Noise management vital in healthcare environments

by Tania Wannenburg
Noise management vital in healthcare environments ALUGLASS

Acoustics is a key component in the design of healthcare environments to improve working conditions for staff, as well as aid in the recovery of patients.

In most facilities including hospitals or healthcare facilities, noise continues to be a big challenge, that is why acoustics plays a vital role in the recovery of patients and should therefore be an integral part of the design of any healthcare environment.
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Not only does noise hinder healthcare professionals in proving all rounded care, it also interrupts patient’s sleep, which is essential for recuperating. Sudden noises such as alarms have been said to raise patients’ heart rates, while persistent high sound levels, even in the background, tend to increase blood pressure levels, which in turn increase the risk of cardiac problems.

Measuring the noise levels at the John Hopkins Hospital in the USA, a 2005 study found that hospital noise levels have increased steadily over the past 50 years, with the average daytime sound levels rising from 57dB to 72dB and night-time levels increasing from 42dB to 60dB. At the same time the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that levels above 40db during sleep have adverse health effects, even on normal, healthy people.

Whether excessive noise is caused by ventilation systems, outside traffic or by operational practices, including medical equipment, mobile phones and people talking, unnecessary noise can be very harmful to people who are already vulnerable.

Aluglass Bautech’s range of acoustic partitions, doors and absorption panels can go a long way in absorbing and blocking sound movement, and providing privacy where necessary.

Acoustic panels for quiet spaces
GF Serene acoustic glass is ideal for creating different sections in a busy and noisy ward or doctor’s rooms that are both quiet and geared for private, confidential discussions. It comprises modular glass elements in various thicknesses and flexible frame components, making it quick and easy to install, remove and re-install.

Decorative treatments such as sandblasting are an option, while solid panels with matching acoustic performance can also be installed.

Absorption in corridors and reception areas
To treat sound inside lecture rooms, wards, corridors and even reception areas, Aluglass Bautech’s Fabricmate absorption panel system reduces unwanted reverberations and echoes.

With a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) ranging from 0,5 to 0,85, these panels are available in select laser-cut wood veneer or screen fabrics that suits any decor. What’s more, its track system can custom fit any space from screen wall to back wall and contour to any architectural detail.

In addition to wall installations Fabricmate absorption panels can be installed as a horizontal fix on ceilings in the entire facility.

Acoustic partitions and doors in training rooms
Variflex mobile acoustic partitions with integrated Varikust acoustic doors create flexible room partitioning for completely private waiting rooms, also known as family rooms, lecture rooms or training areas for doctors and nurses.

The Varikust glass doors also prove that acoustic doors do not have to be huge industrial type doors, but can let the view through without the noise.

Professional support
Aluglass Bautech also provides advice on suitable products to address specific challenges in healthcare environments. With technical skills, custom designs and quality materials, the company provides professional installation and after-sales service.

Aluglass Bautech (Pty) Limited
Tel: 011 451 8400
0861-ALUGLASS (0861 – 258 452)
Email: mailbox@aluglass.co.za
Website: www.aluglass.co.za

Aluglass Bautech – engineering quiet since 1973!

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