athletic Business; v26 n8 , p67-74 ; Aug 2002
Discusses how gymnasiums, natatoriums, and lobbies can be notorious echo chambers, but that panels, baffles, banners, and blocks can help reduce unpleasant acoustics.

Sounds Dangerous.
National Geographic Magazine; v202 n1 ; Jul 2002
This article points out potential learning problems attributed to noisy classrooms. If students cannot focus on teachers' words, they lose the desire to learn as well as the ability.

Classroom Amplification To Enhance Student Performance. Adobe PDF
DiSarno, Neil J.; Schowalter, Melissa; Grassa, Patricia
TEACHING Exceptional Children; v34 n6 , p20-25 ; Jul-Aug 2002
Discussion of classroom amplification systems to improve the performance of students with hearing loss or learning disabilities addresses the auditory challenges of inclusive classrooms, changing the classroom environment to reduce noise, types of amplification systems, and what teachers observe about amplification.

Listening Effort and Fatigue in School-Age Children With and Without Hearing Loss
Hicks, Candace Bourland
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; v45 , p573-84 ; Jun 2002
Children with hearing loss expend more effort in listening than their normally hearing counterparts, which may lead to difficulties in classroom work such as note-taking for those with hearing loss. Recognizing that classroom acoustic factors such as signal-to-noise ratio and reverberation time are often poorer than what is recommended for optimal listening, researchers compared the levels of fatigue and listening effort required by children with hearing loss to those of children with normal hearing. Even though they found little evidence of differences in the fatigue levels of the two groups, the researchers observed that children with hearing loss, even those who used personal amplification systems, expended greater listening effort in both easy and difficult listening conditions than children with normal hearing.

Quieting a Noisy School.
Jones, Mary
School Planning and Management; v41 n6 , p59-61 ; Jun 2002
Describes several methods and products to reduce excess reverberation and background noise in school areas, including music rooms, classrooms, gyms, offices, and natatoriums.

Classroom Microphones Make Voices Louder, Clearer.
Galley, Michelle
Education Week; v21 n36 , p8 ; May 15, 2002
This article discusses the advantages of installing a sound-field amplification sytem in a classroom. According to many educators, the sound systems can help raise student achievement, increase students' attention, decrease teachers' voice strain, and aid in classroom participation. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Assessing the Acoustics in Your Child's Classroom: A Guide for Parents.
Nixon, Mike
Hearing Loss: The Journal of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People; v23 n3 , p15-19 ; May-Jun 2002
This article explains the general concepts and details that would enable parents to evaluate, without instruments, the acoustics of classrooms that their children occupy. The discussion covers background noise; outside noise; sound leaks in windows, doors, and walls; noise and reverberation levels; acoustic materials; distance of students from the teacher; and the need for parents to establish an informed and cooperative relationship with school officials. Four illustrations create understanding of how acoustics challenges such as masking, smearing, distance from speaker, background noise, and sound leaks created during construction can impair the intelligibility of sounds that are imperative for learning.

Improving the Classroom Listening Skills of Children with Down Syndrome by Using Sound-Field Amplification.
Bennetts, Lee K.; Flynn, Mark C.
Down Syndrome Research and Practice; v8 n1 , p19-24 ; Mar 2002
A study investigated the efficacy of sound-field amplifications for four children (ages 5-7) with Down syndrome. Measures of speech perception were taken with and without the sound-field system and found that the children perceived significantly more speech in all conditions where the sound-field system was used.

Acoustical Standards Begin to Reverberate. Controlling Noise Within School Facilities.
Nixon, Mike
School Construction News; v5 n2 , p19 ; Mar-Apr 2002
This article summarizes the proposed ANSI standards for classroom acoustics developed by an Acoustical Society of America working group. These standards are undergoing final review before submission to the Access Board, a federal regulatory agency.

Our Schools--Our Future.
Stewart, Noral D.
Sound and Vibration; , p2 ; Feb 2002
This one-page editorial by the current president of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants discusses the development and implications of what is expected to become the first adopted standard on school acoustics. The standard addresses primarily the acoustical conditions in normal classrooms and other core learning spaces, and it calls for less reverberation and lower noise levels. Some spaces are not covered by the standard but may be addressed in future revisions. An effort is underway to incorporate the standard's requirements in the International Building Code and also to implement them under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The article identifies the standard's specific technical requirements, discusses why budget-conscious school boards may fight implementation of the standard, and notes the challenges and opportunities the standard may present to architects, acoustical consultants, school officials, courts, insurance companies, manufacturers, and builders.

Minimizing Minimal Hearing Loss in the Schools: What Every Classroom Teacher Should Know.
Dodd-Murphy, Jeanne; Mamlin, Nancy
Preventing School Failure; v46 n2 , p86-92 ; Winter 2002
This article explains minimal hearing loss in children and implications for the regular classroom setting. It describes audiograms and discusses developmental effects of minimal hearing loss, identification of minimal hearing loss, intervention, environmental modifications, and teacher strategies. Emphasis is on accommodations that can be provided in the regular classroom.

Creating Ideal Facilities.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v74 n5 , p30,32-33 ; Jan 2002
Reviews ways that schools can provide effective indoor learning environments by paying attention to the following areas: daylighting, acoustics, space allocation, technology implementation, ergonomics, maintenance, indoor air quality, safety, restrooms, and roofing.

Starting at the Top.
Golden, Brian
American School and University; v74 n3 , p345-46 ; Nov 2001
Explains why the ceiling systems that schools choose are as important to creating a constructive learning environment as any other finishing material and furnishing. Some effective wall system strategies are also highlighted.

9 Things to Know About Listening and Learning in Today's Classrooms
Gordon-Langbein, Amie
Volta Voices; , p23-27 ; Sep-Oct 2001
Discusses classroom acoustics and the role they play in a child's education. Differentiates between hearing, listening, and comprehending. Explains how learning is affected by background noise, the distance a child is from the teacher, and classroom reverberation.

Effects of Noise, Heat, and Indoor Lighting on Cognitive Performance and Self-Reported Affect.
Hygge, Staffan; Knez, Igor
Journal of Environmental Psychology; v21 n3 , p291-299 ; Sep 2001
Reports the result of experiments that tested the effect of temperature, lighting, and noise on cognition and sense well-being in high school students. Students remembered fewer words at 27 degrees Celsius than at 21 degrees. 1500 lux illumination yielded better long-term recall than 300 lux, as did a noise level of 38 decibels versus 58 decibels.

Let's Hear It for Learning.
Johnson, Eric
American School and University; v73 n11 , p28,30 ; Jul 2001
Examines how improving classroom acoustics can maximize student productivity at a minimal cost. Discusses the effects on students and teachers of a poor acoustic environment and presents some simple solutions for overcoming poor classroom acoustics. Examines efforts to create national standards for classroom background noise and reverberation as well as ways of eliminating these distractions.

A Clear View.
Rush, Richard D.
American School and University; v73 n11 , p34,36 ; Jul 2001
Surveys advances in window design and glass technology that can permit windows to better play their often diametric role of letting in and keeping out just the right level of light, cold, heat, noise, air, etc. Also considers the challenges of providing adequate window areas while maintaining satisfactory acoustics within the classroom.

Let the Word Be Heard: Be an Advocate for Good Classroom Acoustics.
Seltz, Anne E.
The ASHA Leader Online; , 4p. ; May 29, 2001
Summarizes the concerns and opportunities resulting from acoustics and noise control issues in school facilities. Explains the benefit of good acoustics and the costs of poor acoustics. Discusses the need to advocate for better classroom acoustics and to turn acoustics research into action towards improving school acoustics. Introduces basic acoustics design concepts and offers solutions to five common sources of noise or reverberation that can compromise the ability of students to hear clearly and well. Eleven sources are provided for learning more about classroom acoustics.

Community Noise Exposure and Stress in Children
Evans, Gary; Lercher, Peter; Meis, Markus; Ising, Hartmut; Kofler, Walter
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v109 n3 , p1023-1027 ; Mar 2001
Although accumulating evidence over the past two decades points towards noise as an ambient stressor for children, all of the data emanate from studies in high-intensity, noise impact zones around airports or major roads. Extremely little is known about the nonauditory consequences of typical, day-to-day noise exposure among young children. The present study examined multimethodological indices of stress among children living under 50 dB or above 60 dB (A-weighted, day-night average sound levels) in small towns and villages in Austria. The major noise sources were local road and rail traffic. The two samples were comparable in parental education, housing characteristics, family size, marital status, and body mass index, and index of body fat. All of the children were prescreened for normal hearing acuity. Children in the noisier areas had elevated resting systolic blood pressure and 8-h, overnight urinary cortisol. The children from noisier neighborhoods also evidenced elevated heart rate reactivity to a discrete stressor (reading test) in the laboratory and rated themselves higher in perceived stress symptoms on a standardized index. Furthermore girls, but not boys, evidenced diminished motivation in a standardized behavioral protocol. All data except for the overnight urinary neuroendocrine indices were collected in the laboratory. The results are discussed in the context of prior airport noise and nonauditory health studies. More behavioral and health research is needed on children with typical, day-to-day noise exposure. [Authors' abstract]
TO ORDER: http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/

Why Should We Care About Noise in Classrooms and Child Care Settings?
Manlove, Elizabeth E.; Frank, Tom; Vernon-Feagans, Lynn
Child & Youth Care Forum; v30 n1 , p55-64 ; Feb 2001
Increasing numbers of young children spend extended portions of their days in group care settings. However, little attention has been given to the acoustical properties of these settings and how these may affect development, particularly speech and language development. This article provides a review of how classroom acoustics are measured, what researchers have found, and why poor classroom acoustics are of concern, particularly for infants and toddlers. It concludes with recommendations for improving classroom acoustics and verbal communication in the classroom

The Cornerstone of Education.
Anderson, Karen L.
Educational Facility Planner; v36 n2 , p13-17 ; 2001
Examines the importance of good classroom acoustics to learning, and why today's educational process requires better acoustics than yesterday's. Also discussed are the importance of acoustics for hearing impaired children and the need to improve classroom acoustics during renovation and remodeling projects.

Sounds Like a Winner.
Rittner-Heir, Robbin M.
School Planning and Management; v40 n1 , p92-94 ; Jan 2001
Explains how the Ocoee Middle School (Orlando, Florida) improved the ability of students to hear in their classrooms and gained improvements in their attention levels and their conduct. Specific design concepts that make Ocoee Middle School the SMART school of the future while also controlling design and construction costs are examined.

Improving Acoustics in American Schools: Working Draft of Standard "Acoustics in School Classrooms and Other Learning Spaces" [Developed by the] Classroom Acoustics Working Group.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 n4 , p391-93 ; Oct 2000
This draft standard developed by the Classroom Acoustics Working Group provides acoustical performance criteria and accompanying design guidelines intended to ensure good speech communication among students and teachers in learning spaces. To ensure the noise limits are not exceeded, adequate sound isolation between classrooms and adjacent spaces will be needed. Recommended design guidelines are provided.

Classroom Amplification Technology: Theory and Practice.
Crandell, Carl C.; Smaldino, Joseph J.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 n4 , p371-75 ; Oct 2000
This article reviews some relevant events in the development of acoustical standards for classrooms, describes classroom challenges to providing clear acoustical signals to children in classrooms, and outlines amplification solutions to some of those classroom challenges. Solutions include personal amplification devices and use of signal-to-noise ratio-enhancing technology. (Contains references.)

The Classroom Acoustical Environment and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Sorkin, Donna L.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 n4 , p385-88 ; Oct 2000
This article discusses the lack of an acoustic standard in classrooms and an effort by a broad-based coalition of engineers, audiologists, parents, architects, and educators to develop a standard for acoustics that would then be referenced in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The benefits to all children are emphasized. (Contains six references.)

Classroom Acoustics for Children with Normal Hearing and With Hearing Impairment.
Crandell, Carl. C.; Smaldino, Joseph J.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 , p362-370 ; Oct 2000
This article examines several acoustical variables, such as noise, reverberation, and speaker-listener distance, which can deleteriously affect speech perception in classrooms. The effects of these variables on speech perception abilities in children with and without hearing loss are explored and appropriate classroom acoustical criteria are suggested. (Contains references.)
TO ORDER: http://lshss.asha.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/362

The Benefits of Sound Field Amplification in Classrooms of Inuit Students of Nunavik: A Pilot Project.
Eriks-Brophy, Alice; Ayukawa, Hannah
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 n4 , p324-5 ; Oct 2000
A study investigated the potential benefits of sound field amplification for 20 Inuit first and second language learners in Quebec. Ten of the students (ages 7-17) had hearing loss. Results showed significant improvements in speech intelligibility scores for students with hearing impairment and normal hearing in the amplified condition. (Contains references.)

Improving Acoustics in American Schools.
Nelson, Peggy B.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v34 n4 , p354-55 ; Oct 2000
This introductory article to a clinical forum describes the following seven articles that discuss the problem of noisy classrooms and resulting reduction in learning, basic principles of noise and reverberation measurements in classrooms, solutions to the problem of poor classroom acoustics, and the development of a classroom acoustics standard. (Contains four references.)

Acoustical Barriers To Learning: Children at Risk in Every Classroom.
Nelson, Peggy B.; Soli, Sig
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 n4 , p356-61 ; Oct 2000
This article reviews relevant literature on acoustical barriers to successful learning and provides guidance for school personnel making decisions regarding classroom facilities. Effects of noisy classrooms on young listeners, second language learners, and those with hearing loss are discussed. A rationale for the classroom acoustics standards is provided. (Contains references.)
TO ORDER: http://lshss.asha.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/356

Ten Ways To Provide a High-Quality Acoustical Environment in Schools.
Siebein, Gary W.; Gold, Martin A.; Siebein, Glenn W.; Ermann, Michael G.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v31 n4 , p376-84 ; Oct 2000
A study used impulse response measures and observations in 10 Florida classrooms to develop 10 recommendations for improving the acoustical environment in schools. Recommendations include improving air-conditioning systems, limiting room volume, providing sound-absorbing surfaces, using carpeting, reducing distance between teachers and students, and using sound reinforcement systems. (Contains references.)

Improving Acoustics in the American Classroom; New Guidelines Promise Better Hearing Environment for Students of all Abilities.
Anderson, Karen; Smaldino, Joseph; Crandell, Carl
Educational Audiology; Jul-Aug 2000
Notes that classrooms typically are far from the ideal acoustic environments necessary for children with hearing loss to listen and learn effectively, and that listening is a key foundation skill to learning, especially for younger children and children with hearing loss. Suggests that poor classroom acoustics too often interfere with listening, learning, and, ultimately, academic achievement.

Facilities Upgrade and Retrofit. Strategies for Success.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v72 n11 , p26 ; Jul 2000
Provides three articles on the subject of educational facility upgrading and retrofiting that address setting guidelines for classroom acoustics, making sports facilities brighter and more energy-efficient, and cutting energy bills and protecting interiors.

Setting Guidelines for Classroom Acoustics.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; Jul 2000
Examines efforts by the Access Board, the federal agency responsible for developing accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to work with industry groups to devise acoustics standards for school classrooms and to offer technical assistance to organizations that want to improve the acoustics of classrooms.

Hear, Hear!
Rittner-Heir, Robbin M.
School Planning and Management; v39 n7 , p46-50 ; Jul 2000
Examines the problem of acoustics in school classrooms; the problems it creates for student learning, particularly for students with hearing problems; and the impediments to achieving acceptable acoustical levels for school classrooms. Acoustic guidelines are explored and some remedies for fixing sound problems are highlighted.

New Standards Should Help Children in Noisy Classrooms
Dunne, Diane Weaver
Education World; , 7p. ; Apr 17, 2000
Recognizes the challenge that noisy classrooms present to students and teachers, reviews obstacles that have muddled or masked the problem, and reviews standards and organizations that are helping to ameliorate the situation. Offers links to additional online resources about noise and classroom acoustics as well as links to related articles.

The Effects of Noise on Pre-school Children's Pre-reading Skills.
Maxwell, Lorraine; Evans, Gary
Journal of Environmental Psychology; v20 n1 , p91-97 ; Mar 2000
Reports on a study examining the effects of chronic noise on pre-school children's pre-reading skills. All of the children attended the same child care center. Ninety 4- and 5-year-old children were tested on cognitive measures of pre-reading skills and were rated by classroom teachers on their understanding and use of language. Children were tested in year one, before sound attenuation work in the classrooms, and in year two, after the installation of sound absorbent panels. In the quieter condition, children scored higher than their noisier cohort on the letter number word recognition measure, and were rated higher by their teachers on the language scale.

Noise in the Classroom: Understanding the Problem.
Lilly, Jerry G.
ASHRAE Journal; v42 n2 , p21-22,24,26,28-29 ; Feb 2000
Presents guidelines for designing classroom HVAC systems that will be able to achieve lower background noise levels that conform to the NC-30 background noise rating level. Guidelines for both central and dedicated systems are offered revealing that the use of conventional HVAC system components can be used to achieve sound levels comparable to NC-30.

Many Classrooms Have Bad Acoustics That Inhibit Learning
Science Daily Magazine; Dec 24, 1999
Reports findings by researchers at Ohio State University, who found that the acoustics of many classrooms are poor enough to make listening and learning difficult for children. Their study of 32 classrooms in central Ohio primary schools revealed only two classrooms that met standards recommended by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Discusses techniques for improving classroom acoustics, including conventions and barriers that tend to stiffle change.

Sound Decisions Improve Learning.
Scott, Eddy
American School and University; v72 n3 , p325-27 ; Nov 1999
Reiterates the deleterious effects of extraneous noise on comprehension and learning while focusing on solutions to noise problems in classrooms. Offers many solutions and tips, including situating classrooms more appropriately within the building, isolating walls and slabs, insulating and minimizing or treating openings, utilizing softer materials such as fiberglass ceiling tiles, well-padded carpets or certain types of flooring, and minimizing the use of materials that reflect sound.

Improving Classroom Acoustics
Vibrations, Newsletter of Colorado Services for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind; , p11-12 ; Summer 1999
A short article describing how to improve classroom acoustics for children who are hard of hearing. Describes physical characteristics of classroom design. Includes adaptations to improve acoustics for classrooms and classroom communication strategies to enhance hearing and listening.

Sound Effect.
Djerf, Warren
School Planning and Management; v38 n8 ; Aug 1999
Describes one Texas high school's efforts to obtain funding for a new music facility and the planning process behind its design. Discusses acoustics and storage space considerations.

Sounding Off.
Day, C. William
American School and University; v71 n11 , p51-52,54 ; Jul 1999
Discusses how proper classroom design and technology can compensate for poor acoustics and enhance student comprehension. Examines issues that need to be discussed with the school architect. Explores the use of sound amplification systems to ensure that, acoustically speaking, every student is in the front row.

The Ins and Outs of Modern Doors.
College Planning and Management; v2 n6 ; Jun 1999
Discusses the qualities and trends in modern metal doors for educational facilities that include fire protection and sound control attributes. Addresses important differences in door manufacturing materials and methods; lists sound transmission class values, ratings, and rating descriptions.

Rethinking Classroom Acoustics: Part One
Grondzik, Walter
E Design News; Apr 06, 1999
Report on a seminar on classroom acoustics at the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Winter Meeting in Chicago.

Speech Intelligibility in Primary School Classrooms
MacKenzie, David J.
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ; v105 n2 , p1260 ; Feb 1999
Recent research has highlighted the growing problem of noise levels in classrooms. The speech intelligibility of 60 occupied primary school classrooms has recently been investigated: high noise levels, long reverberation times, and poor classroom design are but some of the problems encountered. The recommended %ALcons should be 5%, whereas in some modern classrooms the value was 100%. The shape of the classroom, as well as the materials used, can lead to locations within the classroom where the quality of speech heard can be poor. Measurements were carried out in classrooms before and after acoustic treatment: the speech intelligibility in treated classrooms improved noticeably. Throughout the research project children have been involved with the majority of the measurements, with their opinion being sought and listened to. The results have been used to tackle problems of poor acoustics in local schools and also in the appraisal of two new academic buildings to be constructed in Edinburgh. These buildings are for the education of children who are either hearing impaired or have a language difficulty. The design of the buildings has been carefully considered as well as the materials being used and the correct criteria for classroom acoustics. [Author's abstract]
TO ORDER: http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/

Improving Classroom Acoustics (ICA): A Three-Year FM Sound Field Classroom Amplification Study. Adobe PDF
Rosenberg, Gail Gegg; Blake-Rahter, Patricia; Heavner, Judy; Allen, Linda; Redmond, Beatrice Myers; Phillips, Janet; Stigers, Kathy
(Educational Audiology Association, Tampa, FL , 1999)
Journal of Educational Audiology; v7 , p8-28 ; 1999
This special project was designed to determine if students' listening and learning behaviors improved as a result of an acoustical environment enhanced through the use of FM sound field classroom amplification. The three-year project involved 2054 students in 94 general education, first, and second grade classrooms in 33 elementary schools in Florida. Analysis of observational data on 1750 students indicated that students in amplified classrooms demonstrated significant improvement in listening and learning behaviors and skills and progressed at a faster rate than their grade-alike peers in unamplified classrooms. Data demonstrated that this instructional delivery equipment is a cost effective means to manage an important variable in early grade classrooms--the intensity of the teacher's voice.

Acoustical Considerations in Planning and Design of Library Facilities
Wrightson, Denelle; Wrightson, John M.
Library Hi Tech; v17 n4 , p349-57 ; 1999
Discusses acoustical demands in libraries to consider during the design and construction process of new or renovated library space. Topics include intrusive noises; overly reverberant spaces; lack of speech privacy; sound transmission class; noise criteria; reverberation time and noise reduction coefficient; space planning; sound systems; and external noise.

Optimizing Classroom Acoustics Using Computer Model Studies
Reich, Rebecca; Bradley, John
Canadian Acoustics; v26 n4 , p15-21 ; 1998
Investigates conditions relating to the maximum useful-to-detrimental sound ratios present in classrooms and determining the optimum conditions for speech intelligibility. It reveals that speech intelligibility is more strongly influenced by ambient noise levels and that the optimal location for sound absorbing material is on a classrooms upper walls.

Designing a Secondary Music Suite.
Smedstad, Mike
School Planning and Management; v37 i10 , p32-34 ; Oct 1998
Discusses four factors in designing a school music room that satisfies student, teacher, and school needs. It explores acoustics in terms of cubic volume, room shape, sound isolation, acoustical treatment, and mechanical systems. It also examines the floor plan for space, traffic control, and access to related areas.

Quantification of the Ecobehavioral Impact of a Soundfield Loudspeaker System in Elementary Classrooms
Palmer, Catherine V.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; v41 n4 , p819 ; Aug 1998
Although it is widely accepted that an increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is preferable for young classroom learners, there is a paucity of data that illustrate the direct effect of enhanced audibility on children with normal hearing, and schools continue to accept less-than-ideal classroom listening environments for their students. Eight students in kindergarten, first, or second grade were observed in acoustically similar classrooms while the application of soundfield amplification was experimentally controlled. Observations of appropriate and inappropriate student behavior before, during, and after soundfield treatment were recorded by trained observers. A significant decrease in inappropriate behaviors came immediately after turning on the soundfield amplification. When the soundfield system was turned off, all of the students revealed a significant increase in inappropriate behaviors. All eight students revealed an increase in appropriate task management immediately following the use of soundfield amplification. When the soundfield treatment was removed, the effect achieved during treatment was maintained for all 8 students.

Listen Up!
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v37 i6 , p40-42 ; Jun 1998
Discusses student hearing problems and ways schools can help to reduce hearing difficulties in the classroom through use of classroom amplification technology. The benefits of sound amplification systems for both students and teachers are explored.

The Sound of Learning
Anderson, Karen L
American School Board Journal; v184 n10 , p26-28 ; Oct 1997
Children often struggle in noisy classrooms. Many classrooms being planned duplicate acoustically inadequate 50-year-old designs that cannot accommodate group learning and hands-on science. The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, which enforces Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regulations, has been asked to develop guidelines for acceptable sound levels in public spaces, including schools.

Chronic Noise Exposure and Reading Deficits: The Mediating Effects of Language Acquisition.
Evans, Gary; Maxwell, Lorraine
Environment and Behavior; v29 n5 , p638-656 ; Sep 1997
Reports that first- and second-grade children chronically exposed to aircraft noise have significant deficits in reading as indexed by a standardized reading test administered under quiet conditions. Also discussed is evidence that the adverse correlation of chronic noise with reading is partially attributable to deficits in language acquisition. Children chronically exposed to noise also suffer from impaired speech perception, which, in turn, partially mediates the noise-exposure-reading deficit link.

Have You Heard? Noise Can Effect Learning!
Hopkins, Gary
Education World; Jul 18, 1997
A handful of research studies confirm that noise has a negative effect on a child's ability to learn. Also, "noise education" should be part of the school curriculum; kids should know how to protect their ears from harm.

Towards Better Listening and Learning in the Classroom
McSporran, Eileen
Educational Review; v49 n1 , p13-20 ; Feb 1997
Examines the effects of classroom acoustical problems on children, including those at risk for underachievement. Suggests ways to optimize classroom listening, especially through sound-field classroom amplification.

"Minimal" High-Frequency Hearing Loss and School-Age Children: Speech Recognition in a Classroom.
Johnson, Carole E.; And Others
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v28 n1 , p77-85 ; Jan 1997
A study 12 children (ages 6-14) with minimal high frequency hearing loss, 12 typical children, and 12 typical young adults (ages 18-28) found the typical children had higher consonant identification scores in quiet than the children with hearing loss, but the performances did not differ in noise. Vowel identification scores did not differ in noise or quiet.

Speech Perception of Hearing Impaired Children in Mainstream Acoustic Environments: an Exploratory Study.
Smythe R.L, Bamford
Deafness and Education. The Journal of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf; v21 n2 , p26-31 ; 1997
This was a small scale study into the effects of noise and reverberation on speech perception. Suggestions are made for improving listening conditions in mainstream classrooms through controlling signal to noise levels and changing teacher styles.

Harold P. Geerdes on Musical Facility Design
Wagner, Michael
Music Educators Journal; v83 n3 , p28-32 ; Nov 1996
Presents an interview with Dr. Harold P. Geerdes, world-renowned music facility planner, acoustician, and music professor. Dr. Geerdes discusses the different characteristics of rehearsal spaces and concert halls as well as the importance of interior materials and design. He also provides some easy and inexpensive tips for schools.

Classroom Acoustics: The Problem, Impact, and Solution
Berg, Frederick S.; And Others
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; v27 n1 , p16-20 ; Jan 1996
This article describes aspects of classroom acoustics that interfere with the ability of listeners to understand speech. It considers impacts on students and teachers and offers four possible solutions: noise control, signal control without amplification, individual amplification systems, and sound field amplification systems.

Is This an Ideal Teacher's Deaf Education Program Classroom?
Mason, David G.; Trento, Patricia
CAEDHH Journal/La Revue ACESM; v22 n2-3 , p93-102 ; Jan 1996
This article discusses the incorporation of architectural principles into redesigning a classroom at York University (Ontario) for a mix of university students and professors/lecturers who are culturally deaf, oral deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, and hearing. Special design features include lighting and color, noise control, furniture, and seating arrangements.

Guidelines for Acoustics in Educational Environments
American Speech-Language and Hearing Association; v37 suppl.14 , p15-19 ; 1995

Keep the Noise Down!
Whitney, Timothy W.; Foulkes, Timothy J.
Athletic Business; v18 n12 , p57-60 ; Dec 1994
Examines noise abatement planning for large athletic facilities, gymnasiums, pool areas, and recreational areas. Acoustical controls for smaller, special purpose areas are also discussed.

An Update of Classroom Acoustics for Children with Hearing Impairment
Crandell, Carl C.; Smaldino, Joseph J.
Volta Review; v96 n4 , p291-306 ; Fall 1994
This study examined ambient noise levels, reverberation times, and noise/reverberation reduction treatments in 32 classrooms utilized for students with hearing impairment. None of the classrooms met recommended acoustical criteria for ambient noise levels, and only nine rooms complied with recommended standards for reverberation.

In Search of Equitable Learning Environments: The Acoustics of Classrooms Used in "Mainstreaming" Hearing-Disadvantaged Students
McVey, G. F.
Educational Facility Planner; v32 n3 , p16-23 ; 1994
A school system engaged an acoustical consultant to test designated classrooms to determine whether an acoustical problem existed. The consultant conducted tests and concluded that there was no problem. Findings from an investigation of the data differed appreciably from those of the acoustical consultant. Acoustical design criteria for remodeling the classrooms were recommended. Contains 24 references, 5 figures, and 2 tables.

Does the Acoustic Environment Make a Difference to Children with Multi-Sensory Impairments?
Graham, Joan; Fraser, Brian.
British Journal of Special Education; v19 n3 , p112-115 ; Sep 1992
This study examines the significance of acoustic conditions on the reception of sound signals in children with multi-sensory impairments, using distraction/behavorial observation audiometry techniques. The important factor in initiating a response proved to be the + 10dBA signal over background noise level. The researchers discuss these findings with reference to educational practice and classroom design, with the aim of improving conditions for the development of residual hearing in children with multi-sensory impairments.

A Case Study in Acoustical Design
Ledford, Bruce R.; Brown, John A.
International Journal of Instructional Media; v19 n2 , p127-140 ; 1992
Addresses concerns of both facilities planners and instructional designers in planning for the audio component of group presentations. Factors in the architectural design of enclosures for the reproduction of sound are described, including frequency, amplitude, and reverberation; and a case study for creating an acceptable enclosure is presented. (four references)

Baffling or Baffled: Improve Your Acoustics
Abdoo, Frank B.
Music Educators Journal; v67 n9 , 36-37 ; May 1981
Presents techniques for evaluating the acoustics (reverberation time, and standing waves and resonance phenomena) of a band performance room. Gives instructions for building and placing inexpensive baffles (free-standing, portable sound barriers) to correct room defects.

Another Look at the Acoustics of Open Plan Schools.
Walsh, David P.
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; v58 nS1 , pS5 ; Nov 1975
The open plan school has been with us now for over ten years, and the number of these schools being built per year is still on the increase. However, the acoustical environment of these spaces has received criticism with regard to high noise levels which result in annoyance, distraction, and speech interference. Even though the usage of open plan school spaces is quite different from that of open plan offices, the acoustical design recommendations for schools have generally been based on requirements for open plan offices. Direct relationships between noise levels, class size, student age level, and room finish treatments have been developed from extensive measured data. The subjective factor of annoyance has also been investigated and is related to background noise level and peak level fluctuations. Further investigations on the effects of room shaping are discussed as are statistical distributions of class noise. [Author's abstract]
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