Ambient noise in indoor public swimming pools
Ambient noise in indoor public swimming pools:
Your security plan is in deep water!
If there is a place where children really have a great time, it’s in water. Yelling and shouting fuse from all corners and the pleasure is contagious, especially in public pools. Ironically, communication is of the utmost importance in such environment to preserve the required level of security. In fact, when ambient noise is so high, it might muffle verbal exchanges, thus compromising security in the premises. There are solutions to ensure that the required safety levels in indoor public swimming pools be secured and respected.
What can affect the quality of acoustic in public swimming pools?
Since they are generally generating a higher level of noise than does the external building environment itself, the clients of indoor pools usually are the main source of acoustic problems. It is not about acoustic insulation, but rather a question of sound quality. Then, in order to correct the acoustic environment inside an indoor swimming pool, you need to control the level of noise caused by the internal sources. Aquatic centres are usually hugely spacious. Moreover, the construction materials, like concrete, ceramics and glass are often highly sound-reflective and not sound-absorbing. And since water has very low absorbing properties, there is no need to stress how the sound quality of the premises is often very poor. However, everybody could benefit from sports facilities where the noise level is under control, and more particularly when it comes to the safety of the users of such sporting venues.
Why is acoustic quality so important in indoor swimming pools?
Most of the time, people go to the aquatic centre to relax and have a good time practising their favorite sports. The public swimming pool then must be a quiet place. Besides, in order to accommodate everyone, aquatic centres assign extensive specific time slots for adults and for children. Moreover, an appropriate communication between the swimmers, lifeguards and instructors allows everybody to ensure the quality of their sporting experience, more particularly in case of swimming courses or when the users are training. On the lifeguards’ side, the fact of being exposed to a high level of decibels, for extended periods of time, can lead to serious hearing problems. In fact, a study carried out by the IRRSR, a research laboratory located in Sherbrooke, has stated that a lifeguard who is exposed to a decibel level of 80 DBA, for a duration of 8 hours, may suffer from serious headaches and swimmers may not hear an alarm. Moreover, due to the long reverberation time caused by the huge size of the premises, the lifeguards’ communication capacities are dramatically lessened, if not reduced to zero. Could you imagine if a swimmer screams for help, but that no one could hear his distress call? Avoid any potential accident by taking the necessary safety measures.
How can you control the quality of acoustics within aquatic centres?
The only way to lessen noise level in swimming pools is to reduce reverberation time, by lining the walls and ceiling with noise-absorption materials. The more the materials placed in a room can absorb sound energy, the less is noise reverberation. The materials used to line the walls and the various components installed within a room will also have a great influence on reverberation time. Based on their composition, they can more or less absorb noise. Such noise absorption capacity allows to lessen sound reflection and thus sound reverberation. De facto, let’s keep in mind that not all materials are adapted for use within water-based premises. They must be designed to withstand chemical products and mildew. Fortunately, there are several solutions to achieve appropriate acoustics within indoor public pools. Pinta acoustic has developed custom-made panels that are very aesthetical and designed to be installed on ceilings and walls. These new products provide for exceptional acoustic control of the premises. The range of shapes, colours and designs is particularly impressive. Pinta acoustic is an absolute discovery!
Another option for you is the vinyl-coated panels manufactured by MBI. These products offer interesting solutions with many new possibilities.