Noise in Educational Institutions

H.G. Schönwälder, J. Berndt, F. Ströver, G. Tiesler

Schriftenreihe der Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin

Forschung Fb 1030

Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Bremerhaven, August 2005

ISBN 3-86509-210-1




Educational institutions have more and more problems with acoustical working environment. The present study analysed the problems in 4 elementary schools and 1 secondary school. In these schools several classrooms (N=30) were analysed for reverberation time and speech transmission index. Additionally the sound pressure level (SPL) was monitored for 565 lessons, also all activities, relevant for noise, were registered by two observers inside the classroom. The results:


  1. Only a few of the classrooms comply with the standards of the DIN 18041 of 1965, no class-room with the actual DIN 18041 of 2004
  2. 3 model classrooms comply with the standard of the actual DIN 18041 after structural sanita-tion
  3. During lessons SPL from 50 to 60 dB(A) in phases of silent work and 60 to 80 dBA during conversation was measured. The most important source of noise is the human voice.
  4. SPL during lessons depends on the age of the students, younger students produce more noise than older ones.
  5. Intensive behaviour training with school-beginners has the effect of reducing noise level, training in higher classes shows a lower effect.


Complaints about bad acoustical working environment seems to be valid; structural sanitation of classrooms combined with early behaviour training is most suitable for reducing such noise problems.


Key words:

Noise in school, room acoustic, speech intelligibility, reverberation time, working environment, DIN 18041