Noise Control Engineering Journal
Institute of Noise Control Engineering
66 - 75
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The soundscape approach is not concerned with the sound level of an acoustic environment, but how it relates to human perception, how it is conceived by the individual and how it should be measured and managed. Even though it reached wide popularity in the last 15 years, it still lacks standardization. Perceptual dimensions of the indoor soundscape have major contributions to the experience of place. Identifying the relations between the sound and build environment can provide valuable information for the decision-makers to promote sensation, satisfaction and positive emotions. This research focuses on the sound environments of 4 open study areas within the Bilkent University Campus. These spaces have been favored by many students due to their ability to combine learning and social identity, in an informal but also an academic environment. This informality also resulted in with the lack of controlled sound environment which can be found in the silent study zone of the library. For this reason, this article examines the soundscape of the open study areas in terms of sound sources, users' reactions, coping methods and perceptual dimensions. Research settings are located at the dormitories, the Fine Arts Building, the library, and the Faculty of Science Building. In order to explore users' response to the sound environment, a questionnaire survey and in-situ measurement of sound levels (LAeq) have been conducted with 120 students. The questionnaire survey consisted of two main parts which were concerned with identifying sound source, satisfaction, loudness and exploring the perceptual dimensions of the indoor soundscape through semantic differential scales. Results showed no difference between participants' satisfaction with the soundscape regardless of the sound levels. Perceptual dimensions of the indoor soundscape are analyzed with factor analysis which extracted three factors, sensation, activity/communication, and functionality.