Skip to the content

A survey of acoustic conditions and noise levels in secondary school classrooms in England

Shield, BM, Conetta, R, Dockrell, J, Connolly, D, Cox, TJ and Mydlarz, CA 2015, 'A survey of acoustic conditions and noise levels in secondary school classrooms in England' , The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA), 137 , pp. 177-188.

PDF - Published Version
Download (685kB) | Preview


An acoustic survey of secondary schools in England has been undertaken. Room acoustic parameters and background noise levels were measured in 185 unoccupied spaces in 13 schools to provide information on the typical acoustic environment of secondary schools. The unoccupied acoustic and noise data were correlated with various physical characteristics of the spaces. Room height and the amount of glazing were related to the unoccupied reverberation time and therefore need to be controlled to reduce reverberation to suitable levels for teaching and learning. Further analysis of the unoccupied data showed that the introduction of legislation relating to school acoustics in England and Wales in 2003 approximately doubled the number of school spaces complying with current standards. Noise levels were also measured during 274 lessons to examine typical levels generated during teaching activities in secondary schools and to investigate the influence of acoustic design on working noise levels in the classroom. Comparison of unoccupied and occupied data showed that unoccupied acoustic conditions affect the noise levels occurring during lessons. They were also related to the time spent in disruption to the lessons (e.g., students talking or shouting) and so may also have an impact upon student behavior in the classroom.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC)
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA)
Publisher: Acoustical Society of America
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0001-4966
Related URLs:
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: TJ Cox
Date Deposited: 18 May 2015 17:03
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 00:23

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year