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  6. M. Marinova: "Poor acoustics can cause great inconvenience - from impaired communication and concentration to physical discomfort."

M. Marinova: "Poor acoustics can cause great inconvenience - from impaired communication and concentration to physical discomfort."

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 background noise levels.

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: she managed to turn her favourite 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 settle on DECIBEL?

In 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.

For almost a year we have been looking for a solution, how to deal with the problem with the acoustics in the new premises.

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.

[CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT]

 

Акустично третиране на ДГ Кокиче Ботевград - интервю на ДЕЦИБЕЛ с Милена Маринова

 

What is different about your kindergarten?

The 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.

After 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, and 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 for 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.

 

Акустично третиране на ДГ Кокиче Ботевград - интервю на ДЕЦИБЕЛ с Милена Маринова

 

Which acoustic products did you choose and why?

During 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 a 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.

 

Акустично третиране на ДГ Кокиче Ботевград - интервю на ДЕЦИБЕЛ с Милена Маринова

 

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

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

We had to explain the reason for their placement, and then we observed their behaviour. The children stopped talking in a high tone and became more calm and concentrated.

 

Акустично третиране на ДГ Кокиче Ботевград - интервю на ДЕЦИБЕЛ с Милена Маринова

 

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

The greatest wealth after the children is the team of kindergarten "Kokiche" - I am surrounded by people with huge hearts, devoted to the children and supporting me in every endeavour.

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

My profession allows me to do the best I can for each of the children in the kindergarten.

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

 

Акустично третиране на ДГ Кокиче Ботевград - интервю на ДЕЦИБЕЛ с Милена Маринова

 

What would you advise other kindergartens and all educational institutions - what is the point of taking a step towards acoustic treatment?
I would advise their priority always to be the creation of physical and psychological comfort, both for children and for all the staff members.

Providing a cosy, pleasant and attractive environment for children is worth every investment.

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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