Subjective acoustical quality in healthcare office facilities
Health-care facilities include many non-clinical office spaces for administrative staff; the role of acoustics in these spaces has been underexplored. This paper discusses the acoustical part of a study of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in 17 healthcare office facilities. A subjective survey assessed office worker perceptions of their environments in general, and satisfaction with the acoustics. Self-reported productivity, well-being, and health outcomes were also captured. Satisfaction was lower with acoustics than with other aspects of IEQ. Satisfaction results were related to room type (e.g., open plan vs. shared vs. private office) and the absence or presence of a sound-masking system. Acoustics was the most important aspect of IEQ in predicting occupant satisfaction and well-being. Regression models were developed to predict workplace satisfaction, well-being and job satisfaction from survey responses. Results of physical acoustical measurements showed very low correlations with subjective responses. The knowledge gained from this study informs the decision-making of designers and facilities management for upgrades and future design projects.
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