Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Restaurant Acoustics – the Science behind Verbal Communication in Eating Establishments

Version 1 : Received: 1 December 2017 / Approved: 1 December 2017 / Online: 1 December 2017 (18:22:36 CET)

How to cite: Rindel, J.H. Restaurant Acoustics – the Science behind Verbal Communication in Eating Establishments. Preprints 2017, 2017120011 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201712.0011.v1). Rindel, J.H. Restaurant Acoustics – the Science behind Verbal Communication in Eating Establishments. Preprints 2017, 2017120011 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201712.0011.v1).

Abstract

A well-known but also very complicated problem in room acoustics is the ambient noise when many people are gathered for a reception or in a restaurant, a bar, a canteen or a similar place. In such social gatherings, people want to speak with each other, but for the same reason the place can be very noisy, and verbal communication can be difficult or even impossible, especially for people with reduced hearing capacity. The noise depends on at least the following parameters; the volume, the reverberation time, the number of people, and the type gathering. Verbal communication in a noisy environment is a complicated feed-back situation, which implies two interesting phenomena; the Lombard effect and the cocktail-party effect. Solutions are presented both as a simplified model assuming a diffuse sound field and as an advanced computer simulation model. The concept ‘Acoustic Capacity’ of a facility is introduced, defined as the maximum number of persons in order to achieve a sufficient quality of verbal communication. In order to avoid poor acoustics in restaurants and similar places, it is necessary to design with bigger volume and more absorption material than usual in current building design practice.

Subject Areas

Verbal communication; Lombard effect; Cocktail party effect; Noise; Acoustic capacity; Universal design

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