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 agianst 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.

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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 is produced when walls or floors vibrate,
due to footsteps, slamming doors, moving furniture, water pipes, etc.

The process of calculating the SRI or the STC may also require that the background noise and the Reverberation Time RT60 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 (potentially simultaneous) measurement in the second room (the receiving room).

Such an airborne sound insulation measurement quantifies the ability of the walls, floor, ceiling, windows, doors, or even ventilators to isolate noise between the sending and receiving rooms.

In some cases the "sending room" is not a room at all, rather the source is generated outside the building and measured through the facade in the receiving room situated inside the building.

In order to measure the airborne sound insulation, the determination of the background sound level as a single broadband value or several values across the frequency spectrum may be required.

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).

A sound level meter in the room below records the noise level and a PC-software calculates the desired results.

Depending on the standard, measurement of the reverberation time may also be required in determining the impact sound insulation.

Building Acoustics Impact sound insulation measurement

Impact 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.

1) Sound Level Meter

The XL2 Acoustic Analyzer is key to the building acoustics measurement kit. It is used to measure the levels, of the generated sound, in the sending and receiving rooms. The XL2 can be controlled remotely, enabling the Sound Insulation Reporter software to control the entire measurement process, by automatically acquiring, evaluating and reporting on the measurement data.

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2) Dodecahedron Speaker

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 121 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.

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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.

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4) Reporting Software

FX100 Control Software

Last but not least, the measurement results obtained by the XL2 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.

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International Standards

Building Acoustics measurements are defined by international and national standards.

  • The optimized frequency response of the Dodecahedron Speaker Set ensures precise measurements in accordance with the ISO 16283 and the ISO 3382 standards.
  • 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 ISO 16283, ISO 140, ISO 717, ISO 10140, DIN 4109, Document E, ASTM E336, ASTM E413, ASTM E1007, ASTM E989, ASTM E966, ASTM E1332, GB/T 19889, and SIA 181 Standards.
  • The solution offered by NTi Audio is compliant with the ISO 16283, ISO 140 and ASTM E336 standards.


Where to next?

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