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Article

Acoustics for Supportive and Healthy Buildings: Emerging Themes on Indoor Soundscape Research

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Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano 77, 38123 Trento, Italy
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Institute for Renewable Energy, Eurac Research, A. Volta Straße/Via A. Volta 13/A, 39100 Bolzano Bozen, Italy
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UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, The Bartlett, University College London (UCL), Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK
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International WELL Building Institute, 220 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA
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Apex Acoustics Ltd., Design Works, William Street, Gateshead NE10 0JP, UK
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Noise Abatement Society, 8 Nizells Ave, UK Heriot-Watt University, Hove BN3 1PL, UK
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The Urban Institute, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland EH14 4AS, UK
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Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, Technical University Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 40a Sekr. B 4, 10623 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156054
Received: 1 July 2020 / Revised: 20 July 2020 / Accepted: 21 July 2020 / Published: 28 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture and Salutogenesis: Beyond Indoor Environmental Quality)
The focus of the building industry and research is shifting from delivering satisfactory spaces to going beyond what is merely acceptable with a wave of new research and practice dedicated to exploring how the built environment can support task performance and enhance people’s health and well-being. The present study addresses the role of acoustics in this paradigm shift. Indoor soundscape research has recently emerged as an approach that brings a perceptual perspective on building and room acoustics in order to shape built environments that “sound good” according to building occupants’ preference and needs. This paper establishes an initial discussion over some of the open questions in this field of research that is still in an embryonic stage. A thematic analysis of structured interviews with a panel of experts offered a range of perspectives on the characterization, management, and design of indoor soundscapes and health-related outcomes. The discussion pointed out the importance of both perceptual and multisensory research and integrated participatory design practices to enable a holistic view regarding the complex building–user interrelations and the design of just cities. Soundscape methodologies tailored to the peculiarities of indoor soundscapes can help to measure and predict the human perceptual response to the acoustic stimuli in context, thus reducing the risk of mismatches between expected and real building experiences. This perceptual perspective is expected to widen the scientific evidence for the negative and positive impacts of the acoustic environment on human health, well-being, and quality of life. This will support prioritizing the role of acoustics in building design and challenge many current design practices that are based on a noise control approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: indoor soundscape; indoor environmental quality; acoustic design; salutogenesis; well-being; health; experience; people; environmental justice indoor soundscape; indoor environmental quality; acoustic design; salutogenesis; well-being; health; experience; people; environmental justice
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MDPI and ACS Style

Torresin, S.; Aletta, F.; Babich, F.; Bourdeau, E.; Harvie-Clark, J.; Kang, J.; Lavia, L.; Radicchi, A.; Albatici, R. Acoustics for Supportive and Healthy Buildings: Emerging Themes on Indoor Soundscape Research. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6054. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156054

AMA Style

Torresin S, Aletta F, Babich F, Bourdeau E, Harvie-Clark J, Kang J, Lavia L, Radicchi A, Albatici R. Acoustics for Supportive and Healthy Buildings: Emerging Themes on Indoor Soundscape Research. Sustainability. 2020; 12(15):6054. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156054

Chicago/Turabian Style

Torresin, Simone, Francesco Aletta, Francesco Babich, Ethan Bourdeau, Jack Harvie-Clark, Jian Kang, Lisa Lavia, Antonella Radicchi, and Rossano Albatici. 2020. "Acoustics for Supportive and Healthy Buildings: Emerging Themes on Indoor Soundscape Research" Sustainability 12, no. 15: 6054. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156054

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