Environmental noise around hospital areas: A case study
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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. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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