How to get the perfect acoustics in hospitals?

Hospitals service many people every day. The right atmosphere is crucial as hospitals shouldn’t feel like an institution but seen as a calm space. Here you can learn how to create the perfect acoustic environment for both patients and staff.

Emma Children's hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, ROCKFON Mono Acoustic, Krios Dznl/D-edge, Sonar D-edge, Hydroclean, OD205 architectuur, Element binnenafbouw, ROCKFON Mono Acoustic

Rockfon Mono Acoustic at Emma Children’s Hospital

Different people, different needs

Every day many people visit hospitals, and they interact in each space in their own way. At hospitals, the built environment generates the right atmosphere to keep patients and caregivers feeling comfortable, safe and healthy. This heightens the building’s complexity and influences the way we think about the design of a hospital.

The first impression count

Reception and waiting rooms

The first area a patient meet on their journey through a hospital is the reception. It’s essential to have a welcoming, tranquil and secure atmosphere for the patient to feel safe and not overwhelmed. The best advice is to keep the interior bright and warm the visually cultivate the feeling of care and wellbeing. It’s often a busy place; therefore, information and navigation must be clear.

Acoustically, the reception needs to have good noise control absorbing the many disturbances to make the spaces calm to be in and a good light reflection to create a bright space for the patients to wait in.

Keep your ceiling looking smooth and bright

Waiting rooms are a part of the treatment, and to make the patient feel calm, the room must have a warm and tranquil feeling with natural light and calm colours.

We know that public areas with many visitors take their toll on people; the challenge is to keep them comfortable, so we’ve some acoustic design tips to consider: 

  • Bright coloured acoustic solutions to calm the senses
  • Choose high-class acoustic ceiling and wall solutions to make a pleasant acoustic environment
  • Bring plants and vertical planting to divide the space and soften the echoes

We recommend products as Rockfon Blanka® and Chicago MetallicTM Matt-white 11 as they both have a unique surface. Rockfon Blanka has a high light reflection and light diffusion properties that draw daylight into the spaces. Both acoustic solutions have high-class sound absorption to contribute to a calmer and more pleasant environment.

The hospital highway

Corridors & Hallways

Corridors and hallways perform different functions, and typically they’re the busy arteries of a hospital. Travelled by patients, visitors, staff, medical equipment and trolleys. It’s never-ending traffic, and with offices, patient and medical operational rooms, it creates a design complexity. It’s vital to design with high functionality, easy navigation, and proactive design with good acoustics and privacy.

Privacy and a comfortable acoustic environment are crucial as patients heal and rest in the patient rooms close by. Confidentiality matters in the design as the doctor and the patients need to freely discuss critical and sensitive information without being disturbed.

Acoustic design tips:

  • Use sound-masking to cover outside noise from the adjacent rooms
  • Have proper lighting to make the space look
  • Construct full-height wall to reach proper sound insulation and privacy

We recommend choosing acoustic ceiling tiles with high sound absorption and preferable apply coloured acoustical ceilings to enhance the wayfinding and reduce noise levels.

Preferable, Rockfon® System Maxispan T24 A, E™ have a stable installation system perfectly suitable for the wide corridors and combined with Rockfon Blanka® or Rockfon® MediCare® Standard tiles, you achieve the perfect combination of acoustic function and design. The Rockfon Medicare has a high cleanability and doesn’t contribute to the growth of MRSA.

An acoustic oasis to recover in

Patient & recovery rooms

 A place to regain strength and recover properly is the core of a patient room design. It should be a calm, comfortable and quiet space that doesn’t feel clinical. Evidence-based design is about inviting nature inside with a biophilic design, allowing daylight and fresh air inside through big windows and have excellent noise control. All the small details count to make the patient feel at home. However, it’s vital that hygiene is a part of the design as the rooms need to help the patient recover.

It’s an oasis for recovery, so harness the power of acoustics by reducing the surrounding noise levels, bring daylight into the different spaces, and a ceiling solution that is cleanable and doesn’t contribute to the growth of bacteria gives the best possible foundation for fast recovery. The acoustic ceiling can utilise the high light reflection, enable a high level of hygiene and supply an aesthetic character to make it feel like a home.

Acoustical & design tips: 

  • Install sound-absorbing materials on the ceilings and walls to block disturbances to travel from room to room
  • Design the rooms allowing daylight to shine through windows
  • Install high light reflection ceilings to draw the daylight in and spread it equally in the areas

Our ambition is to give the building industry to build for people and better care. We recommend Rockfon® MediCare® Plus as an acoustic ceiling solution as it’s perfect for demanding healthcare application. It has excellent sound absorption and is ISO Class 3 certified, so it doesn’t contribute to MRSA growth or other harmful bacteria.

A healthy and clean room to excel

Intensive Care Units (ICU)

In departments of ICU, communication is a critical part while saving lives. Room acoustics and solid sound absorption is core values as it affects the medical staff ability to concentrate, but loud noises influence the patient's heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.[1]

Create a room design with the best in class sound absorption to calm the stressful, busy, and loud environments. Getting the right acoustic solutions goes beyond just excellent acoustics and hygienic properties. It also means have a ceiling design that eases the installation of medical equipment while still creating an environment that empowers doctors to work.

Acoustic design advice:

  • Install acoustic ceiling and wall solutions with minimum Class A sound-absorbing materials
  • Use sound-masking and high-performance doors to block noise travelling from the surroundings rooms
  • Install an acoustic solution with excellent hygienic properties and easy cleanability

A room designed to save lives with the perfect harmony of high sound absorption and high cleanability. We recommend a grid system with our hold down chops to complement the ceiling design that is often and thoroughly cleaned. It ensures that the tiles are kept in place and look nice.

Rockfon® MediCare® Air is specifically designed for pressurised healthcare environments with different air pressures to prevent infection. It has a Class B sound absorption and does not contribute to the growth of MRSA, and have an A1 reaction to fire. Rockfon® MediCare® Block is suitable for high-risk and sensitive environment with often cleaning, and it has an ISO Class 2 in cleanroom Classification.

Recharging batteries during the day

Break areas

Hospitals are hectic busy spaces, and the healthcare workers need respite from it and recharge their batteries. Healthcare workers need to have a place to relax to avoid burnouts and work-related stress. Sound comfort is the core, where the staff needs easy access to nature; the staff areas need to be painted in calming colours and invite natural light inside to create a relaxing and calm atmosphere.

Finding a piece of serenity during the day can make the healthcare staff recharged and ready for the following activities. A well-deserved break in areas with a ceiling that enhances the mood. Colour shapes our mood, and in the break areas, it can give the right setting. The aesthetic setting needs to be considered; enhancing the acoustics has a powerful effect on wellbeing and give the much needed moment of peace.

Acoustic design tips:

  • Use high-performance glass windows, blocking noise from coming in.
  • Choose highly sound-absorbing acoustic solutions on the ceilings and walls.
  • Use coloured tiles to further enhance wellbeing.
  • Use cleanable and highly sound-absorbing materials in the cafeteria where there are many hard surfaces and often high noise levels

Colours can change a room, and we recommend Rockfon Color-all® that brings wellbeing into the acoustic ceiling design. It’s available in 34 exclusive colours that can inspire and enhance your design scheme while giving the perfect acoustic setting. Rockfon MediCare® Standard balance acoustic comfort and cleanability to perfection. It controls the sound while it doesn’t contribute to the growth of MRSA and ensures a low particle emission.

Shh. A noisy healthcare institution is an unhealthy one.
The sound of good health is crucial, and with Rockfon acoustic ceiling and wall solution, you can create a calmer and healthier building where patients can rest, heal and feel more at home.