Transcript for presentation:

Norwegian acoustic building criteria and socio-acoustic study on accessibility for all


Iiris Turunen-Rindel and Rudolph Brynn


E5. Acoustics, touch and spatial experiences

Date and Time

2014-06-18, 10:10 - 10:50


MA 7

Presentation PDF

Long oral presentation

Transcript of the talk

>> Good morning, everyone. We will hear three talks. We’ll start with a long one and we will hear about Norwegian criteria and acoustic study and accessibility for all. It will be presented.
>> Thank you very much. This presentation is about the acoustic building criteria as part of the Norwegian legislation and we have been one of the first developing a device which is referred to in this building procedure. It’s about acoustics and also about the survey that has been made which is pretty much the basis for the Norwegian building criteria for 2010 and also, the device for 2012. So the real expert behind this paper is my colleague. She could not be here today. I’m going to do the presentation and any technical questions should not be directed to me.
She’s working in the standardization of acoustics in University and I’m working in transport services in Norway.
So we have several standards for guidelines from the universal design, especially in the building as referred to in this the building criteria for the regulation for the plan of building. We understand there’s some housing on the buildings on the development areas like parks, kindergartens and so on. I missioned IT services and acoustics. So for those who are not familiar with this standardization system, I mentioned it briefly now what the system is. This is very much used and very much abused because everybody says that he or she has the highest standard or we are making standards, so on and so on but the foremost standard is by the numbers. It’s a system, a national system with the top seven in Europe and then standards that Norway brings to the national level and what they produce besides the first and foremost standards is system and even process. It suggested alternatives but other options are possible. This means ultimately it goes through this part of legislation and another standard is not another piece of legislation so it gives advice on how to do things.
So the standardization comes in, they have to get really concrete environments like some people like to joke it’s a document about safety but it’s more than that. Another important thing to remember is that the standard is made by stakeholders who need persistent regulations in the market. They have voluntary to use. It’s like the American’s with disabilities act but in Europe, it can be voluntary but it can be referred to more regulations which is the case for housing and others.
So first about the Norwegian building codes and normal standardization. The building codes are sort of a regulation related to the building acts. Since 2010 in particular, it has been very much consistent for University sites, environments for environment procedures and so on and environments for accessibility. And of course, acoustics is an important factor with universal design.
They fulfill the needs for kids so no additional need be in the building itself. The point here is to make this requirement fulfilled during the design process. So we have Norwegian standard which is eight months which is very important. It provides criteria and sound installation for indoor, out door noise made by building and in surrounding out door areas.
The old person came in 2008 but the advice was adopted in 2012. It’s about the acoustic conditions in buildings, sound in various types of buildings. I’m going to talk more about it later but it’s about four, from A to D. A is the best, the first one, the first acoustic specific and so on. So the additional criteria was made as a consequence of new University assignments and code. This I said, came in 2010 after a long period. It was adopted and now it is now qualified written statements about how to implement planning and building acts. It requires universal design of all new buildings, both public buildings and not. And when existing buildings are having a major renovation so acoustics was introduced as part of this.
To find out how acoustics and the noise conditions were functioning and which was in particular public buildings as a Socio acustic survey, it was conducted among members of the groups so it was contacted to them.
User groups, as far as I know are fairly new organizations. So the object of this survey was to find out what types of buildings should be regulated and which should limit values regarding the noise. How are people disturbed by conditions inside persons of these landscapes, and shopping centers and so on. So it sounds like acoustic conditions is important but they often very little talk about accessible building. They talk about, they should be very possible to navigate. They should be easy to use indoors and so on but the acoustics is a very important part for deaf and hard of hearing and also for blind people. Have you ever been to a train station trying to understand what they’re saying on the loud speakers? You know, sometimes it’s not very good and everybody is talking outside of the room. So why a survey and why a new standard? The acoustic conditions are at the up most importance of each of the locations and general behavior. How do we ask? How do we think or react when we have a lot of noise?
For people with normal hearing and even more with reduce hearing, I would like to mention that Norway, we have a population that’s more than 67 years old so this is not about the small group of hearing impaired people but it’s about everyone. The standardization, it’s also called universal design and it’s very advantageous. But any way, we wanted to look at the results of how people experienced poor acoustic conditions and problems and those conditions require a higher degree of task. Try to find your way to the guide train and they’re very often stressed and fatigue will be the result of that kind of condition.
So first, I will talk about the survey itself and then about the effect of this survey on the building and of the stand up.
So some question remainsment we sent out a questionnaire. How have you been during the noise conditions in the last 12 months in restaurants, cafes and cafeterias. How hard do you have concentrating and how difficult do you find it difficult to have a conversation in small areas or large areas in centers due to noise.
It based this question together with the research institute on the technical reports by 1566 concerning noise and noise service. This technical report has a five point announce scale. The percent of the sample was 1187 subjects. There was a lot of persons but the percentage shows responses could be. We have 71 hearing impaired people. The final percentage was 23. And for the telephone interviews, the number of selected subjects was originally 683 but we were able to come in contact with only 347 of these. So we had responses from 250 visually impaired by persons which is 37 percent.
Now, why was it the response rate? This questionnaire was ten pages. I don’t like ten page questionnaires myself. I’m not always happy about the opportunity to fill it out. It may influence the low percentage of replies. For telephone interviews, however, the reasons for the low reply and percentage that the subjects did not answer the phone. They asked to call back later or the selected projects that people would wish to participate with the study of that. The survey was not conducted by Norway but the institution of research. The survey of the acoustic conditions and spaces in public buildings and some out door areas and there was a questionnaire sent out.
As I said, the telephone interviews were done by the people and yes, I told you, the announce came with the technical report. The large difference is meant to be there. We found large differences between the disabled people as to the announce over the public spaces.
>> We want be able to study and analyze is that in the future, the results to talk about how we attract and analyze it. It has not been totally analyzed because of the select resources. This is at five percent. How many are very much or extremely annoyed, we have a percentage after different premises. We will have the biggest one as the production pole. We may have 61 percent of the hearing impaired people. The second one, number three, here we have 47.6 and 16.3. And the third one we have a large standard for those, it’s indoor terminals and stations for public transport. And finally, actually, 33.3 and 64.4. These are big numbers for those groups but then you also have like here, cafeteria, you have 49.8 and 12.8. Expo, talk about this and so on, it’s also interesting to look at the places where we have rather large numbers with hearing impaired people and low numbers were issued with groups. 7.7 versus 5.6. Plan offices 27.6. Open plan offices have 6.2. I’m not sure why but this one is like the office landscapers and then also, I think we have a navigation problem for those who are initially impaired.
>> The out door, you can see it’s 1.5 percent among hearing impaired people and 8.6 around vision impaired people. Other areas we investigated were shopping centers. We have 27.6 and 40.6 and again, that’s quite big numbers and the second out door terminal areas would have a transport with the 3.3 and 4.3. And staircases, big staircases, we have a lot of noise of 12.8 and 12.5 and that’s very well aligned.
Here, for instance, 20 versus six. Churches, 12.4 versus 1.8. Initially people have problems in churches. Almost the same number for parking areas very close in walk ways and close to buildings and museums. This is a very low process. I know the analysis is among percentage of hearing. This is a dark and a light. Along the first of the dark is open plan offices and we’d like to introduce to open plans. So the frequent use of open plan offices is to see about 40 percent often people have problems. 50 percent of the users have it. Sometimes it can be certifiable. It’s about 19 percent for offices and ten percent for open plan.
Never having any problems, that’s about five percent. I results, we can elaborate more on the side of analysis but this is more about practical use and legislation. At least in the circumstances we have. So these themselves are used in the application of buildings. First off, all of the scope must have Norwegian classes for acoustic quality concern for buildings, hospitals, kindergartens, offices, and premiseses like productions. I was thinking in my brain it’s also when you have more and more, like, open office landscapes. I think these numbers and these results should have a concern about how you make the acoustic conditions in every office when you have more people in one space and each one had a cubicle. Sometimes the updates are made for these buildings. There is significant results especially for open plan teaching environments and offices.
The emphasis was made on this and then the acoustic noise levels and the needs for sound amplification systems like hearing aids, and so on are evaluated for all buildings including those without the specified acoustic beforehand like museums that are very open, assembly halls and so on. About the impact sound and installation part, no changes were made with the exception of video conferences. On the sound level, noise level part, they were more strict limits added. On the point, for the criteria for it, time and acoustic absorption have been made more strict and the limits for for time is related to June 8th. Additional parameters for acoustic conditions in open plan spaces, they is speech, transmission index, SPI, speech attenuation and distance. New requirements for use of technical aids and various buildings are made. For instance, induction loops or hearing aid loops. In sound equalization equipment and similar and then the requirement for this and the written text are going to follow this in the specific standards for how these results can also be used for future standards pointing out specific basis of specific services provided, and just the frame work around this. Well, based on the results it’s open landscapes and open plans that we need to focus on.
Conclusions, this is a common one. Increase knowledge about the experience of hearing impaired people on various buildings to access spaces in itself. Everyone thinks that more analysis can be made with the data. New criteria has been adopted in the standard to following the needs of the aging population. As I mentioned, development and also part of the focus of the building.
I think this is more with these groups. This is more for people in the different way so this is also disable people. We got new criteria in June acoustics and noise conditions suitable for all public buildings in the basis of the acoustic survey. So I think the main point here, we have a new understanding of the content of the universal design et cetera and also what kind of difference we have talked about.
Some more conclusions, update specifically for open environment teaching. Less than two percent because it has been well, this is very important in the debate. As for disability for all, that’s not a good debate. When you talking about the acoustic by using variation related to peaks, music absorption and noise level with the index. Acoustic specification, updates for all building types. Permission for sound systems and assistive listening devices are required in every development. I can also tell you we have chose standards on buildings and on housing. They are about to be revised now by the committee and of course, they still have a system with the new building standards. Especially for some buildings. So that’s basically it. As I said as an introduction, I commend you to send e mails to my colleague who is the expert, technical expert on acoustics but more general questions, I will take. Thank you!
>> Thank you, and now we have time for some questions.
>> Good morning. This is not the place and time to go into details. I don’t have the numbers in my head but as you know, concepts and numbers and categorizes different building types but the real, it’s the sum of the numbers, for instance pointing to the time which is quite dramatically changing. I have concerns in acoustics so even if this sounds very formal and bureaucratic, I would like to challenge you. Can you give some examples of some numbers on not a set of numbers but in some areas, actually, reduction or whatever, the time for something like 20 percent, 30 percent. That’s just a bunch of automatic. So even if it sounds tone just to remind you, a standard is not mandatory. You don’t have to use it.
It’s very interesting to see quite dramatic changes in all of these numbers.
>> I thought the degree is behind the numbers also. If it’s constant and you are up to serious mistakes in what you’re doing, even if I’m just talking numbers and figures and so on, you have to remember there’s an effect on what is behind the results and also, if you correct the legislation and the standard as far as it’s utilized and you follow these regulations, you have a very scientific background to make the requirements.
>> Okay.
>> Good day and I don’t know if I maybe missed out on a bit but the actual survey was a part of the information for chasing the standard or was that the only information?
>> Well, it was specifically made by the standardization committee. It’s not made by the standards but by the institute. In the past we have abided by the standardization and the members of the committee. But of course, those are members of the organization committee because they, themselves are experts. They often do this when it was asked for a scientific analysis of a problem before on how to solve this standard.
>> Okay, but this is the only
>> As far as
>> Research that changed the standard?
>> Yes, and also the environments in building and information.
>> Do you think this is satisfactory changing?
>> Well, the results were very obvious. The members of the committee already knew about the problems. The reports came from organizations and so forth but it’s not a specific survey ordered but with more financial needs, it makes the surveys, you know, research institutes but that was really the limits we had to be done.
>> Okay, thank you!
>> Good morning and thank you for the presentation because this is really important. And I can give you one name, professor of TAPIOLOWKKI. And they have made a brilliant research, scientific research about acoustics and he said that they are not a single good class room in the whole world, not a single one.
And yesterday, keynote, I’m really sorry to say that when we had research saying that hearing impaired people cannot be covered in the same, that’s non sense. Of course, of course. Everybody and that means everybody, everybody in this room, needs good acoustics and when you go to profoundly deaf people, they are using sign language interpreters and typist. By the demonstration of this here is how important that a typist, yes, what I’m speak here is all acoustics and even more bad news. UK and US, they have made very big survey, it’s easy to Google and they have found in hundreds of class rooms that only the first are good for listening and hearing. Nobody hears well. This is where we’re giving higher, we have to improve our acoustics. That’s serious. People, good work and this is really a starting point but we have to really change the situation.
>> Thank you, I couldn’t agree more with you. This is very important and I mentioned that open office landscape which more and more are moving into, I’m not saying this is the solution but schools, Universities and even public traveling, I think statistics say that about 20 percent of people have problems with the use of public transport. Not just because of the different difficulties of getting realtime information for those with hearing troubles so this is a vast thing. But I hope that not we make a standard on this but of course, research institutes will also make investigations. So I mentioned to my English colleague who, I guess, he knows about it but any way, he will do it in that committee and also have sort of an overlapping of the building.
>> Are there any further questions?
>> Just a brief comment on the last speaker. The investigation, this project that we have referred to isn’t just for people with hearing impairment. Of course, it would be interesting to have sort of a control group with people not defined as having a visual or hearing impairment. I’m suspicious that even for such a group you would have fairly high numbers for people who are annoyed or disturbed by bad acoustics so that’s just a comment to the former on the colleague. So that’s really to demonstrate. This is a real challenge for all, not just for people with hearing and visual impairment.
>> Thank you, I think I’ll let the next speaker prepare and thank you again for the talk.


Rough edited copy by AVA AB and Certec, LTH

Remote CART provided by: Alternative Communication Services, LLC (

This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.