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HTM 08-01 is the definitive guidance document for healthcare professionals to understand acoustic requirements and to help those involved in the development of healthcare facilities. Noise is defined as 'unwanted sound' and it affects the human body both physiologically and psychologically. It can increase heart rate, bloodpressure, respiration rate and even cholesterol levels.
On the other hand pleasant sounds can create a more relaxed atmosphere...a sense of well-being.
A good acoustic environment improves patient confidentiality, privacy and can promote essential sleep patterns which are important for recuperation.
HTM 08-01 contains acoustic criteria for ambient noise levels in rooms, external noise levels and sound insulation between rooms as well as design advice on audio systems, vibration levels and audiology facilities.
The document details various acoustic parameters:
Internal noise levels range from 35dB LAeq,1hr night in single or multi-bed wards up to 55dB LAeq,1hr for toilets and circulation spaces.
Indoor ambient noise levels during heavy rain should not exceed the specific room criteria by more than 20dBA or should not be more than 65dBA, whichever is lower.
Noise from mechanical and electrical services, depending on the type of area, should be in the region of NR30 to NR50.
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