Architectural Acoustic Design: A Mini Guide

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Architectural Acoustic Design: A Mini Guide

Often overlooked, the architectural acoustic design is a crucial aspect of any building project. It is not only essential to improve sound quality but when considering commercial, it is also to deliver the right level of audio transmission between rooms. Whereas for residential, often this audio transission level is next to none at all when it comes to soundproofing. Therefore, architectural acoustic design is a complex task to manage as there are a considerable number of factors that need to be balanced.

Thinking about the acoustics of a project is essential during the design phase. Within the design phase acoustic experts can take into account;

  • The client’s expectations
  • The laws of acoustics
  • Aesthetic constraints
  • Speech privacy
  • External noise sources
  • Architectural limitations
  • Materials
  • Guidance and legislation
  • The interior soundscapes.

Considering these aspects and planning the acoustics of a project early in the design phase can help to reduce the cost of expensive rework and remedial repairs later on in the building project.

Three main factors of architectural acoustic design

To develop the right plan, an acoustics specialist will consider these three main factors that may affect acoustics;

  1. Absorption – Removing and reducing unwanted noises
  2. Diffusion – Carrying sound evenly and without delay
  3. Reflection – Minimising echoing.

How to design the best acoustic solutions

Site visits and inspections are an essential aspect of creating acoustic solutions. By completing site tests and inspecting project plans and materials and architectural drawings, an acoustic specialist, such as HA Acoustics can undertake an acoustic design review of the design phase of the build, providing tips and advice that will help to overcome the potential acoustic problems of the site and potentially even reduce overall build costs too.

Throughout throughout this phase, it is essential to follow the current legislation and where necessary, consult with the local authorities to ensure they deem the acoustic solutions acceptable. At HA Acoustics, we follow the British Standards advice when it comes to acoustic design and conduct BS 8233 surveys regularly to help speed up planning permission, determine the local noise climate in order to specify suitable glazing, ventilation and façade materials to get projects underway.

Soundproofing

While we often think of acoustic architectural design to improve sound quality. A large proportion of design work is actually to control the sound and deliver soundproofing too. For example, commercial spaces, office buildings schools, libraries and universities need to manage and control sound so at to limit any excess noise.

In offices, studies have found that quiet spaces can improve worker concentration by almost 50%. Furthermore, excess noise has been shown to lower test scores in students and lower productivity in the workplace.  Consequently, eliminating excess noise can be just as important as improving sound quality.

With this in mind, it doesn’t matter if you’re building a booming auditorium, concert theatre, additional peaceful bedroom or calming classroom. Considering the acoustics; whether to improve sound quality or eliminate as much noise as possible, architectural acoustic design is an essential aspect of any quality build project.

Should you have a project that you feel would benefit from an acoustic design review and/or acoustic design advice please contact HA Acoustics for an informal, friendly, professional discussion.

 

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