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6. Acoustics 4-30-09

6. Acoustics 4-30-09

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Acoustics Fundamentals

Environmental Technology IV Professor Tango & Parker Spring 2009

is usually very broadly defined as "the science of sound." Room Acoustics The shaping and equipping of an enclosed space to obtain the best possible conditions for faithful hearing of wanted sound and the direction and the reduction of unwanted sound. Room Acoustics deal primarily with the control of sound which originates within a single enclosure, rather than its transmission between rooms.

The balance of keeping

wanted sounds
and eliminating

unwanted sounds

html .kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/wavesintro/waves-intro.Sound Waves What is a wave? http://www.



vibration cycles per second amplitude wave length: distance between identical points on a wave .frequency.

http://www.surendranath.org/Applets.html ‡ Amplitude and Frequency ± Applet Menu >Waves > Transverse Waves http://www.html .surendranath.org/Applets.

Speaker Woofer midrange tweeter supertweeter diameter Frequencies c (cm) (Hz) 30 12 6 3 20-2.00020.000 5.surendranath.000 The human ear can detect sounds between 20 HZ and 20. then select: menu/ new applets/new menu/ waves/ hear the beats.000 10.000 2.000-5.000 HZ.00010.org/Applets. .html . Most sensitive in the range of 100HZ to 5000HZ Hear it: http://www.

000 HZ .11/16´ 20 HZ ± 56 ½ feet .The length of a sound wave 20.





Velocity Rate at which sound travels through a conductor Air: Wood: Steel: .

700 feet per second 18.000 feet per second .Velocity Rate at which sound travels through a conductor Air: Wood: Steel: 1128 feet per second 11.


Sound Pressure/ Amplitude .

Frequency .Sound Pressure/Amplitude vs.



Complex Waves


‡ Multiple Tones
Applet Menu >Waves > Transverse Waves > Adding Transverse Waves (continuous)

The Mobility of Sound

Direct Sound Since sound travels in all directions from the source. (Example: good Headphones) . As the distance from the source increases. each listener will hear just the segment if the overall sound wave that is traveling in a direct line to his hear (in a space free from reflecting surfaces). the sound pressure at the listener's ear will decrease proportionately.

Reflection .

Diffusion .

and this with longer waveforms). the sound can bend around obstacles or flow through small openings. When an obstacle is the same size as the wavelength or less. and continue onward. This is called diffraction.Diffraction: The Sound Squeezes Through Sound waves are not always reflected or absorbed. This action is more likely for deeper sounds (of low frequency. .

. and absorption. this series of reflections will blend with the direct sound to add "depth". depending upon the room volume. The time reverberation. interval between reflections is usually so short that distinct echoes are not heard. It can enrich speech and music in all areas -. Reverberation is a basic acoustic property of a room.Reverberation The perpetuation of reflected sound within a space after the source has ceased is called reverberation.or it can slur speech and generate higher noise levels throughout a room. Instead. timing.

Room Acoustics Shape Volume Materials Room Acoustics .

Reflect Room Acoustics Absorb Sound re-enforcement .

The shape of a space determines the sound path within the space .

Room Acoustics C B A A A Reverberation .

Parallel reflective surfaces generates unwanted reverberation .

Reverberation time must match room function ‡Pure speech requires short reverberation time ‡Symphony blends notes with long reverberation time .

The lower part of the band is best for rooms intended primarily for speech, the upper part is better for music rooms, and the middle portion is recommended for general purpose rooms.

Studies based on the audibility of speech and music reveal that the most desirable reverberation times generally fall within the ranges shown below. These values are based on a sound frequency of 500 Hz (approximate pitch of male speech). Reverberation time in seconds Speech Small offices 0.50 to 0.75 Classrooms/lecture rooms 0.75 to 1.00 Work rooms 1.00 to 2.00 Music Rehearsal rooms Chamber music Orchestral/Choral/ Average church music Large organ/liturgical choir

0.80 to 1.00 1.00 to 1.50 1.50 to 2.00 2.00 to 2.25



A classification of typical rooms by acoustical environments "Dead" : Very Absorptive "Live³: Highly Reflective .

Absorbing Materials ‡Carpet ‡Soft ceiling tile ‡Rigid foam ‡people .

Reflecting Materials ‡Masonry ‡Wood ± smooth panels ‡Smooth concrete ‡Glass .

absorptive surfaces toward rear. . Apply absorbent to periphery of ceiling or to wall surfaces (not both). theaters (for music) Obtain proper reverberation time to enhance musical quality. Additional treatment will contribute little to noise reduction. Provide reflective surfaces near source to reinforce sound.Live Auditoriums. Allow middle section of ceiling to act as a reinforcing sound-reflector. Medium Live Conference and board rooms Normal speech must be heard over distances up to about 35 ft.

. Use highly sound-absorptive ceiling. also use quiet equipment such as rubberized dish trays.Medium Cafeterias (school or office) Reduce overall noise level. Gymnasiums Instructor must be heard over background noise Use acoustical material over entire ceiling to reduce noise. walls remain untreated to permit some reflected sound.

instructor must hear individual notes distinctly. Room should be located away from normal use rooms. reduce noise level produced by children. . Supplementary acoustical space units on upper rear and side walls are desirable. Entire ceiling. minimum reverberation desired.Medium Dead Elementary-grade classrooms Teacher must be heard distinctly. wall behind musicians may be left sound-reflective for proper hearing. Music rehearsal rooms Unlike music hall. sidewalls. Acoustical ceiling essential. and wall facing musicians would be treated.

Dead Kindergarten Maximum noise reduction. Acoustical tile or lay-in panel ceiling. plus acoustical treatment of available upper wall areas. Maximum acoustical treatment on ceiling. . locate away from normal use rooms. Vocational classrooms and shops Maximum noise reduction. space units on available wall surfaces.


Reverberation time (in seconds) = .05 x volume of room ______________________________ sabins .

since no such surface exists). One sabin is equal to the sound absorption of one square foot of perfectly absorptive surface. . (theoretical.Sabin The amount of sound absorbed is measured in sabins. The sound absorption equivalent to an open window of one square foot.

Measuring Absorption: Sound Absorption Coefficient The fraction of the energy absorbed (at a specific frequency) during each reflection is represented by the sound absorption coefficient of the reflecting/absorbing surface. In the building industry. .whether they be of reflective or absorptive materials. this is a meaningful and widely accepted quantitative measuring of sound absorption. and applies to all surfaces -.

non-porous surfaces. Such materials heaver absorption coefficients of . such as plaster. masonry. absorb generally less than 5% of the energy of striking sound waves and reflect the rest.05 or less. glass and concrete. massive.Reflective Surfaces Hard. .

.00 (one sabin per sq.).Absorptive Surfaces: Porous materials such as acoustical tile. ft. They permit the penetration of sound waves and are capable of absorbing most of the sound energy. draperies and furniture are primarily absorptive. carpets. These materials may have absorption coefficients approaching 1.

Poor acoustical characteristics in this lecture room. .

the rear wall should be absorptive to prevent echoes.Reflective surfaces near the speaker. In lecture rooms more than 40 feet long. .

individuals show increased productivity. With such an environment. and property values rise.Why Sound Conditioning?? The objective of sound-conditioning is to create a haven for the occupant. . turnovers and vacancies are reduced. shielded from annoyance and distractions. tenants complain less.

Structure borne sound Steel Frame Plumbing Pipe .

Source Path Receiver .

Isolation Of Equipment .

Isolation Of Equipment Low-end RTUs (roof top units) are typically loud «. No isolation springs / poorly balanced .

Background Noise .

An "acceptable" level neither disturbs room occupants nor interferes with the communication of wanted sound.Acceptable Background Noise Levels As a rule. a certain amount of continuous sound before it becomes noise. . Recommended category classification and suggested noise criteria range for steady background noise as heard in various indoor functional activity areas as indicated in the Preferred Noise Criterion (PNC)Curves. we can tolerate. and even welcome.

musical rehearsal rooms. and recital halls (for listening to faint musical sounds) 10 to 20 db Large auditoriums. hospitals. and churches (for excellent listening conditions) Not to exceed 20 db Broadcast. small conference rooms. libraries. apartments. etc. sleeping quarters. small theaters. etc. or executive offices and conference rooms for 50 people (no amplification) Not to exceed 35 db Bedrooms. (for good listening conditions) 30 to 40 db .Type of Space (and acoustical requirements) PNC curve Concert halls. (for sleeping resting. small churches. opera houses. classrooms. and recording studios (close microphone pickup only) Not to exceed 25 db Small auditoriums. large meeting and conference rooms (for good listening). hotels. large drama theaters. relaxing) 25 to 40 db Private or semiprivate offices. motels. television. residences.

. cafeterias. reception areas.Type of Space (and acoustical requirements) PNC curve Living rooms and similar spaces in dwellings (for conversing or listening to radio and TV) 30 to 40 db Large offices. office and computer equipment rooms. drafting and engineering rooms. (for moderately good listening conditions) 35 to 45 db Lobbies. retail shops and stores. restaurants. kitchens and laundries (for moderately fair listening conditions) 45 to 55 db Levels above PNC-60 are not recommended for any office or communication situation. general secretarial areas (for fair listening conditions) 40 to 50 db Light maintenance shops. etc. laboratory work spaces.

isolation of a noisy movie projector. ceilings. Elimination of outside noise by sound attenuation in walls.Minimize Background Noise Level Overall noise levels which may interfere with wanted communication should always be anticipated and corrected.Control of remaining noise by absorption -. .carpeting.usually done as a last resort. 3 . typical methods include the following: 1. 4. Use of quiet mechanical equipment wherever possible. Individual handling of unusual noise sources -. upholstery. 5. To provide maximum quiet. Electronic amplification of the wanted sound level above the background noise level -. and floor 2. and acoustical treatment placed above and behind audience.for example.

For example. and speech privacy would be impossible. For example. In many cases the heating and air conditioning systems will provide a sufficient amount of masking noise. it can sometimes be masked (made less objectionable by introducing a different sound). a masking sound may be introduced to correct an oppressively quiet room. . a telephone ring or a slight cough can be distracting in a very "dead" room. piped-in music in restaurants can mask the din of dish clatter and multiple conversation. At the other extreme.Masking: Creating Background "Noise³ When an undesirable background sound can't be reduced or eliminated.

white noise pink noise .

Sound Isolation .

The control of intruding sound ideally begins with the initial building concept and continues to be a consideration through the life of the building. Total sound conditioning affects 1. 2. 6. site selection building orientation on the site room orientation within the building design. 5. Predictable sound attenuation can be achieved by careful attention to detail during all phases of planning and construction. detailing. 3. . specification construction inspection. 4.

Site Selection for Sound Control Orientation .

Room Arrangement 1. What is the STC rating of the outside kitchen exterior wall? .

sound barrier .

no louvers or openings should be permitted. Highfrequency sounds will be reduce more than low frequency sounds. If a fence or wall is used. It should be placed as close to the sound source as possible to obtain the greatest soundshadow angle.Sound Barriers If the noise source is intense and no natural sound barrier exists. The cost of an outside barrier may be less than the cost of reducing the sound transmission in the construction. a man-made sound barrier should be considered as part of the design. This type of sound barrier must completely shield the building from the noise source. A solid fence-type barrier may remove from 10 to 20 db from the noise level. .

Acoustical Zoning .

It is controlled by: 1. Isolation (decoupling). Limpness of Construction. music and machine noises (machines usually also produce impact sound). 3. 2. It is the major source of intruding sound from rooms on the same floor and from the outdoors. Absorption 4. outdoor noises.Airborne Sound Airborne sound includes conversation. Mass (weight). . These must be combined with airtight sealing and the elimination of flanking paths (routes by which the sound travels around a partition rather than being stopped by it).

Mass .

can be isolated from the structure by resilient mounting procedures. Other sources of structure-borne sound. dishwashers. and plumbing. can be isolated from the structure. Isolation of the ceiling of the receiving room can be accomplished with resilient mounting of the drywall panels or lath. Resilient subflooring materials such as insulation board and underlayment compounds are effective. such as a floor. garbage disposals. the impact sound will not be transmitted. . such as motors. This still allows some sound from above to enter the structure and travel to other rooms.Impact Sound Impact Isolation If the surface receiving the impact. as is heavy carpet over thick under pad. blowers. if the structure can be isolated from the ceiling below. A combination of these methods is necessary to produce ideal attenuation of impact noise. flushing toilets. the impact sound will be restricted from traveling into the room below. Likewise.


Isolation (Decoupling) .

with alternate studs connected to opposite diaphragms .staggered 2x3 studs on a single sill plate.

double row of studs on separate sill plates .

.2x4 studs with one diaphragm attached through sound deadening board.

2x4 studs with one diaphragm attached by means of resilient channels .

Resilient Channel 1/2´ .


is highly effective in this application. Sound attenuation blankets are manufactured with higher density than thermal insulating blankets to obtain optimum attenuation. Mineral wool insulation because of its porous yet dense character. rendering the wool ineffective in dissipating sound energy. retard movement of the air column and convert considerable sound energy into heat. its density (which determines the amount of difficulty that the sound encounters in traveling through). However. placed between the studs in a resilient partition with resilient channels. Absorption . if the diaphragms are directly connected to rigid studs.The amount of sound energy dissipated depends on the thickness of the material. Mineral fiber sound attenuation blankets. the partition will act as a single diaphragm. and it's resiliency (flexibility with the ability to spring back to its original shape).

www.Fire Resistant Assemblies .com search for SA 100 .usg.


www.com SAFB:sound attenuation fire blankets .usg.

SHEETROCK FIRECODE "C" Gypsum Panels on each side will test STC 34.Effective mass is contributed by the gypsum panels or plaster. less expensive methods of achieving better performance are available. A common wood-stud partition with 5/8-in. will have sound attenuation of STC 49. Using doublelayer panels on each side will increase the rating to STC 41. Increasing the mass beyond this point is of little value since other. but certainly not optimum. THERMAFIBER Insulating Blankets. an improvement. Gypsum panels decoupled on one side with RC-1 SHEETROCK Resilient Channels. STC 59 with the addition of 3-in. The performance of an assembly can vary as much as 15 STC points with the quality of the workmanship .

. for practical purposes.near ideal for sleeping rooms.The performance level being sought will usually fall in the STC range of 45 to 60. reduce an 85 db noise level (the maximum normally encountered in a residence) to a 25 db background sound (comparable to a night-time rural sound level) -. The partitions used in most single-family dwellings today would test about STC 35 (although the actual performance is often even less due to leaks and flanking paths). On the other end of the scale. STC-60 partitions are found increasingly in luxury multi-family dwellings. and other quality buildings. Partition performance of STC 60 will.


Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) The average amount of sound energy absorbed over a range of frequencies between 250 Hz and 2.000 Hz. NORMAL SPEECH RANGE .


is a measure of the sound transmission loss as noise travels between rooms. Q: What spaces require CAC values? A: CAC values are essential in interior spaces that require physical separation from other areas such as conference and board rooms. and corridors. Essentially. CAC is important to assure privacy for areas outside or adjoining an open plan such as private offices or conference rooms. Q: Is CAC important in open plan offices? A: Actually.What is CAC? A: CAC. . bathrooms. private offices. or Ceiling Attenuation Class. it is the ability of a ceiling panel to block sound between rooms.

Details. Specifications and Construction .

any rigid connection between the two diaphragms will effectively transmit impact sound. Continuous walls between floors. columns or any other continuous structural elements will act as flanking paths for impact sound. In fact.Flanking Paths Some of the most common flanking paths are supplied by plumbing pipes. air ducts and electrical conduit rigidly connected between the floor and ceiling. .

Flanking Paths .

Flanking Paths HVAC Good .

Sound Control ‡ Negative impacts ‡ µFlanking Paths¶ ± Electrical Boxes ‡ Especially back-to-back ± ± ± ± HVAC Perimeter Seals Doors Other penetrations 50 STC Example: Back-to-back electrical boxes .

Flanking Paths Better Best .

Flanking Paths CUTOUTS Cabinet .

Eliminating a flanking path with a nonresilent material .

Sound Seal STC 53 2 Layers 5/8´ Gypsum Board Insulation Sound Path STC 29 Unsealed .

Sound Seal 2 Layers 5/8´ Gypsum Board Insulation Acoustical Sealant STC 53 Sound Path STC 29 Unsealed .

Sound Seal 2 Layers 5/8´ Gypsum Board Insulation Acoustical Sealant STC 53 Sealed .

figure 50C. Base layer not relieved. 53 STC Both Base layers sealed. Face layer relieved and sealed. . No relief on face layers. 53 STC Sealant applied to runner track and board. figure 50D.Sealing figure 50A. 53 STC Sealant beneath and on edge of runner track. 29 STC Unsealed figure 50B.



Sound Control ‡ How to achieve Sound Attenuation Increase STC by:  Isolation  De-coupling  Absorption  Mass RC-1 or resilient channel Drywall or engineered panel 50 STC 65 dB 15 dB Usually the Dimension of the Framing 3 5/8 Insulation either SAFB or fiberglass to absorb sound energy .

Improving Sound TransmissionLoss Rules of Thumb ‡ Doubling Partition Width = 5 dB Transmission Loss Improvement ‡ Doubling MASS = 5 dB Transmission Loss Improvement .

Improving STC ISOLATION ABSORPTION 3 1/2´ Insulation STCSTC. Steel stud 43 25 25 ga. Steel stud STC 40 . Steel stud STC 37 .Wood stud STC 48 DECOUPLING RC-1 Resilient Channel MASS STC 54 STC 61 .43 -ga.20 ga.

Doors & Door Frames High STC Partitions Fill Gasket Solid Core .

Assignment 11 Room sabin absorption calculations and reverberation .



last Environmental Tech class :-( Next Thursday: Dave Duda With Newcomb Boyd Security Design then Final Exam Review .

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