Page 29 - Summer2019
P. 29

How to Qualify Acoustic Comfo rt Ski lrail Ratings maria: Sound Riungs
A simple way to qualify acoustic comfort would be to develop 
um, lnlmlmmrnlltlmly Soetthfwnvmunltailarl
a classification standard such as that which is currently being __,__‘__,_d_ . 
developed at ASTM International for the classification of  ""‘“"“"““ ''‘‘‘’1“'‘‘
electronic sound masking systems for use in architectural ''-'*v"*- I 
spaces. This rating approach for electronic sound masking is __h_ Q WWW mW°mMW
intended to give the designers and users a method to choose ““""“" . . N ,m"_,_~w ‘mmmm W
wisely in providing the degree of performance needed when
a consistent level of speech privacy is necessary, for instance, “‘;,‘f;:f;"  ~.-« 0 nulmhxelul Ciwflimvtmivtn
in offices and health care facilities. So, what kind of subjec- T
tive classification might work in the hospitality market? One Figure 6. Left: classificutinn system used in dawnhill skiing. Right:
approach is to model the system of classifications i.n a similar prnpased clussifimtian system far use in restaurants.
way as was done on ski slopes (see Figure 6, left).  
When standing at the top of a ski slop e, we see visual indi- at the entry to the space. A placard with the appropriate symbol
cators that grow increasingly ominous as the degree of can be aflixed to thewall or ceiling on entry to that specific space
difficulty increases, starting with a green circle (bunny such as the formal dining area, informal snacking area, or bar.
slope) and ending with a restrictive-looking black double
diamond (dare devil, i.e., cliff). This is a rating scheme The rating system applied to a specific establishment has to
that could also be implemented in the hospitality building be determined by the establishment owner, and this could
segment by adapting the descriptive columns to reflect the be accomplished in a number of ways. The owner may
pertinent factors related to “acoustic comfort.” We know wish to actually hand out customer satisfaction surveys
from the previous discussion that some customers will be on-site, use electronic customer surveys on their website,
expecting a quiet space for casual conversations, whereas or review on-line satisfaction surveys from the local news-
others will be looking for a lively and loud space for music paper or restaurant rating services such as SoundPrint,
entertainment. We are trying to address customer satisfac- TripAdvisor, and Yelp. In any case, it is to the advantage
tion that is based on their expectations, So how to proceed? of the facility owner to help the customers choose wisely
to meet their acoustic comfort needs. Happy customers
Why not give the customer a “heads-up” on what to expect mean return business.
in different areas of a restaurant or bar? We could ask the
owner to label the various areas within the hospitality What Does the Future Bring?
space according to customer expectations. This might look If we wish to move this classification system to a more
like what is shown in Figure 6, right. It should be noted analytical form as time goes on, then we need to look next
that the entire purpose of this system of classifications to our “smart phone” because we now have many avail-
is to satisfy the expectations of the customers who have able apps that can be used to measure in real time and
chosen to go to this establishment relative to the acoustic on-site the sound environment in any space. This will
environment that they will find when there. If the cus- take additional longer term research into how to make
tomer is satisfied, then the owners will be delighted. In the measurements. Currently, the SoundPrint app, for
any case, the issue of noise as relates to the employees will example, has a sound level meter feature, but the details
be covered under the US Occupational Safety and Health and accuracy are not specifically discussed, other than
Administration (OSHA) occupational noise regulations. that a minimum 15-second measurement period is rec-
ommended. Those ofus who have conducted SoundScape
And How Might This Work? measurements (sound-level time history survey at either
The business owner may wish to post a sign (as seen in Figure an outdoor or indoor site) would likely believe that the
6, right) at the entry ofthe establishment to alert the customers measurement period needs to be related to the type of
that acoustic comfort has been rated by room or space within noise being measured, and 15 seconds is not sufficient as
the building and that each space will have a visual notification a general recommendation.
Summer 2oi9 | An:uuII1r:l‘I'b:Iay 1 27

   27   28   29   30   31