Influence of architectural layouts on noise levels in Danish emergency departments

Cheol-Ho Jeong*, Hannah C.W. Jakobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This study aims to evaluate the effects of architectural layouts of emergency departments on activity patterns/work routines and consequent noise levels. Three Danish hospitals’ emergency departments that had different layouts were investigated via on-site noise measurements over three days and observations of noisy activities. The time-averaged noise levels in the three emergency departments turned out to be significantly different, ranging from 50 to 59 dBA. During the observation of noisy activities, the noise levels and occurrences of individual activities were noted and correlated with the long-term measurements. Major noise sources that have high correlations with the three-day noise levels are identified as loud staff communication and noise from alarms/electronic devices. Potential remedies are suggested in connection to the emergency departments’ architectural layouts. Especially unnecessarily loud communication between medical staff and loud and frequent equipment/patient transportation noise need to be improved for more comfortable acoustic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102449
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Number of pages28
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Architectural layout
  • Hospital emergency department
  • Noise level
  • Work patterns
  • Communication noise


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