Sound insulation /
Room acoustics

Soundproofing and room acoustics constitute relevant quality features for buildings and are very important for the well-being and health of their users.

A lack of soundproofing in a building can result in stress and even cause illness in the long term, why it is important to deal with the issue of sound in the planning phase of a building project.

Noise is understood to be unwanted, disturbing and annoying or harmful sounds. Noise is a subjective term and can only be quantified objectively to a certain extent using measurable quantities (e.g. loudness, signal curve, pitch). A significant factor that can be used to describe a room's acoustic quality is the sound insulation. The unit of measurement for sound insulation is the decibel (dB). The following applies to sound insulation: the higher the value, the better the sound insulation. 10 decibels higher means half as much perceived noise.

To find out which building material is the most effective at keeping out external noise and ensuring peaceful indoor spaces, sound insulation measurements were carried out at the Viva Research Park.

Results:

  • Plastered walls made of concrete and bricks with appropriate external insulation, and solid wood have the highest insulation performance.
  • The concrete house with Baumit Resolution as external insulation achieved the highest value of 49 dB. The wood frame houses had the lowest values of 40 dB. The uninsulated brick house achieved 42 dB.
  • The better the sound insulation, the higher the comfort level.

 

The measurements were supervised and evaluated by the Austrian Institute for Building Biology and Ecology

Project period: 2015 – 2017

Room acoustics describe the acoustic quality of indoor spaces. Rooms with poor room acoustics have long reverberation times, which causes disturbing background noises and makes speech more difficult to understand, among other things.

The best-known measurement parameter in room acoustics is the reverberation time. As a general rule, the shorter the reverberation time, the better the acoustics.

To find out the extent to which room acoustics depend on the construction type, the reverberation times at 10 different measuring points in each house at the Viva Research Park were measured at different frequencies in the 50 - 10,000 Hz range.

Results

  • There were no differences between the houses at medium and high frequencies (e.g. music).
  • At low frequencies (e.g. voices), the wood frame houses and the timber block house had the shortest reverberation times. The longest reverberation times were measured in the brick and concrete houses.
  • In the living area, low frequency ranges are evaluated as non-critical because, as a general rule, reverberation times can be neutralised here with furnishings.

 

The measurements were supervised and evaluated by the Austrian Institute for Building Biology and Ecology

Project period: 2015 – 2017