Building Acoustic Measurements

Building Acoustics Solutions

For the benefit and wellbeing of people in offices, schools, and homes, disturbing noise from other rooms or from the outside world should be kept to a minimum.

In order to optimize the sound insulation against external noise sources, standardized Building Acoustic measurements such as airborne and impact sound insulation have been established. The Building Acoustics is thus distinguishable from Room Acoustics, which essentially deals with the acoustic properties within the room itself.

Recommended Solution for Building Acoustics

What to measure?

Measure the sound insulation between two rooms. Do this by generating a sound in a room, and by comparing this sound level with the level measured in a, normally adjacent, room.

Airborne and impact noise are distinguished as follows.

  • Airborne noise is sound that is transmitted through the air, such as traffic noise or people talking in the room next door.
  • Impact noise results e.g. from footsteps on a floor, which can be heard in the room below.

The process of calculating the the sound insulation may also require that the Reverberation Time and the background noise  are measured.

How to measure airborne sound insulation?

The measurement principle is simply to create a measured noise in the first room (the sending room) and compare that to a measurement in the second room (the receiving room).

  • Generate a reference test signal (e.g. Pink Noise) in the sending room by using an omnidirectional loudspeaker.
  • Measure the noise spectrum both in the sending and the receiving room.
  • Correct the reading of the receiving room by deducting any disturbing background noise, and of the room effect (if the receiving room is reverberant, the sound level will be higher)

The airborne sound insulation of facades is measured in the same manner. In that case, the test signal source is positioned outside the building in the front of the facade partition under investigation.

Building Acoustics Airborne sound insulation measurement

Airborne sound insulation measurement

How to measure impact sound insulation?

For impact sound insulation measurement, a calibrated Tapping Machine is used to generate the noise by knocking on the floor (a standardized rubber ball can also be used).

  • Properly install and run the Tapping Machine in the sending room.
  • Measure the noise spectrum in the receiving room.
  • Correct the reading in the receiving room by deducting any disturbing background noise and the room effect (if the receiving room is reverberant, the sound level will be higher).

Building Acoustics Impact sound insulation measurement

Impact sound insulation measurement

How to measure façade sound insulation?

A façade is an exterior side of a building. The soundproofing principles are essentially the same as those for interior walls. When measuring façades, the sound source is positioned outside the building.

A pink noise is used as a test signal. You need a speaker that is powerful enough to produce the desired sound level in the frequency band from 50 Hz to 10 kHz as uniformly as possible.

façade sound insulation?

Façade sound insulation measurement

Which measurement instruments do you need?

You will need a Sound Level Meter that is capable of measuring the required acoustic parameters in accordance with the standards. You will also need a Dodecahedron Loudspeaker as a sound source for airborne sound insulation measurements, and a Tapping Machine to produce the impact sounds. Furthermore, using a professional software package for controlling the process and reporting the results may simplify the task.

XL3 with M2340 Measurement Microphone

1) Sound Level Meter

The Sound Level Meter measures all required data. These are the sound levels in the sending and the receiving room, the background noise and the reverberation time, which quantifies the room effect.


2) DS3 Dodecahedron Speaker Kit

The DS3 Dodecahedron Speaker, together with the PA3 Power Amplifier, meets all the requirements of the ISO 16283 standard. In addition, we offer impressive performance data; with a weight of only 7.5 kg and a typical sound power of 120.5 dB, the DS3 is convenient to carry around on site. By pressing a button on the supplied wireless remote control, the test signal can be comfortably switched on and off from outside the sending room.

Tapping Machine

3) Tapping Machine

The TM3 Tapping Machine produces the impacts on the floor to determine the impact sound insulation. The hammers in this PTB-approved precision instrument hit the ground at a prescribed rate and with a constant, measured force. The remote-controlled TM3 is compliant with the standards that define building acoustics.

FX100 Control Software

4) Reporting Software

Last but not least, the measurement results obtained by the Sound Level Meter can be easily imported into the "Sound Insulation Reporter". This PC software then calculates the required results for the airborne and impact sound insulation in accordance with the selected standards.


Building Acoustics measurements are defined by international and national standards.

  • The optimized frequency response of the Dodecahedron Speaker Kit ensures precise measurements in accordance with the ISO 16283 standard.
  • The TM3 Tapping Machine is compliant to the standards ISO 16283-2, ISO 717-2, ISO 10140-3/-4/-5, ISO 140-6/-7/-8, DIN 52210-6, ASTM E492, ASTM E1007.
  • The Sound Insulation Reporter software adheres to the standards ASTM E336, ASTM E413, ASTM E1007, ASTM E989, ASTM E966, ASTM E1332, BB93, DIN 4109, Document E, GB/T 19889, ISO 16283, ISO 140, ISO 717, ISO 10140, NEN 5077:2019, SIA 181:2006, SIA 181:2020.
  • The solution offered by NTi Audio is compliant with the ISO 16283, ISO 140 and ASTM E336 standards.


Where to next?

Here you can dig deeper into each of the actual measurements:

News Articles about Room & Building Acoustics

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