What is the Effect of Poor Acoustics on Kids

The year is 2022, and the place is Botevgrad, Bulgaria.
"Kokiche" Kindergarten is attended by 151 children, divided into 6 groups (from nursery to preschool) with an average of 25 children in each.

The newly constructed body of the building is ready to welcome two more groups in two new premises. Although beautiful and spacious, they have one significant drawback - extremely poor acoustics with a hard to handle echo and high levels of background noise.

This kindergarten is one of the few educational institutions, not only in the city but in the whole country, which realises the importance of problematic acoustics in the educational process and take a step towards improving the environment - not only for the children but also for the team working there.

Milena Marinova has been the director of "Kokiche" Kindergarten - Botevgrad for 18 years. With over 20 years of teaching experience, she has been at the head of the kindergarten since its opening in 2005. This year, she has another reason to be proud, because she managed to turn her favorite place of work and study into a celebration for the ears of all who visit it.

When the furniture does not help - the acoustics come to the rescue.

Here is what else Mrs. Marinova shared exclusively for us.


What was the problem you faced and why did you choose DECIBEL?

MILENA MARINOVAIn 2022, a new building with premises for two groups was added to the "Kokiche" Kindergarten. The new premises are lovely and spacious, but we faced a problem - they had specific poor acoustics that was not affected by the furniture - desks, cupboards, play areas, carpets, dining tables, etc.

When measuring the microclimate of the main rooms - the groups' study rooms, the noise level was within the normal decibels, but the increased background noise interfered with the children's concentration and attention.




This is the place to especially thank two of our parents - Mr Mario Mitev, with whom I shared the problem and who directed me to DECIBEL - I did not know that the company's production area was located in our city - Botevgrad, and Mr Kalin Krasimirov, an employee at DECIBEL, who assisted us through all stages of the project implementation.


What is different about your kindergarten?

MILENA MARINOVAThe team of "Kokiche" strives to provide all children with emotional, psycho-social and physical comfort, so that each child can develop his potential according to his individual needs, capabilities and pace.

We strive to establish a modern educational environment, which not only meets the regulatory requirements, but is also attractive for the children.

Tell us more about the realisation of the acoustic project.

MILENA MARINOVAAfter I contacted a representative of the DECIBEL, everything became very easy and fast. We performed an on-site consultation including measurement and analysis by specialists in the field of acoustic solutions, then Ms. Viliana Duncheva - a sales specialist, prepared an individual offer for our kindergarten. The panels were produced and delivered on time.

We carried out the installation quickly and easily with the employees of the kindergarten and under the expert guidance of the specialists from DECIBEL.

The aim was the two main rooms in the new groups to be cosy and comfortable enough since the children spend most of their time there. I am happy with the result achieved because I can see the positive impact on the children and the staff, the premises remained bright and spacious, but now they are also cosy and sound completely different.

Which acoustic products did you choose and why?

MILENA MARINOVADuring the preliminary on-site consultation with DECIBEL, Mr Miroslav Todorov introduced me to the possibilities that are suitable for our kindergarten and the prices of the materials themselves. I fully trusted their advice as I needed to balance the financial side with the optimal options – and we found it.

We installed 112 Echo Wall - Fabric acoustic panels on the ceiling of the room since there were many windows on the walls. The panels were designed with non-flammable technical polyurethane core and fire resistance class B1. They contributed enormously to the achievement of acoustic comfort both for the children and the employees who can now feel the cosy and pleasant environment.

How many areas of the nursery have been acoustically treated and do you plan to treat others?

MILENA MARINOVAAt the moment, one hall. We plan to install acoustic panels in the second study room as well as in the kindergarten's gym.

Did you have any prior knowledge of acoustics, its importance and how sound affects us?

MILENA MARINOVAAs an educator, I am familiar with the influence of sound on children, but I admit that I learned a great deal about acoustics from the DECIBEL team.

What was the reaction of the children? Did they feel a difference?

MILENA MARINOVAThe children were impressed by the panels - they first noticed them visually, because they are extremely observant and any change makes an impression on them.




You've been working at this kindergarten for 18 years now, but do you remember your first day at work?

MILENA MARINOVAOf course. How could I forget it? I had the unique opportunity to become the head of the kindergarten from its founding. I've been here through the whole process and experience everything from the first hand -construction of the building, equipment, reception of children, selection of employees... It was not easy at all.




What is it that motivates, fuels and keeps you in the profession - and specifically in this workplace?

MILENA MARINOVA: Definitely THE CHILDREN. There is nothing else that is more important to me. To take care of a child, to participate in their development and growth, to support them in bad times, to encourage them in good times, to accept them as they are and to love them unconditionally. This is the only thing that matters and fills everyone in the team with energy and motivation for each day, decision or obstacle.




Two other things keep me in the profession - the support of our amazing team and our wonderful parents.

What would you advise other kindergartens and all educational institutions - what is the point of taking a step towards acoustic treatment?

MILENA MARINOVA: I would advise their priority always to be the creation of physical and psychological comfort, both for children and for all the staff members.




Acoustics in a room can cause great discomfort - from impaired communication and concentration to physical discomfort - such as headaches.

The improvement of the acoustic environment in the premises can be carried out through different approaches. We chose to place acoustic textile ceiling panels, which were able to cope with sound absorption (especially in the frequency most resembling the human voice).

At our kindergarten, the results speak for themselves: our children are calm and happy! A heartfelt thank you to the entire DECIBEL team.




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