Page 50 - Special Issue
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 Kenneth P. Roy
LeShanShui Consulting LLC 136 Magnolia Drive Holtwood, Pennsylvania 17532
Keely Siebein
Siebein Associates, Inc. 625 NW 60th Street Suite C Gainesville, Florida 32607 USA
Satisfying Hunger, Thirst, and Acoustic
Comfort in Restaurants, Diners,
and Bars... Is This an Oxymoron?
We all go to these places, but how can we ensure that the acoustic environment will be conducive to our needs?
It’s Probably More Than Just Food and Drink!
All of us go to a restaurant or diner for food and drink, but unless you are going alone, you will probably wish to have a conversation with your companion(s) while enjoying a meal. Or, if you are on the way to a bar and grill, then you may also be interested in watching “the game” on the oversized TV(s) or even listening to
“live music.”
Once you enter the eating establishment, the issue of acoustic comfort comes into play; it is part of the interior environmental quality (IEQ) associated with an archi- tectural space. We, as a matter of course, talk about building IEQ in offices, in health care, and in schools and especially so if designing to meet green or well building ratings. But we have not, to date, seriously focused on this aspect of archi- tectural performance for hospitality spaces such as restaurants, but we certainly need to do so.
People have noticed that noise in restaurants seems to be ever increasing, and more recently, this issue has gotten the attention of both researchers and restaurant cus- tomers. A Special Topics Session on this subject was presented at the December 2017
Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Meeting in New Orleans. At that meeting, a paper was given by Faber and Wang (2017) that provided analyses of crowdsourced sound levels in both restaurants and bars in New York City. In total, sound level surveys were collected from 2,376 restaurants and bars using the smart-phone app SoundPrint ( Noise levels were categorized as “low,” “moderate,” and
“high,” with high levels being over 76 dB(A). By comparison, normal voice levels are generally taken to be about 60 dB(A) when conversing with someone at about an arm’s length, so the measured noise levels in eating establishments are easily 2-4 times as loud as a normal speaking voice.
We discuss SoundPrint more fully in SoundPrint and Crowdsourcing Sound Levels at Restaurants, and the Faber and Wang (2017) paper has an extensive list of refer- ences for anyone who is interested in more information on this topic.
Architects Design to Meet a Mission
When an architect sets out to design/build a new building, the focus has to be on meeting the mission for that building’s use. For an office building, the mission is simply to have a place to do “work.” For a school building, the mission is for a place to “learn,” whereas for a hospital, it is to have a place to “heal.” So, following this approach, what is the mission for a restaurant, diner, or bar and grill?
520 | Acoustics Today | Spurminmge2r0201,9Sp|ecvioalluImsseue15, issue 2 ©202109 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved.
Reprinted from volume 15, issue 2

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