Functional acoustics - useability of rooms based on reverberation characteristics. Part 5: Material measures in rooms for speech and communicative uses.
When it comes to the acoustic design of rooms for speech performances one traditionally considers the transmission from a single speaker to a completely quiet audience, as should be the case in a theatre or lecture situation. Merely background noise from outside or neighbouring rooms and the reverberance of the only voice in the room could thus limit speech intelligibility. On such a relatively rare situation are all our standards and instructions primarily based. In real work and leisure environments which are normally flooded with communications and interactions, however, quite another phenomenon has come to the fore which has but little in common with the before mentioned problems: Simultaneously raised voices accumulate to a tremendous self-generated noise level with the number of users increasing who want to participate in conversations and discussions, if the room lacks a proper conditioning for this purpose. In parts 1 to 3 of this series a somewhat novel room-acoustic concept has been developed and was already applied in part 4 to a broad variety of enclosures for musical uses. Here concrete examples and practical results are now presented out of a broad spectrum of rooms for communicative uses. In the first section the focus is on the noise burden developing in smaller rooms. The second deals with the acoustical treatment of larger work and assembly rooms, i.e. again the ergonomic aspects of acoustics. The third section fully concentrates on the functional aspects of acoustics when finally aiming at the support of any kind of verbal performances and interactions in order to raise the acoustical quality of a room with an emphasis on more comfort for its users and more market value for its owners.