Students' Perceptions of acoustic comfort in traditional and flexible learning environments: A study in Chile

Constanza Ipinza-Olatte*, María Beatriz Piderit-Moreno, P.M. Bluyssen, Maureen Trebilcock-Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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The acoustic quality of educational spaces has an important impact on well-being and occupant performance. This study investigates noise perception and hearing ability among primary students in traditional learning environments (TLE) and flexible learning environments (FLE). A survey was conducted in Santiago de Chile, involving 21 teachers and 315 children from 13 schools, to gather responses on acoustic comfort. Additionally, a checklist was used to inspect the physical spaces. The analysis of students' responses revealed that self-reported complaints related to indoor environmental quality (IEQ) predominantly focused on noise discomfort in both types of learning environments. A significant relationship was found between the type of space and children's perception of noise from their peers. Although students in TLE reported greater annoyance with noise, those in FLE experienced slightly more listening problems. Interestingly, in FLE, students with an occupancy density greater than 2.1 m2 per student did not feel bothered by the noise produced by their classmates speaking. Although further research is needed, these findings highlight the crucial role of acoustic conditions in ensuring the comfort and hearing abilities of young students. Adequate acoustic treatment and enough space per student are important to mitigate potential indoor noise issues
Original languageEnglish
Article number122001
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventCISBAT Hybrid International Scientific Conference 2023: The Built Environment in Transition - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 13 Sept 202315 Sept 2023


Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID) through the Scholarship program DOCTORADO NACIONAL 2020-70220191. The authors thank Fondecyt Regular Nº1210701 for their support. Furthermore, the authors extend their appreciation to the teachers, students, and school administrations whose collaboration made this work possible.


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