Noise Design Strategies (reviewed from Design & dementia)

Addressing noise sensitivity does not mean eliminating all noise (this can lead to under-stimulation), but rather providing the right kinds of noise at the right level at the right time.

  • Layout


· Consider the control of sound transmission between certain areas of the building.

· Situate bedrooms away from, and not adjacent to, high-noise areas such as dietary, utility, programming and/or administration.

· If resident rooms are adjacent to noisy areas, design dividing walls with Sound Transmission Class rating of 45-65 depending on noise source levels (45 for owing water, 65 for mechanical). Consider soundproofing dividing walls between bedrooms as well.

· Ensure quieter lounge areas are available for those who do not want to be immersed in noisy activity

  • Reduce Noise Echo


· Reduce hard surfaces and increase sound absorbing textiles/drapes/carpet (e.g., sound absorbing ceiling and wall tiles, carpet or cork flooring). Likewise, acoustical wall treatments may be used.

· Consider how the architectural features of the space might affect the acoustics, for example domed ceilings might reflect sound.

· A large room will be louder, therefore consider breaking down rooms into smaller areas

· Apply sound absorbing materials to walls and ensure that the surface material is damage resistant and below shoulder height.

  • Noise Production Equipment


· Lubricate squeaky doors, windows and wheels, leaky toilets or faucets routinely.

· Ensure upkeep of mechanical lifts to reduce noise.

· Use cleaning equipment (i.e. wax oor machines, vacuums) at appropriate times for the resident such as cleaning halls when residents are in the dining room.

· When possible, purchase equipment and machinery that is low noise.

· HVAC equipment and ductwork should provide resulting sound levels that do not exceed noise criterion NC 25 in bedrooms, NC 35 in dining areas, NC 40 in toilet/ shower rooms, and NC 35 in all other occupied spaces.

· Soundproof HVAC equipment by utilizing sound attenuation measures.


Design and dementia. (2011, July). Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http:// aspx



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