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Environmental Noise around Hospital Areas: A Case Study

1
Departamento de Física Aplicada, Escuela Politécnica, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de la Universidad s/n, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
2
ISISE, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Universidade de Coimbra, Luis Reis dos Santos 290, 3030-790 Coimbra, Portugal
3
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, 5 Poniente 1670, 3460000 Talca, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6040041
Received: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Solutions Mitigating Environmental Noise Pollution)
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Abstract

Due to the particular characteristics of hospitals, these buildings are highly sensitive to environmental noise. However, they are usually located close or within urban agglomerations. Hence, hospitals are, in many cases, exposed to high levels of environmental noise. A study of one of the main hospitals in the Extremadura region (Spain) is presented here to allow a global assessment of the acoustic impact of outdoor sound sources. Both long- and short-term measurements were carried out, and a software model was developed. The measured values exceed the World Health Organisation reference value of 50 dBA for daytime and evening, and are even higher than the 55 dBA limit at which severe annoyance is generated. Taking into account the results obtained, the noise impact on this hospital is primarily influenced by three sound sources: road traffic, cooling towers of the hospital and the emergency helicopter. Their relative importance depends on the facade under consideration. It can therefore be concluded that the overall situation of the hospital needs to be improved. Thus, a series of solutions are proposed for a possible action plan based on interventions regarding the main sound sources and the location of the most sensitive areas to environmental noise. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban noise; noise measurements; environmental quality; urban planning; action plan; noise mitigation; health centre urban noise; noise measurements; environmental quality; urban planning; action plan; noise mitigation; health centre
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Montes-González, D.; Barrigón-Morillas, J.M.; Gómez Escobar, V.; Vílchez-Gómez, R.; Rey-Gozalo, G.; Atanasio-Moraga, P.; Méndez-Sierra, J.A. Environmental Noise around Hospital Areas: A Case Study. Environments 2019, 6, 41.

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