Linking acoustics and floor-plate shape qualities of healthcare settings

Selen Okcu, Ermal Shpuza, Erica Ryherd, Craig Zimring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Nurses do not always have visual access to their patients in hospital corridors. During these times, lack of proper monitoring of auditory cues can potentially delay nurse response time and disable early detection of complications. Particular acoustic characteristics of hospital sound environments such as reverberation time can be highly detrimental to nurses' sound-based task performance. In previous studies, the effects of surface materials on temporal characteristics of reverberant corridor sound environments have been studied. However, little is known about the relationship between floor-plate shapes and temporal characteristics of reverberant corridor sound environments. The main goal of this study was to statistically examine the relationship between floor-plate shape and temporal characteristics of reverberant sound environments in inter-connected nursing unit corridors by conducting floor-plate shape analysis, acoustic simulation studies and field measurements. Overall, the findings suggest the potential effectiveness of acoustic simulation programs in predicting the temporal characteristics of reverberant sound environments in inter-connected hospital corridors. Based on the acoustic simulation analysis, reverberation time was significantly correlated with two floor-plate shape metrics: visual fragmentation and relative grid distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-332
Number of pages18
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2013



  • Acoustic simulation
  • Auditory monitoring
  • Floor-plate shape
  • Healthcare design
  • Hospital soundscapes
  • Inter-connected corridors
  • Patient safety
  • Reverberation time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture

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