# ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS The Nature of Sound

Professor, College of Architecture, University of the Philippines, Diliman

Dean Cristopher P. Espina

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
1.0 Introduction
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

1.1 Definition of Acoustics

Acoustics is a science which deals with the production, control, transmission, reception and effects of sound in an enclosed space.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
1.2 Acoustical Concerns in Architecture 1.2.1 Control of Sound in Room This involves the following activities:
a. a study of the shape of the room to control echoes and to secure the best distribution of sound; a study of the shape, design, and location of and an estimation of the amount of reflective materials in the room’s enclosure to project sound to the audience; a study of the amount and location of absorptive materials in a room’s enclosure to cause sound to die out in the optimum reverberation time. a. the computation of the room’s reverberation time (RT)

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

RT = 0.16 V / ∑A
Where V is room volume in cubic meters ∑A is the total absorption in the room in METRIC SABINS RT is reverberation time in seconds

c.

e.

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1.2 Acoustical Concerns in Architecture 1.2.2 Noise Control This involves the following activities:
a. the control of air-borne noise through the insulation of sound or the shutting-out of unwanted sounds from the outside. This requires a study of the sound insulating values of walls, partitions, doors and windows and a study of the ventilating systems to provide a basis for the reduction of the transfer of unwanted sound from one room to another; the control of structure-borne noises through the isolation of machines from the room’s or the building’s structure.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

c.

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1.3 Principal Acoustical Defects of Rooms

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

a)

Prolonged Reverberation – long reverberation time (RT) due to large amounts of highly reflective surfaces and/or to large volume of space which will take considerable time for reflected sound to die out. Effect of prolonged reverberation is blurring which is harmful to both speech and music. Reverberation time is influenced by: • Volume of the room • Sound absorbing qualities of the room’s surfaces • Number of people and furniture in the room

b)

Echo – distinct reflection of original sound which results when the path of reflected sound is 20 m (65 ft) or more than the path of direct sound. If the difference is less than 20 m, the reflected sound will reinforce the direct sound which is desirable. It is recommended that the surfaces of the front part of an auditorium must be highly reflective to reinforce direct sound and throw it to the rear of the room. On the other hand, the rear must be highly absorptive so the delayed direct sound will the absorbed and not be reflected to the front.

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1.3 Principal Acoustical Defects of Rooms
c) Resonance – is the reinforcement of certain sound frequencies due to sympathetic vibrations. This is especially the case in enclosed rooms with highly reflective surfaces. The effect would be to emphasize certain frequencies at the expense of others, which is undesirable for balance desired in rooms intended for music. Flutter Echo – a rapid but repetitive succession of sounds caused by highly reflective parallel surfaces (wall to wall, or ceiling to floor). e) Undue Focusing of Sound – is caused by concave surfaces which causes sound to converge at certain points with resulting loss of energy in other parts of the room.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

d)

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2.0 The Physics of Sound
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

2.1 Sound and Wave Motion
Sound is the human ear’s response to pressure fluctuations in the air caused by vibrating objects. For example, a tap on the wall produces sound because the tap makes a wall vibrate. The vibrating wall produces pressure fluctuations in the air. Sound travels in space by a phenomenon called wave motion. Wave motion in air is similar to the motion of a ripple produced by dropping a pebble into a water pond.

2.2 Types of Sound 1. Speech

2. Music

3. Noise

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2.3 Sound Frequency 2.3.1 Frequency (f) – the number of sound ripples generated in unit time.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

The number of cycles that the air particles move back and forth in one second in a sound wave is called the frequency of the wave. Its unit is cycles per second (c/s) which is also termed Hertz (Hz) after the Austrian physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857-94).

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2.3 Sound Frequency 2.3.2 Frequency - Octaves Eight frequency bands, or octaves, are considered in room acoustics with the following center frequencies: 63 Hz, 125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 4 kHz and 8 kHz.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.3 Sound Frequency 2.3.3 Frequency Range for Speech and Music

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.3 Sound Frequency 2.3.4 Pitch
PITCH is the frequency of sound wave perceived by the human ear. A high-pitched sound means that it has a high frequency. The female voice is slightly higher pitched than the male voice.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.4 Sound Velocity and Wavelength 2.4.1 Speed (c)
The speed of sound in air has been measured as 344 m/sec (1,130 ft/sec). This corresponds to 1,240 km/hr (770 mi/hr) which is extremely small as compared to the speed of light (300,000 km/sec). The speed of sound in air does not vary with the frequency of sound or its loudness. Sounds at all audible frequencies, regardless of their loudness, travel at the same speed. In solids, the speed of sound (that is, the speed of travel of vibrational energy) is considerably greater than in gases or in liquids.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.4 Sound Velocity and Wavelength 2.4.2 Wavelength (λ)
The wavelength and the frequency of sound are related to each other as shown in the equation below.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

c=f

λ

c = speed in meters per time f = frequency in cycles per time λ = meters
The greater the frequency of sound, the smaller its wavelength. Thus, the wavelength of sound at 20 Hz is 344/20 = 17.2 m (56.5 ft). At 20 kHz, the wavelength is 1.72 cm (0.7 in).

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2.4 Sound Velocity and Wavelength 2.4.2 Wavelength (λ)
The wavelength of sound corresponding to the center frequencies are as shown below:

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

FREQUENCY 63 125 250 500 1,000 2,000 4,000 8,000

WAVELENGTH (ft) 18.0 9.0 4.5 2.3 1.1 0.6 0.3 0.15 (m) 5.46 2.75 1.38 0.69 0.34 0.17 0.09 0.04

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2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.1 Intensity (or Sound Pressure when measured by a microphone)
The physical quantity associated with the loudness of sound is its intensity. It is defined as the amount of sound power falling on (or passing through, or crossing) a unit area. Since the unit of power is watt, the unit of sound intensity is watt per square meter (W/m2). The sound intensity which is just audible, called the threshold of audibility, has been determined to be 10-12 W/m2 , and the intensity that corresponds to the sensation of pain in the human ear is approximately 10 W/m2. Thus, the ear responds to a very large range of intensities since the loudest sound is 10,000,000,000,000 times (1013 times) louder than the faintest sound.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.2 Loudness and the Decibel Scale
LOUDNESS is a measure of the intensity of sound and is expressed in decibels. It is a quantity called the sound intensity level (IL) or, when measured, the sound pressure level (SPL). Table 2.5.2, shows some of the typical noises in our environment and their sound intensities and sound intensity levels.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.3 Ear’s Perception of Loudness
The dB scale also corresponds more directly to the ear’s perception of loudness. For instance, a change of 1 dB in sound intensity level is hardly perceived by the human ear. That is why a sound intensity level is expressed in a whole number since expressing it as a decimal number indicates an unnecessary perception. Table 2.5.3 below lists the ear’s perception of change in sound intensity levels.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Change in Level (dB) 1 3 5 10

Human Perception Imperceptible Just perceptible Clearly noticeable Substantial change

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2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.4 Combining Sound Levels
Sound levels from different noise sources cannot be added arithmetically but must be added logarithmically. For instance, the resultant sound level of two noise sources, each producing a sound level of 80 dB, is not 160 dB. The combined sound level of these two sources is 83 dB. ADDING SOUND LEVELS An approximate procedure is more commonly used as follows: •Step 1: Determine the difference between the two sound levels to be added. •Step 2: Determine the amount to be added to the higher level from Table 2.5.4A below. This gives the resultant sound level.
Difference between two levels to be added (dB) 0 or 1 2 to 4 5 to 9 10 or more Decibels to be added to higher level 3 2 1 0

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.4 Combining Sound Levels
For example, let us determine the resultant sound level of 80 dB and 84 dB. The difference between the two levels is 4 dB. Therefore, from the Table, we will add 2 dB to the 84 dB level to give us the resultant sound level of 86 dB. Thus, 80 dB + 84 dB = 86 dB. If the two sound levels are equal (a difference of zero), we will add 3 dB to the sound level to obtain the resultant sound level. Thus, 80 dB + 80 dB = 83 dB. From the Table, we observe that if two sound levels differ by 10 dB or more, we add nothing to the higher level to obtain the resultant level. In this case, the louder sound determines the overall sound level entirely. Thus, 80 dB + 90 dB = 90 dB.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.4 Combining Sound Levels
The procedure can also be used to add a number of sound levels by successively adding two levels, as shown in the example as follows:

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

70 dB

+

72 dB

+

75 dB

+

80 dB

74 78 82 dB THIS IS THE TOTAL SOUND LEVEL

The sum of a number of sound pressure levels may be obtained by adding two levels at a time.

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2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.4 Combining Sound Levels
However, if there are a number of sources of identical sound levels, their addition can be simplified through the use of the following Table 2.5.4B.
Difference between two levels to be added (dB) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 15 20 50 100 Decibels to be added to higher level 3 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 12 13 17 20

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
2.5 Sound Intensity and Loudness 2.5.4 Combining Sound Levels
SUBTRACTING SOUND LEVELS The subtraction of sound levels can also be simplified through the use of Table 2.5.4C below. For example, assume that the overall sound level in a space is 85 dB and we wish to eliminate a source whose level is 80 db. What will be the resultant sound level in the space? In other words, what is 85 dB – 80 dB? From the table, 85 – 2 = 83 dB.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Difference between two levels to be added (dB) 0 1 2 3 4 or 5 6 to 9 10 or more

Decibels to be added to higher level 10 or more 7 4 3 2 1 0

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2.6 Sound Attenuation by Distance

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

One of the ways in which acoustician’s classify noise sources is by the size of the source relative to the distance at which the effect of the source is considered. According to this classification, a noise source is classified as: • • a point source, or a line source.

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2.6 Sound Attenuation by Distance 2.6.1 Point Source and Inverse Square Law
At a distance greater than or equal to five times the largest dimension of the source, the source behaves as a point source. Thus, if the largest dimension of a sound source is 2 ft, it will behave as a point source at a distance of 10 ft or greater from the source. More precisely, a point source is one which obeys the inverse square law. Assume that the acoustic power of source is W watts. Let us now draw an imaginary sphere of radius R around the source with the source as the center.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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2.6 Sound Attenuation by Distance 2.6.1 Point Source and Inverse Square Law
Since the area of this sphere is 4πR2 , the intensity of sound on the surface of the sphere is given by:

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

I = W / 4πR2
The above expression gives sound intensity at distance R from the source. Since quantities W and 4π are constants, we see from the expression that sound intensity is inversely proportional to the distance squared. Thus, if the distance from the source, P, is doubled, the intensity of the new point, R, is ¼ x its intensity at the previous point. On the other hand, if the distance from the source is halved, its intensity at this new point, Q, is 4 x the intensity at the previous point.

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2.6 Sound Attenuation by Distance 2.6.1 Point Source and Inverse Square Law

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ANECHOIC SPACE
INTENSITY =4l INTENSITY LEVEL =(lL+6) dB

Q

2m

R

8m

4m

INTENSITY =0.251 INTENSITY LEVEL =(lL-6) dB

P

INTENSITY =l INTENSITY LEVEL =(lL) dB

Sound intensities and sound intensity levels in a free field. The sound has been assumed to be non-directional, that is, it radiates equally in all directions.

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2.6 Sound Attenuation by Distance 2.6.2 Line Source and Inverse Law

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

A Line Source is one which contains a large number of point sources spread long a line. In practice, free flowing highway traffic behaves as a line source. While the sound spreads spherically around a point source, it spreads cylindrically around a line source. Considering the cylindrical spreading of sound, it can be shown that the sound intensity due to a line source is inversely proportional to the distance from the source, a law called the inverse law.

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2.7 Sound Fields

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

A space (or sound field) in which all sound comes directly from the source (with complete absence of any reflected sound) is called a free field, implying ‘freedom’ from reflections. In practice, a free field is obtained in a room specially constructed for this purpose, called the anechoic chamber where all walls, ceiling and the floor are covered with wedge-shaped sound absorbers.

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3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

3.1 The Haas Effect
The ear’s property to integrate sounds was first discovered by Helmut Haas through experiments conducted on a large number of listeners. A listener was set equidistant from two loudspeakers, A & B in an anechoic chamber (a chamber that is fully absorptive), so that each loudspeaker subtended an angle of 45 deg at the listener. A time delay mechanism was connected to loudspeaker B, so that the sound coming from B could be delayed with respect to the sound coming from A.
DELAY MECHANISM

SOUND GENERATOR

C A IMAGINARY SPEAKER B

ANECHOIC CHAMBER

Experimental set-`up for the Haas effect.

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3.1 The Haas Effect
Haas discovered the following: When sounds coming from A and B arrived at the listener’s ear at the same time and were of equal loudness, the listener perceived them as one sound coming from an imaginary loudspeaker C located right in front of him. In other words, the ear integrated both sounds into one sound, and had the illusion of receiving the sound from a source equidistant from the two sources. This is called the integration effect. The integration effect occurs even if the sound from B is delayed, provided that the delay is less than 40 milliseconds, and the level of the sound from B is not more than 10 dB above that from A. Stated differently, if the delay between two sounds is up to 40 milliseconds and if the delayed sound is no more than 10 dB above the level of the earlier sound, the ear does two things: (a) It perceives both sounds as one sound, adding their loudness, and (b) It thinks that all the sound is coming from A – the loudspeaker from which the sound came to the listener first. This is called the precedence effect.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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3.2 Practical Significance of the Haas Effect
In an auditorium, the sound reaches a listener in two ways: first the direct sound coming from the speaker and subsequently, the reflected sounds coming from the surfaces of the room. Since the reflected sounds travel a longer path, they are delayed with respect to the direct sound. The difference between the arrival times of direct and reflected sounds is the delay time. In a typical auditorium, a listener receives reflected sounds from various surfaces with different delay times and levels. A reflected sound is usually lower in loudness than its direct sound. However, the sounds reflected from some curved surfaces (such as domes and vaults) can focus on a listener, increasing the level above that of the direct sound.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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3.2 Practical Significance of the Haas Effect

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Some of the various reflected sound paths, and the direct sound path, to a listener in an auditorium.

Since domes and vaults are generally avoided in auditoriums, the reflected sound is usually of a lower level than the direct sound. Consequently, in the design of speech auditoriums, we generally restrict the initial time delay between reflected sound and direct sound to less than 50 milliseconds, which is conservative, considering that in Haas’ experiment this time delay is for sounds having the same level.

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3.2 Practical Significance of the Haas Effect

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

A delay of 50 milliseconds corresponds to a path difference of nearly 17 m (55 ft) between the direct and reflected sounds. (344m/s x .050 seconds = 17.2 m) Thus, in the design of speech auditoriums, we require that the path length difference between a reflected sound and direct sound at the listener should not exceed 17 m. In practice, however, a round figure of 20 m (65 ft) is used. A longer delay time is acceptable in halls meant for music. Typically, a delay time not exceeding 80 milliseconds is the criterion for music spaces.

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Masking is a complex phenomena since it has both neurological as well as sensory bases. That is, masking is not simply the property of the ear but also of the brain. For example, we are often able to hear distant conversations of particular interest to us (or about us) in a noisy cocktail party. If these conversations were not of interest to us, we might normally not hear them.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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Studies on masking sounds have concluded the following: • A sound of a given frequency is more easily masked by a sound of the same frequency. This means that the further away the masking sound is in frequency from the frequency of the sound to be masked, the greater the sound level of masking sound required. For example, to fully mask a 65 dB, 400 Hz tone with another 400 Hz tone requires a level of 80 dB. On the other hand, to completely mask a 65 dB, 1,000 Hz tone by a 400 Hz tone, a level far in excess of 80 dB is required. Low frequencies are generally more effective in masking higher frequencies than vice versa, particularly if they are loud. Excessive low frequency noises must, therefore, be avoided since they constitute a serious source of interference for both speech and music.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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3.4 Binaural Hearing
Because we have two ears, human hearing is binaural. Binaural hearing helps us locate a sound source in space, referred to as sound localization. Studies indicate that the ear’s ability to perceive direction of sound is due to: (5) (7) different arrival times of sound at the two ears (due to path length and acoustical shadow) and different sound levels (also due to path length differential). The ear has the ability of sound localization only in the horizontal plane. In fact, the ear is able to localize the sound source in the horizontal plane with an accuracy of 1 or 2 degrees.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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3.4 Binaural Hearing
If the sound source is located in the vertical plane --- the vertical plane passing through the center of the head and midway between the ears --- there is no difference between the arrival times of sound to the two ears. Consequently, the ear cannot discriminate between the direction of the sounds in the vertical plane. This characteristic is used to advantage in establishing the location of loudspeakers in an auditorium for sound amplification. The loudspeakers, formed in clusters, are located in the center of the proscenium. This locates the actual talker, loudspeaker and listener in a vertical plane. Therefore, the ears are unable to distinguish between the directions of sound coming from the talker and the loudspeaker.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

4.1 The Boundary Phenomenon
Boundary elements of an enclosure have a profound influence on the behavior of sound in an enclosure. When sound energy falls on the boundary of an enclosure, such as a wall or a ceiling, part of the energy is reflected back into the enclosure, a part is absorbed within the material of the boundary and converted into heat, and a part is transmitted through the boundary element. The reflected sound expressed as a fraction of the total sound energy falling on a boundary element is called the reflection coefficient of the element, denoted by rho (ρ). Thus:

ρ=

reflected sound energy incident sound energy

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4.1 The Boundary Phenomenon
The fraction that is transmitted is called the transmission coefficient, and is denoted by tau (τ) and the fraction absorbed is alpha (α), called the absorption coefficient. Since the sum of the reflected, absorbed and transmitted amounts of energy must be equal to the incident energy, the following relationship must hold true:

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ρ + τ + α = 1.0

An open window, though not absorbing any sound, is considered a perfect acoustical absorber because all the sound falling on the window is transmitted outdoors. Thus, for an open window, α = 1.0.

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4.2 Sound Diffraction
Diffraction is the ability of sound to bend around an obstacle, so that unlike light which travels in a straight line path, sound bends and creates an acoustical shadow smaller than the optical shadow of light.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing

SOURCE

5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Acoustical and optical shadows produced by a source.

4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion

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4.2 Sound Diffraction
The degree of bending of sound around an obstacle is a function of the sound’s wavelength or frequency. Low frequency (long wavelength) sounds bend by a greater amount than high frequency (short wavelength) sounds. Thus, the region of acoustical shadow behind an obstacle is larger for a high frequency sound than for a low frequency sound.
OBSTACLE OBSTACLE

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

HIGH FREQUENCY SOUND SOURCE

Diffraction of High Frequency Sound

Diffraction of Low Frequency Sound

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4.2 Sound Diffraction
The diffraction effect is a function of the dimensions of the obstacle in relation to the wavelength of sound. Research indicate that for a plane (rectangular panel) to reflect most of the sound falling on it, both its dimensions must be at least 5 λ. Thus, the size of the panel must be at least 3m x 3m (10 ft x 10 ft), if it is to be used as a reflector for a 500 Hz sound, since λ for a 500 Hz sound is approximately 0.6m (2 ft). When the panel size is equal to λ in both directions, most of the sound will bend around the panel with very little sound reflected from it.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

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4.2 Sound Diffraction
Therefore, for a panel to function as an effective reflector, it is necessary that both its dimensions be at least 5 λ. Sound reflecting panels are commonly provided in a speech auditorium to throw reflected sounds toward the audience. Their size and stiffness are two important factors that determine their effectiveness as reflectors.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

As far as possible, both dimensions as a reflecting panel should be at least five times the wavelength of sound to be reflected.

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The relevance of acoustical shadows is demonstrated in the following examples: An acoustical shadow has an unfavorable effect on hearing and listening conditions in lecture and concert halls. For instance, an acoustical shadow is formed by reflected sound under a deep balcony in an auditorium. The shadow is deeper for high frequency sounds than for low frequency sounds. Since it is the high frequency component of speech that determines speech intelligibility, poor hearing conditions are produced under a deep balcony.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Section through an auditorium with a deep balcony showing the acoustical shadow of ceiling reflected sound.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
Acoustical shadow is useful in the design of barriers to protect buildings and neighborhoods from traffic noise. Since low frequency sounds diffract substantially over the edges of an obstacle, a traffic noise barrier must be high enough so that the barrier casts an acoustical shadow over critical areas of the buildings to be protected. A traffic noise barrier must also be long and extend sufficiently beyond the end of the neighborhood, so that the buildings to be protected fall within the acoustical shadow zone.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Sound diffraction by a traffic noise barrier

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.1 Passage of Sound Through Openings
Diffraction effect also occurs when sound travels through an opening. This is due to the bending of sound at the opening’s edges. The amount of sound passing through an opening consists of two parts: - that contained within the optical zone, and - that contained within the peripheral diffracted zone. The diffracted zone is a function of frequency, increasing as the frequency decreases Apart from the frequency, the size of the opening is also a determinant of acoustical transparency.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.1 Passage of Sound Through Openings

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.1 Passage of Sound Through Openings

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.2 Acoustical Transparency of A Screen
The acoustical transparency of a screen is not merely a function of its visual transparency and sound frequency, but also a function of the distribution of voids in the screen. For a given visual transparency, small closely spaced voids provide greater acoustical frequency than large voids spaced further apart.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.2 Acoustical Transparency of A Screen
Common used screens: Several manufacturers make fabric covered sound absorbing panels. Typically, these consist of rigid fiberglass boards held in wood or metal frame and wrapped with perforated fire resistant fabrics. Perforated plywood, hardwood or metal panels are also used as covering materials. Metal panels are particularly effective in dusty environments, since the panels can be taken down, washed and put back in place.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.2 Acoustical Transparency of A Screen

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.4 Acoustical Transparency 4.4.2 Acoustical Transparency of A Screen

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.5 Diffuse and Specular Reflections

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

To be a good sound reflector, a building element must be sufficiently large in relation to the wavelength of sound and also sufficiently stiff –of heavy weight construction. Sound reflection from a large, heavy and a nonporous surface can be either: •Specular reflection •Diffuse reflection

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.5 Diffuse and Specular Reflections 4.5.1 Specular Reflection
Specular reflection is a mirror type reflection, similar to the reflection of light from a mirror. In specular reflection, the incident sound beam is reflected off the reflecting surface as per Snell’s law. According to this law, the reflected beam makes the same angle with (the normal to) the reflecting surface as the incident beam. In other words, the angle of incidence (i) is equal to the angle of reflection (r).

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.5 Diffuse and Specular Reflections 4.5.2 Diffuse Reflection
In diffuse reflection, the incident sound is reflected equally in all directions (uniform scattering). Diffuse sound reflection is similar to the reflection of light by a matt surface or frosted glass.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

If room boundaries consist of sufficiently large surface irregularities, the sound field in such room will be diffused. A perfectly diffuse sound field is defined as one in which sound arrives at the listener from all possible directions in equal strength. Sound diffusion is one of the important acoustical requirements for rooms used for musical performances. A room with a few large specularly reflecting surfaces, and which does not contain adequate surface irregularities to diffuse sound, produces harsh reflections known as acoustic glare – an undesirable effect for music. On the other hand, with adequate diffusion in the room, the listener receives sound from various directions and has the feeling of being “enveloped” by music – a desirable sensation for music.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion 4.6.1 Effect of Room Geometry and Size on Sound Diffusion
Sound diffusion is a function of room geometry. • • • Rectangular rooms with flat parallel walls have poor diffusion. Even a slight splay (1 in 20) in one of the walls in an otherwise rectangular room improves diffusion. The more the room deviates from rectangularity, or the more irregular the room shape, the greater sound diffusion in the room.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion 4.6.1 Effect of Room Geometry and Size on Sound Diffusion

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion 4.6.1 Effect of Room Geometry and Size on Sound Diffusion
Size of the room is another factor that affects diffusion. • • Diffusion is more easily obtained in a large room than in a small room Because of its small size, it is difficult to achieve diffusion in a music recording studio or a control room unless special sound diffusers are used on room surfaces.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion 4.6.2 Effect of Sound Absorption on Sound Diffusion
Reflective room surfaces increase diffusion in the room. The more reflective the surfaces, the greater the diffusion. Conversely, the provision of sound absorption decreases diffusion. Although sound absorption reduces diffusion, the alternate application of sound absorbing patches improves diffusion. The size of the patches must be of the order of the wavelength of sound. Therefore, to produce diffusion over a wide band of frequencies, patches must be of various sizes. Note, however, that alternate application of absorbing patches to obtain diffusion should be used only in spaces where sound absorption is otherwise required.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion 4.6.3 Interior Ornamentation
Pilasters, piers, balconies, exposed beams, coffered ceilings, and any other surface ornamentation that scatters sound increase diffusion. Sufficient diffusion, provided by extensive ornamentation and protruding balconies is considered to be one of the reasons for the good acoustics of some symphony halls.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.6 Sound Diffusion 4.6.4 Diffusion and Convex Reflectors
Convex reflective surfaces also increase diffusion. They do so by scattering sound. A concave surface, on the other hand, tends to focus sound. Focusing is the opposite of diffusion since focusing tends to concentrate sound into one direction and location, starving other locations of adequate sound. Thus, a dome or similar concave surface provides poor acoustics for an auditorium.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.7 Sound Diffusers
A sound diffuser is a surface element that produces diffuse reflection. Any reflective surface with irregularities of size comparable to the wavelength of sound will work as a diffuser. The greater the randomness in surface irregularities and sizes, the better the diffuser.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.7 Sound Diffusers 4.7.1 Quadratic Residue Diffuser
The diffusers made from surface modulations have two major limitations: •The surface protrusions and recesses have to be large to provide good diffusion at low frequencies. •There is no objective method of determining the extent of scattering produced by such diffusers. A diffuser that overcomes the above limitations is called a quadratic residue diffuser. A quadratic residue diffuser consists of an array of linear slits (or wells) of constant width.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.8 Source-Image Relationship in Specular Reflection

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.8 Source-Image Relationship in Specular Reflection 4.8.1 Higher-order Images
If there is a set of two reflectors in a space, an image produced by one reflector works as the source for the other reflector, producing an image-of-an-image.

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.9 Flutter Echo

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

If there are two parallel reflectors, we will obtain an infinite number of images of the source since each image works as a source for the other reflector. This may be confirmed by standing between two parallel mirrors; an infinite number of images of the self will be seen. The above fact implies that if a sound source is located between two parallel reflecting walls, a listener will receive reflected sound from an infinite number of images.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
4.9 Flutter Echo

1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

Since the speed of sound is 344 m per second, the time gap between each successive reflected sound will be 87 milliseconds. This, according to the Haas effect, will produce echoes. Since these echoes recur after a regular interval of 87 milliseconds, they produce a flutter effect – flutter echo. Flutter echo is an acoustical defect and must be avoided in auditoriums and other assembly spaces. It affects speech intelligibility and produces tonal coloration of music. Therefore, two parallel reflective walls should be avoided in an auditorium. Splaying one or both walls of the room by a little as 5 degrees will usually eliminate the flutter effect. Also, treating one of the parallel walls with sound diffusers or sound absorbing materials will eliminate flutter.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.1 Rating of Sound Absorbing Materials

The standard method of rating the effectiveness of a sound absorbing material is by its absorption coefficient. The absorption coefficient of a material varies with the angle of incidence of sound – the angle at which the sound strikes the surface of the material. However, in most rooms, the sound strikes its surfaces from all angles with almost equal probability. Therefore, we are usually interested in the random incidence absorption coefficient.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials Sound absorbing materials may be classified based on the mechanism by which they absorb sound:

c.Porous absorbers d.Panel or membrane absorbers e.Volume absorbers

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials

a.Porous absorbers
Almost any material whose surface is porous may be considered a porous absorber. The porosity of the material may be either due to the fibrous composition, or due to voids between granules or particles of the material. Fiberglass and rigid fiberboards are common porous absorbers. A sound wave falling on a porous absorber causes the air in the voids of the material to vibrate back and forth. As the air vibrates in the voids, the vibrational energy of the air is converted into heat due to friction between air particles and void walls.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials

a.Porous absorbers
Porous absorbers are commonly used in low-height office partitions, and as wall- and ceiling- mounted panels.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials

a.Panel or membrane absorbers
A solid unperforated panel installed against a hard substrate with an intervening air space acts as a panel or membrane absorber. When a sound wave falls on such a panel, it sets the panel into vibration. Since the panel is never fully elastic, it loses some energy by damping. Damping is a measure of the resistance of a vibratory system to sustain vibrations.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials

a.Panel or membrane absorbers
Examples of these absorbers are interior drywall, windows, wood panels and flooring, suspended reflectors and others. However, the panel absorber is not a sound absorbing material in the same sense as a porous absorber. It is seldom added to building interiors to control noise.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials

a.Volume absorbers
Volume absorbers are also known as cavity absorbers, cavity resonators and Helmhotz resonator. This absorber consists of a volume of air connected to the general atmosphere through a small volume of air called the neck. A volume absorber is similar to an open bottle where the volume of air in the bottle is connected to the outside atmosphere through the air in the bottle’s neck.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
5.0 Sound Absorption
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

5.2 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials

a.Volume absorbers
The most common application of a volume absorber is the use of acoustical blocks for noise control in manufacturing plants, school gymnasiums, a/c rooms, auditoriums and the like.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

The primary reason for the difference between the sound produced inside an enclosed space and that produced outdoors is that the sound produced inside a room bounces back and forth from room surfaces, while a sound produced outdoors travels freely away from the source.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

6.1 Impulse Response of a Room A sound impulse is a short “burst” of sound such as that generated by pricking a balloon or by a hand clap in a large room. These sounds do not die instantaneously, instead, persists for a while, then, decreases in level over time.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

6.1 Impulse Response of a Room a)The Reverberation Phenomenon The persistence of sound in a room after it is turned off is related to the amount of absorption in the room. In fact, as soon as a sound is produced, it travels in space in various directions and hits room surfaces, from which it is reflected and rereflected. At each reflection, some energy is lost by absorption, and eventually all the sound is depleted.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

6.1 Impulse Response of a Room a)Directional Distribution of Reflections The directional distribution of sound is particularly important in halls meant for music. Sound coming from many different directions creates a sense of “volume” or “envelopment” in the room – an important requirement for the appreciation of music.

ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS
6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Physics of Sound 3.0 Sound Measurement and Hearing 4.0 Sound Reflection, Diffraction and Diffusion 5.0 Sound Absorption 6.0 Behavior of Sound in an Enclosed Space

6.1 Impulse Response of a Room a)Impulse Diagram In an impulse diagram, the vertical axis represents the sound level and the horizontal axis represents the times of arrival of impulses. Each impulse is or a lower level than the one preceding it, showing a gradual decrease in sound level over time. This progressive decrease is a consequence of two factors:   Increasingly higher-order images are weaker in power They are farther away from the listener

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS
• absorption coefficient – the fraction of the incident sound energy absorbed by a surface. • anechoic chamber – a sealed room in which all the surfaces are designed to completely absorb all sound produced in the room. • attenuation – a reduction in sound level. Sound attenuation in air-conditioning is specified in terms of dB per meter. • background noise – ambient noise • break-in noise – transfer of noise from a space surrounding the duct into the duct through duct walls. • break-out noise – transfer of noise from the interior of a duct through duct walls into a space outside the duct. • dead room – a room containing an unusually large amount of sound absorption.. • decibel (dB) – a unit of measurement for sound pressure level, sound intensity level or sound power level.

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS
• diffraction – a change in the direction of propagation of sound as a result of bending caused by a barrier in the path of a sound wave. • diffuse sound (field) – a sound field in which the sound comes in equal intensity from all directions. • direct sound – the sound that arrives at a receiver along a direct line from the source without reflection from any surface. • echo – a sound that has been reflected with sufficient time delay. • environmental noise – exterior background noise in a neighborhood (ie. traffic, aircraft). • fidelity – faithful reproduction of a sound source. • flutter echo – a rapid but repetitive succession of sound from a sound source usually occurring as a result of multiple reflections in a space with hard, flat and parallel walls. • frequency – the number of full cycles per second measured.

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS
• impact noise – noise caused by the collision of two objects. • infrasonic – a sound that is below the human audible frequency, below 20 Hz. • insulation – see isolation • intermittent sound – a sound which is discontinuous or fluctuates to such an extent that at times its sound pressure level falls below a measurable level. • inverse square law – a law which states that the sound intensity in a free field varies inversely with the square of the distance from the source. • isolation – a lack of acoustical connection. • leak – a small opening in a barrier that allows airborne sound to pass through. • live room – a room containing an unusually small amount of sound absorption.

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS
• loudness – an auditory sensation that depends on sound pressure level and the frequency of sound. • masking – the increase in the threshold of audibility of a sound that is required so that the sound can be heard in the presence of another sound. • noise isolation class (NIC) – a single number rating derived from the measured value of noise reduction between two rooms. • noise reduction (NR) – the reduction in sound pressure level of noise. • noise reduction coefficient (NRC) – a single number rating derived from measured values of sound absorption coefficients of a material at 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz. • outdoor-indoor transmission class (OITC) – a weighted single number rating of the sound reduction effectiveness of a partition that separates an indoor space from the outside. • pitch – a listener’s perception of the frequency of a pure tone.

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS
• reflection coefficient – a measure of the sound reflective property of a surface. • resonance – the relatively large amplitude of vibration produced when the frequency of the source of sound is equal to the natural frequency of a room. • reverberant sound field – a sound field created by repeated reflections of sound from the boundaries in an enclosed space. • reverberation – the continuation of sound in an enclosed space after the initial source has been terminated. • reverberation time (RT) – the time it takes for sound intensity to decay by 1 millionth of its steady state value after the sound source has been terminated. • sabin – a unit of measure of sound absorption. • scattering – an irregular diffraction of sound in many directions.

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS
• sound insulation – the ability of a barrier to prevent sound from reaching a receiver. • sound intensity (SI) – the average rate of sound energy flow through a unit area in a given direction. • sound intensity level (SIL) – a quantity expressed in decibels of airborne sound. • sound lock – a small space that works as a buffer between a source room and a receiving room. • sound pressure – fluctuating pressure of sound superimposed on the static air pressure. • sound pressure level – see sound intensity level • sound transmission class (STC) – a single number rating of the sound insulation rating of a partition. • structure-borne sound – sound propagated through a solid structure.

1.5 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS

• transmission coefficient – the ratio of transmitted sound energy to incident sound energy • transmission loss (TL) – is the measure of sound insulation of a partition. • wavelength – distance between two adjacent compressions or rarefactions in a sound wave. • white noise – a noise whose energy is uniform over a wide range of frequencies. This is analogous to the term “white light”, which consists of almost equal amount of light of different wavelength (colors). A white noise sounds hissy.

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THE END