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Effect of children on the sound environment in fast-food restaurants

Meng, Q; Liu, S; Kang, J; (2020) Effect of children on the sound environment in fast-food restaurants. Applied Acoustics , 162 , Article 107201. 10.1016/j.apacoust.2019.107201.

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Abstract

While an increasing number of studies are examining the effect of the sound environment in restaurants, this study is the first to examine the effect of children on the sound environment of dining areas. We measured children's behaviour and the sound pressure level in a dining area and investigated acoustic comfort and sound source to ascertain the influence of the number of children, behaviour, and gender combinations while playing on the sound environment of a typical fast-food restaurant in Harbin City, China. The results demonstrate that, first, with fewer than four children, the sound pressure level (SPL) increases significantly when the number of children increases (e.g., by 2.8dBA per child). However, when the number of children exceeds four, the SPL is almost stabilised. Second, sound sources heard by people in the dining area can also be influenced by the number of children; the sound of communication among children increased by 12% and then decreased by 20% as the number of children increased. Finally, the number of children affects acoustic comfort by 2.2 (on a 5 point scale) due to the duration of the Max SPL, and by 1.0 due to the percentage of screaming and communicating. These results demonstrate that the sound environment can be improved by changing the number of children and their combination groups.

Type: Article
Title: Effect of children on the sound environment in fast-food restaurants
DOI: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2019.107201
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.apacoust.2019.107201
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091759
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