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      Indoor soundscape in primary school classrooms

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          Abstract

          Soundscape research on indoor environments is emerging as a topic to be addressed for the design of supportive, healthier, and more comfortable spaces. Only a few studies so far addressed the context of educational buildings, mainly focusing on high schools and universities. This pilot study uses questionnaires based on pictorial scales to investigate the indoor soundscape of classrooms for primary school children (n = 130; 8–10 years old). Perceived loudness and the affective dimensions of pleasantness and arousal were explored. Besides the actual soundscape, the children's ideal soundscape was investigated as well. The results of the study indicate that the most frequent sounds in classrooms are generated by the students themselves (voices, movements) followed by the traffic. The urban context of the school modulates the children's perception when windows are open to ensure natural ventilation. Pleasantness is associated with students' age, perceived loudness, and frequency of children's voices in nearby classrooms. The frequency of hearing indoor sounds (children's voices) and sirens affects students' arousal. Our results indicate that children at school are mostly exposed to unpleasant sounds, whereas their preferred ones are music and nature-related ones. The findings have implications for the design of positive and inclusive learning environments.

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          Journal
          The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
          Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
          0001-4966
          September 01 2023
          September 2023
          September 01 2023
          September 20 2023
          September 2023
          : 154
          : 3
          : 1813-1826
          Article
          10.1121/10.0020833
          37728288
          8e36706c-3841-45fc-b884-8aec5a9410b5
          © 2023
          History

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