Noise control in hotels
A year ago, it was published that 52% of the Balearics claimed to suffer noise pollution in their homes. And the problem extends to hotels, which suffer even more: it is estimated that up to 70% of the hotels in Spain are affected by very high noise levels. In fact, noise is the cause of a third of hotel claims that occur in Spain.
This is not a minor problem. In order to offer a comfortable stay, it is essential that the client can enjoy a calm atmosphere. And noise comfort is part of it. Whether the guest is staying in the hotel for rest and relaxation or for work-related purposes, the absence of noise between bedrooms, meeting rooms and common spaces is a key component when the objective is customer satisfaction. And with some architectural positioning, achieving it is more than possible.
Reforms for acoustic insulation
According to current regulations, the permissible noise level in a hotel bedroom is 30 decibels (dBA) at night and 40 decibels (dBA) during the day. That is, the equivalent of a murmur in the first case and a library conversation in the second. However, traffic noise or that generated by the hotel itself can cause those decibels to be exceeded when the hotel is not perfectly acoustically insulated..
If a hotel reform is going to be carried out, advantage should be taken of the opportunity to solve the disturbing problems of noise. And there are several possibilities for the insulation to be fully effective. To combat noise, we need insulation systems based on the mass of the building and in the separation between layers and structures, paying attention above all to the weak points:
Windows. The windows and blind boxes must be taken into consideration when controlling noise. To combat them it is possible to combine double glazing (with different thicknesses to impede the spread of sound waves), shuttering and good sealing. As for the material, PVC insulates more than aluminium.
Doors. Hollow doors let the noise enter the bedrooms with ease. That’s why it is important to install solid high-density doors where we have the opportunity. As for the material – wood is a good acoustic insulator.
Walls. We can also fit layers of sound insulation onto walls that already exist. Among the most commonly used materials to isolate by this method are polyurethane foam, cork panels, rockwool and cellulose fibre.
Floors and ceilings. Just as it is important to focus on the insulation of the walls, we mustn’t forget the floors and the ceilings, through which noise also circulates if the insulation has not been installed properly. Again, absorbent or porous materials such as glass fibre, rockwool, or melanin resin foam are perfect for absorbing high frequency noise.
Furniture. Carpets, rugs and curtains are design elements, but they also have other attributes. Not only do they help to integrate the environment designed to personalise space, they also help to absorb the noise in the rooms of the hotel.