Building Physics

“Silence alone is often not enough!”

A lack of noise insulation, sound propagation from and through utilities hat are too loud, poor speech intelligibility, unsuitable reverberation periods or insufficient room damping can affect the utilization quality of habitable rooms considerably. Therefore, the aim has to be to create and to ensure a good acoustic atmosphere for planned as well as for existing uses.

Building acoustics

The acoustic quality within buildings usually depends on the noise insulation of building elements as well as the impact sound decoupling of utilities. The goal in the building acoustic planning of buildings is to avoid disruptive sound propagation from the outside, but also on the inside of the structure. The services in the field of building acoustics provided by LÄRMKONTOR GmbH include the evaluation of the propagation of sound in buildings and its assessment in view of the planned utilization.

We also provide evidence within the context of building permission procedures that noise protection measures are sufficient and create noise insulation confirmations for all aspects pertaining to building acoustics.

Calculating and measuring external noise levels

The external noise level that is essential for the acoustic evaluation of the exterior components of buildings is usually calculated as a rating level in front of the façade.

We also conduct sound level measurements in order to determine the status of the external noise level in the present situation and for the approval of the quality of the building acoustics after certain building measures have been completed.

Sound measurements for building acoustics

Sound measurements are conducted

  • to confirm the effectiveness of noise protection within existing structures,
  • in cases of complaints about disruptive sound propagation in buildings,
  • in order to assess noise protection measures in existing buildings,
  • to monitor noise in connection with construction work
  • or for the approval following completion.

If required the measurement results are utilized as a basis for the development of measures to comply with noise protection requirements, e.g. in accordance with DIN 4109 or VDI 4100. In addition, the measurement results serve as a basis for proposals pointing towards an increase in noise protection comfort.

Confirmation of the “HafenCity Solution”

The “Hamburg Noise Guidelines for the Urban Land-Use Planning 2010” contains the so-called “HafenCity Window” (also referred to as “Hamburg Window”) as one effective noise protection measure. This building approach makes it possible to attain low sound pressure levels at night which are necessary for a healthy sleep, in part also with open windows.

LÄRMKONTOR GmbH possesses over 15 years of experience with the HafenCity Window. We provide the appropriate examinations and confirmation for the structural make of the windows and for solution approaches that are technologically comparable.

In connection with these special window constructions to achieve a determined interior level, we conduct sound level measurements with respect to the approval of the acoustic quality after the building measures have been completed.

DEGA noise protection certificate for residential buildings

In addition to building acoustics certification in accordance with, for instance, DIN 4109, we also issue DEGA noise protection certificates for residential buildings that enable a classification of the noise protection standard based on noise protection forecasting calculations or noise level measurements.

Room acoustics

In order to achieve good room acoustics, we examine all the aspects related to acoustic quality within rooms which is largely determined by the type and the arrangement of noise-absorbing and reflecting room surfaces or of sound insulation components.

The main objective of room acoustic planning is, in addition to a reduction of the sound pressure level, to achieve good speech intelligibility or to avoid disruptive noise propagation from other rooms. LÄRMKONTOR GmbH offers consulting services focusing on the following aspects related to room acoustics:

Requirements regarding speech intelligibility

The construction of rooms the primary purpose of which is the presentation of speech, such as village halls, teaching facilities or conference rooms should be planned and carried out in such a way that good speech intelligibility is ensured. The quality of speech intelligibility is largely determined by direct sound, reflections as well as reverberation time.

Requirements regarding room damping

Rooms the main use of which the presence of people, such as reading halls, libraries, open plan offices, break rooms, restaurants or entrance halls should be planned and constructed in such a way that room damping requirements for the individual type of utilization are met.

Requirements regarding sound transmission

Rooms with high requirements when it comes to sound transmission, such as theatres, multi-purpose halls and open plan offices should be planned and constructed in such a way that the sound transmission that meets the requirements of this particular type of utilization. The quality of sound transmission is largely determined by direct sound, reflections as well as reverberation time.

Technical acoustics

For a sufficiently low sound propagation of utilities within rooms, we analyze and assess the impact sound decoupling of utilities that cause vibrations, the noise insulation of building components as well as the insertion damping of sound absorbers.

With respect to technical acoustics LÄRMKONTOR GmbH provides consulting services regarding the following topics:

Airborne noise transmission through building components

In order to reduce the noise pressure levels of high-noise machines or facilities (e.g. ventilation facilities, cooling units, re-cooling equipment, heat pumps, block heating stations or pumps) in living and work spaces, airborne noise protection measures are developed on the basis of frequency dependent calculations. For this, it is vital to possess sufficient insight into the technical data of machines or facilities as well as of the planned and existing building components. Precise data regarding the facilities and the building enable a standard of insulation of airborne noise transmission within the building that helps to ensure that spaces worthy of protection can be utilized in an appropriate fashion.

Impact sound and vibration decoupling

The compliance with required sound pressure levels in living and work spaces with regard to impact sound transmissions is achieved through the impact sound decoupled placement or installation of machines and facilities that cause vibrations (e.g. ventilation facilities, cooling units, re-cooling equipment, heat pumps, block heating stations or pumps). The impact sound decoupling is planned based on technical data regarding the appliances or facilities as well as of the planned or existing building components.

Airborne noise transmission through tubes

In order to prevent disruptive airborne noise transmissions via air ducts and to avoid telephony sound transmissions through air ducts, we conduct frequency-dependent duct system calculations.

The calculations are carried out based on the technical data applicable for the ventilation facilities, the geometry of the air ducts within the building, the planned sound absorbers within the duct system as well as the planned and existing building components. If required, airborne noise protection measures are designed based on the calculations.

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