Acoustics and comfort underfoot

Why noise matters

As specifiers are aware, noise levels can have a serious impact on the wellbeing of staff, visitors and service users in hospital environments, and can affect recovery, wellbeing and privacy.

Hospital machinery, equipment, nurse pagers and other devices are a large source of noise pollution. Hard interior surfaces such as floors are also another major acoustic issue; as a hard surface they can reflect rather than absorb sound. This causes noise to bounce around, overlap, echo and reverberate. Reverberation causes noise to prolong and echo in the environment, meaning it takes longer before the sound stops.

Sound reflecting surfaces cause noise to travel down corridors into other rooms and extend considerable distances. The resulting lingering sound can affect service users, visitors and staff over larger areas.