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Acoustical Engineering


Medical equipment, alarms and conversations are everyday sounds that have an impact on the healing environment. Sound design plays a role in the comfort and privacy of patients, supporting communication and avoiding stress and fatigue for patients and staff. A recent study1 (2005) shows that since 1960 the sound pressure levels throughout the day increased by 0.42 dB per year. Average sound pressure levels of 45-50 dB (A) were measured at the John Hopkins Hospital1. These levels are 20 dB (A) higher than the World Health Organization recommendations. Good acoustical design also gains in importance in the recent guidelines for Healthcare design2, 3.

Acoustical engineering fits perfectly within VK’s multidisciplinary approach to achieve an optimal healing environment in your hospital, nursing home or mental health center. Specifically the VK acoustical service package includes:

  • performance requirements for acoustical comfort depending on function with particular attention for critical areas within the healthcare facility, eg operating room, neonatal unit, …
  • prognosis and measurement of external noise generated by healthcare buildings towards the environment under current noise legislation.
  • design of air and noise insulation between rooms.
  • calculation of room acoustic parameters to limit excessive reverberation times caused by hard sanitary finishes.
  • audio system for public announcements.
  • design of audiology and speech therapy facilities.
  • vibrations and noise caused by medical equipment, such as MRI, vibration isolation of sensitive equipment, …
  • attention to hygienic floor, wall, ceiling and interior finishes.

1Busch-Vishniac, et al., ‘Noise levels in Johns Hopkins Hospital’, Journal of Acoustical Society of America,  118(6), 3629-3645, 2005.

2Guidelines for design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, 2010, FGI

3Health and Technical memorandum 08-01: Acoustics, Department of Health.


Reconciling the acoustical comfort with sustainable construction and aesthetic building solutions requires an integrated approach from the first stages of the design. Therefore, VK offers acoustical engineering to provide its customers with integrated solutions. Specifically, the following services are being offered:

  • external noise levels and the noise load of facades.
  • airborne sound insulation of the facade, the impact noise from rain on the facade and roof.
  • air and noise insulation between rooms.
  • radiated noise from technical equipment such as HVAC and sanitary installations.
  • room Acoustic Parameters for leisure buildings, auditoriums, theaters, schools, offices, courtrooms, …
  • electro-acoustic equipment for public announcements.
  • enclosures, barriers, vibration dampers to reduce vibration and noise caused by machinery and equipment.
  • budgeting and measuring vibrations due to road and rail traffic affecting the building structure


With acoustical engineering, VK is able to develop noise mitigation measures from the first stages of designing onwards, in order to achieve a durable design with attention to environmental and employee safety in accordance with environmental legislation. We use the latest computational techniques to assess a priori the noise radiation from equipment and the noise levels in the workplace. The following services are offered:

  • performance requirements for increased acoustical comfort in accordance with the most recent environmental legislation.
  • forecasts of noise levels in the workplace.
  • prognosis and measurement of external noise generated by the client towards the neighborhood, following the current noise legislation.
  • air and noise insulation between rooms.
  • room acoustics to reduce excessive reverberation times and sound pressure levels.
  • audio system for public announcements
  • enclosures, barriers, vibration dampers to reduce vibration and noise caused by machinery and equipment.