The Appropriate Hotel Standard
The "quiet room" is right at the top of many hotel guests' wish list, as is the "poorly soundproofed room" at the top of their list of complaints. Although the need is obvious, the hotel classification catalogue dedicates only 16 out of 860 points to acoustic quality, whereby 8 points each for windows and doors. Thus, five stars seem to be no guarantee for a quiet sleep.
However, sound acoustics is more than just silence. It also includes privacy inside rooms, confidentiality at the hotel reception, speech intelligibility in the conference rooms and relaxation in the Spa area. All relevant persons and aspects, arguments and instruments need to be involved to implement sound acoustics in practice. But the current state of knowledge and the available guidelines are not sufficient to meet this task. The ovjective is to achieve a holistic hotel quality which is geared to the needs of hotel guests an which can be quantified clearly, communicated comprehensibly and applied in practice economically.
Aim of the project
The first step is to analyze the initial situation. Which acoustic requirements are defined? To which extent have they been met? Are the current acoustic standards still up-to-date? In comparison, the specific needs are to be identified and evaluated. How important are acoustic features for hotel guests? Which disturbances are particularly relevant and which expectations are particularly important? New criteria and target values need to be identified within the context of cost effectiveness. How can innovative acoustics add value for the hotelier? For the constructional and technical implementation of good acoustics in hotels appropriate concepts and products are required. Which concepts are already being used? Which technologies are still lacking? if the demand is identified and the supply is available, a qualitiy label can render the quality more transparent, prove appreciation and expertise and offer advantages in international competition.
Significance and quality of the individual acoustic features are identified on the basis of acombined data collection. The data are collected by means of a representative opinion poll, a hotel-specific survey of guests and hoteliers and a measurement-based practice analysis. Based on the data collection, a suitable tool for practical application will be developed aiming at a comprehensive acoustic quality assessment. This includes for example a soundcheck for hotels to be able to do a quick preliminary assessment of the acoustic quality and to identify a specific field of action. Another element is a guideline on organizational, constructional and technical design options. A partner and knowledge network consisting of hotels and organizations, architects and planners, construction companies and interior designers, initiated and coordinated by the Fraunhofer IBP, gives input to the presented scope of acoustic design options for its further enhancement. The interdisciplinary exchange promises to provide both tailor-made and economic solutions for good hotel acoustics. First, an independent quality scale is developed to raise awareness and to present acoustic hotel features in a transparent way. This quality scale then can be offered to be integrated into existing classification systems. The results of this initiative will be presented at special events, trade fairs and on the internet.