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BUILDING SCIENCE 3A

Architectural Acoustics
Acoustical Design
Lecture 3: Acoustical Design
Lawrence Ogunsanya
Ogunsanya@ukzn.ac.za
Difference between sound and noise
Noise: Noise is a complex sound produced by
various vibrations, often diffused and not
harmonic.
Noise is usually disturbing and unpleasant,
whether high or low amplitude.
Sound : sound is a physical manifestation of
vibration in a space perceived by the entire body
and
especially by the sense of hearing. A sound,
depending on the strength and frequency, is
usually described as harmonious, soft and
pleasant.
Difference between sound and noise
Phenomena that influence acoustics
in buildings
Density
The density of the materials influence the
speed of sound transmission. The harder and
more compact the materials are,
the higher the frequency of vibration of
these materials will be and will more easily
transport the sound.
Example: Metals
Phenomena that influence acoustics
in buildings
Mass
The mass, represented by the structure of
the building, influences the absorption of
sound.
The heavier the materials, thicker, bigger the
less they will vibrate and the more they block
the sound.
Phenomena that influence acoustics
in buildings
Cavities
Empty cavities, and smooth hard surfaces, of
a building act as a sound board.
They act like a musical instrument which
amplifies the sound that surrounds it.
Items to deal with in Acoustical Design
Focusing/Direction of sound
Echoes
Shadows (obstructions/disruption)
Resonances (rate of vibration)
External noise
Acoustical Design considerations
Classrooms/Lecture rooms
Designed to accommodate speech (i.e., low
reverberation time)
The front wall and ceilings can be reflective aiding
sound in reaching everyone
Avoid large reflective items & fixtures (i.e. windows,
chalkboards)
Provide as much physical separation as possible
between classrooms (i.e., storage closets along
common walls, etc.)
Provide absorptive ceilings to mask overhead HVAC
noises
Provide doors with good sound qualities to mask
corridor noise
Provide carpeted floors,
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Multi-Story Offices
Use raised floor system
Separate and/or isolate high-traffic areas
from work areas, including stairwells,
elevators, corridors.
Provide sound absorption in Break Rooms,
Conference Rooms & other public spaces to
isolate sound from reaching work areas
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Restaurants
Provide maximum separation between kitchen
to tables
Provide enough floor space to allow comfortable
table arrangement for quiet conversations
Provide sound barriers to reduce speech
intelligibility between tables
Add pink noise (i.e., subdued background
music) to mask conversations between tables
Provide highly absorptive upholstery and other
absorptive features to reduce reverberation
time
Acoustical Design considerations
Sound Barriers
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Movie Theatres/ Cinema
Theatres usually have large quantities (50% -
100% treated) of sound-absorbing material
applied to the walls,
upholstery and ceiling to control reverberation
since the primary goal is speech intelligibility.
Splay or use irregular surfaces on the side walls
to avoid flutter echoes.
This strategy is also employed in Auditoriums,
conference halls etc.
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations

Ceiling clouds & panels


Over the audience and over the stage, ceiling clouds
and panels produce balanced and blended sounds for a
variety of venues,
resulting in a rich, directed sound that the discriminating
audiences have come to expect.
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Outdoor Amphi-theater
Provide shell-like enclosure for best sound
propagation
Use highly reflective materials for enclosure
Provide powerful central sound reinforcement
system
Provide a steeply-sloped area for best audience
hearing
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Hospitals
Create single-bed (as opposed to multi-bed)
patient rooms.
Decentralize nurses stations as this may
minimize corridor traffic.
Create separate, acoustically private spaces for
families of patients to gather.
Specify carpet to effectively reduce impact noise
Sound absorption materials for walls and
ceilings.
Acoustical Design considerations
Acoustical Design considerations
Nurse stations: Central vs Seperate
Acoustical Design Strategy
Make sure that your building design meets the
recognized principles of acoustic design.
Hire a competent acoustician.
Separate, wherever possible, the dense elements &
noisy areas of the building.
Seal any openings where the sound could escape,
especially in and around the plumbing.
Seal all cracks and openings in the building's
envelope. If air can pass, the sound can too.
Choose recognized and proven acoustic materials.
Pay special attention to their installation.
Use soft flooring material
Use acoustic membranes under the hardwood floors
or laminate
Questions