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A Virtual Design Studio for Low-Frequency Sound from Walking in Lightweight Buildings
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years there has been a growing interest for building lightweight multistorey woodenresidential buildings in countries like Sweden with large and renewable forests. While positive aspectsof these buildings, such as sustainability, ease of construction and lightness, motivate building more inwood, poor acoustic performance is a risk which concerns the wooden-building industry.Low-frequency impact sound from walking of the neighbors upstairs is the main source of complaintsabout the acoustic performance of these buildings. The disturbance caused by walking sounds,transmitted through lightweight wooden floors, results in acoustic discomfort and impairs theperceived quality of the building; sometimes even when the building has fulfilled an acoustic classhigher than minimum requirement, according to the national standard on sound classification and itssingle number ratings. The standard methods for objective evaluation of impact sound insulation offloors cannot predict, at a satisfactory level, the walking sound annoyance that the inhabitants ofwooden buildings experience. This causes an uncertainty about the resulting perceived quality of thesebuildings, which greatly concerns the building manufacturers and demotivates them from choosinglightweight wooden elements over heavyweight building materials such as concrete. This uncertaintycan be overcome by evaluating the perceived acoustic quality of the building prior to its construction.

One solution is to build test houses where the subjective acoustic performance of floor samples can beevaluated in advance to the building construction. However, building a test house is expensive;besides, for evaluating the effect of every design modification on the experienced acoustic comfort ofthe building, a real floor sample has to be built and installed in the house, which would be timeconsumingand costly. An alternative solution is to use virtual acoustic test facilities.In this thesis a virtual design studio for impact sound is developed. It is a tool that facilitates creatingand listening to the acoustic field generated by impact forces such as footsteps on lightweight floors. Italso provides the possibility to evaluate the acoustic performance of floor elements in an early designphase, and to investigate the correlation between design parameters and the perceived impact soundinsulation of the floor. The tool is demonstrated and a very first listening test shows that one can obtainresults which are in good agreement with the results in literature. Loudness, reverberation andthumping are shown to influence the annoyance. It is also shown that there is a difference in judgementof walking sounds by persons who have experience with lightweight floors at home and by those whodo not have that experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 74
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola, ISSN 0346-718X ; 4572
Keywords [en]
Lightweight floors, Walking sound, Low frequency, Annoyance, Virtual design studio
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-39706ISBN: 978-91-7905-105-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-39706DiVA, id: diva2:1341622
Available from: 2019-08-09 Created: 2019-08-09 Last updated: 2019-08-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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