Innovatie Bouwproces en Techniek



The relation between the acoustics of open-plan study environments, well-being and learning performance of students. 

Students in higher education work more and more in open plan work environments in addition to attending lectures in classrooms and lecture halls. Students work a large part of their time individually and in groups on assignments and in the near future, when e-learning will become more important, independent work on assignments will take place more often and as a result open work spaces will become more important. While noise is proved to be one of the most annoying factors in open-plan offices, it is important to study the influence of acoustics on performance and well-being of students in open-plan study environments. A healthy work and learning environment is essential, as we live a great part of our life in those places. An acoustically bad work environment may lead to a low cognitive performance, to increased fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances and a risk for cardiovascular diseases. 

Ella Braat-Eggen 

Laatst bijgewerkt op 22 februari 2017.

The research is an experimental study with both quantitative and qualitative components.

The research consists of 5 parts:

  • a literature study to gain insight in: the state-of-the-art knowledge of well-being and productivity in indoor environments, methods of acoustic simulation, methods of measuring well-being and performance
  • a field study to gain more insight into sound disturbance of students in open-plan study environments in relation to cognitive tasks, sound sources and the acoustic environment.
  • laboratory experiments to investigate the well-being and performance of different cognitive tasks of students in open-plan study environments, for various acoustic conditions’.
  • processing and analysis data to reveal patterns and relations between acoustic room parameters and wellbeing/performance, taken into account different tasks and different users. These relationships will be translated to develop recommendations for architects and consultants.
  • in-situ surveys will be used to evaluate and improve the recommendations.
Laatst bijgewerkt op 16 juni 2016.

The overall objective of this work is to gain more insight into the relation between on one hand the room acoustic conditions and sound sources of open-plan study environments and on the other hand user activities, well-being and performance of users in those area. This knowledge will be used to develop recommendations to describe the acoustic requirements necessary to design and/or evaluate a high performance and comfortable open plan study environment, taking into account the type of task and the type of users. These guidelines will be useful for designers, developers and owners of buildings for higher education.  

Laatst bijgewerkt op 16 juni 2016.

  • Hak, C., P.E. Braat-Eggen (2014). Acoustic design Muziekgebouw Eindhoven. Presentation at the Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, October 20.
  • Braat-Eggen, P.E. (2015). " Relation between acoustics of an open-plan learning environment and well-being and performance." presentation at the Seminar on Sound and Acoustics, TU/e, Eindhoven, March 3.
  • Braat-Eggen, P.E., A.G. Kohlrausch, M.C.J. Hornikx (2015). "Noise annoyance in open-plan study environments." Poster presented at the Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, Groningen. August 23-26.
  • Braat-Eggen, P.E. (2015). Acoustics of open-plan study environments: a field study. Presentation at the Seminar on Sound and Acoustics, TU/e, Eindhoven, September 1.
  • Braat-Eggen, P.E. (2016). Een gezonde leer- en werkomgeving. Presentation at the Workshop Healthy Building, studiedag docenten en medewerkers academie Bouw & Infra Avans Hogeschool, Tilburg, January 21.
  • Braat-Eggen, P.E. (2016). Acoustics of open-plan study environments. Presentation at the 7th Health in the Built Environment Meeting, Eindhoven, January 28.
  • Braat-Eggen, P.E. (2017). Studenten onderzoeken het effect van groenschermen op de geluidsprivacy van Xplora Tilburg. February 9.

Laatst bijgewerkt op 9 februari 2017.