Relationships between measured levels and subjective ratings: A case study of the food-court area in CEPA shopping center, Ankara
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Physical comfort requirements of users; such as, thermal, visual, and acoustic comfort, should be considered and studied in detail when planning and designing public spaces. However, there is not enough research on the relations between the acoustical parameters, and the acoustic comfort level of users in enclosed non-acoustic public spaces, which are directly connected with a central atrium. In such spaces, evaluation on auditory perception and noise annoyance should be performed in parallel with objective parametric measurements. The food-court area of CEPA Shopping Center, with a central atrium and a glass ceiling structure, in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara is chosen for the case. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between the users' subjective ratings of noise levels and the measured equivalent continuous sound pressure levels (Leq). In addition, the demographical differences and user profile variances, as well as the auditory perception classifications are investigated in this case space. The present acoustical indices are measured and then discussed by pointing out the architectural features of the case space, which are the central atrium, glass ceiling structure and the sound reflective material applications. The research methods include, noise measurements to obtain Leq and questionnaires to assess the subjective ratings and auditory perception of the users. This study mainly concentrates on the food-court space, which is within CEPA Shopping Center and displays the significant results regarding this space. These results show that Leq values vary by different day types (weekdays and weekends) and time of day, and the subjective ratings correlate well with these Leq variances. The most dominant sound perceived by the users was found to be the hum of voices. One other significant result implies that, subjective ratings of noise level becomes significant above 67 dBA and shows a sudden increase in the ratings. Furthermore, the time spent in the food-court area correlated significantly with noise annoyance ratings.
Sound pressure level
Time of day