Cruise Terminal Rostock Port
It looks inviting, bright and impressive, the new cruise terminal in Rostock Port, which handles passengers on a cruise with Rostock-Warnemünde as the starting point or destination. The large terminal was opened in 2020, and cruise tourism is slowly picking up again after the Corona pandemic. Particularly impressive in the Cruise Terminal is the wide view through the glass front, which provides a unique view of the Baltic Sea port. The sight of the ships in the vicinity immediately evokes a vacation mood and wanderlust. But what is beautiful to the eye of the visitor may be a real challenge to the ear of the traveler.
This is because the 100-meter-long and 20-meter-wide cruise terminal, which is 15 meters high, has a glass front on all sides of the building and is thus considered acoustically complex and challenging terrain. "The terminal is an architectural masterpiece, but with the materials used, such as glass and concrete, and the volume of the room, it has a strong influence on the acoustics," knows Michael Hünteler, Sales Director Germany at Pan Acoustics. "To make intelligible announcements for passengers and visitors possible here, special loudspeakers are required, as well as the necessary know-how and tact."
And that was what was needed to achieve the desired and required speech intelligibility in the passenger care building. "To achieve this, we were left with the option of spatially modifying the terminal by suspending the ceilings and installing ceiling canopies or using new special loudspeakers," explains Frank Schneider, head of structural engineering at Rostock Port GmbH. "Changing the space would not only have been extremely cost-intensive, but would also have led to a loss of the flair of the graceful, high room construction. We are therefore particularly pleased that we found a suitable solution through the support of Pan Acoustics."
Speech intelligibility requirement
Because announcements in the Cruise Terminal should not only be intelligible, they actually have to be. In the event of an evacuation, this can be vital. For this reason, strict specifications must be adhered to as far as the STI value is concerned. "STI stands for 'Speech Transmission Index' and describes the quality of speech intelligibility," explains Michael Hünteler, who thoroughly probed the premises in advance and took test measurements. "The STI value is influenced by various factors such as echoes and reflections, reverberation times due to the spatial conditions, but also by background noise and the loudness of the signal. All of this had to be considered when planning a suitable sound reinforcement solution."
Theory: Less is more in this case
It quickly became clear during the test measurements that it would not be expedient to ensure the desired speech intelligibility with a large number of loudspeakers. Unfortunately, it's usually the case that a lot doesn't help much in such moments, but quite the opposite often has a counterproductive effect. The sound from the individual loudspeakers overlaps and the announcement does not become more understandable, but rather blurs and one literally does not understand a word. The solution in the Cruise Terminal was therefore to achieve the best result with a small number of loudspeakers.
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