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What noise sources cause most problems?

Outdoor noise sources include:

Indoor noise sources include:

Many of the noises may have simple solutions. School maintenance staff should wait until after school hours to mow. Isolating computer printers away from students might solve the problem. Sometimes there are temporary solutions while the problem is being addressed, such as moving students away from wall mounted air-conditioners or heat pumps. Sometimes new equipment is needed, and sometimes the entire heating and ventilation system needs to be replaced.

As with most problems, it is much cheaper and easier to solve the problem before it is created. Schools and classrooms should be built to the American National Standards Institute S12.60 Classroom Acoustics Standard. Experts in architectural acoustics should be consulted in the design of classrooms. Contact NPC for more information on finding acoustical experts.

Amplification is not a solution. Personal assisted listening devices may help some students, but making more noise in a poor acoustic environment doesn't improve the environment.