Building Acoustics

Building (or architectural) acoustics is the quality of acoustics for the occupant(s) within a room or building. Different rooms or spaces have different acoustic requirements depending on their intended use and are typically controlled by three or four components:

  • Room Acoustics
  • Internal Sound Insulation
  • Building Services Noise Control
  • External Noise Intrusion

Room Acoustics is the interior design of a room for appropriate acoustic comfort and speech intelligibility. It considers the geometry, volume and surface finishes of a space in order to create a suitable acoustic environment for a specific usage. Office spaces, lecture halls, classrooms, video teleconferencing rooms, recording studios, auditoriums and performance spaces are all examples of spaces that require geometrical considerations and specific types / placement of acoustic absorption in order to ensure appropriate reverberation times such that suitable functionality and speech intelligibility are achieved. CLV Consulting can provide consultancy services to assess room acoustic environments at the design stage (through standard calculation for simple rooms and computer modelling for more complex spaces) as well as for rectifying existing problematic spaces (through reverberation time and ambient noise level measurements).

Internal Sound Insulation is the consideration of separating constructions between rooms to ensure that an acceptable level of acoustic isolation / speech privacy is achieved. At the design stage, CLV review separating partition, floor, door, glazing and other potential flanking constructions to either confirm adequate acoustic separation between adjacent spaces or recommend upgraded measures where required. CLV Consulting can also assess the performance of separating constructions at post-conduction phase by conducting sound insulation measurements (see Sound Insulation Measurements page).

Building Services Noise Control is important for ensuring appropriate ambient noise levels in internal areas. Fan noise through ducting systems, radiated noise levels from terminal units and mechanical rooms as well as vibration isolation of building services equipment are all considered in respect of the specific requirements of the rooms they are serving. CLV Consulting can conduct a full analysis of mechanical drawings to determine specific equipment sound power limits, attenuator requirements and vibration isolation schedules as well as any additional architectural requirements to ensure building services noise levels are properly controlled.

External Noise Intrusion considers a building’s façade / external glazing constructions in conjunction with existing ambient noise levels. CLV Consulting typically conducts an ambient noise level survey of the existing or proposed building and the measured results are compared with the noise level criteria for the internal spaces in the building to develop specifications for both the façade and glazing elements.