For better room acoustics, the analysis of all rooms is necessary because each room has individual acoustic properties. In addition, there are various standards and laws that must be met, which are a good guideline to reflect, deepen and explain the legal requirements.
Not only every room, but also every single item in it must be considered in the room acoustic calculation. Thus, an analysis of the actual condition of the room is necessary to determine the type and quantity of acoustic products needed to achieve the target condition, which is set by law or standard.
If an architect, interior designer or the company itself organizes an acoustician for this process, then the measurement of the room acoustics is often very expensive and time-consuming, just until a room acoustic concept including a price quotation can be offered.
e.g.: An acoustician partly works independently or represents manufacturers of acoustic products. Thus, the room acoustics concept has little room for proposals with other design-savvy competing products.
If a dealer is consulted for a room, then one usually has a choice of several manufacturers. However, in practice, often a rough concept is offered without a professional calculation. After the selected products have been fitted to a room, retrofitting is often necessary because the improved room acoustics, which can also be perceived subjectively, are not sufficient. This in turn is associated with additional costs.
The desired and partly calculated measures, i.e. the product selection, are often in cooperation with certain manufacturers. This means that the suitable selection is often limited. Alternatively, one can use professional planning and analysis by an acoustician, which is, nevertheless, very time-consuming and expensive. In this context, the dealer can suggest preferred brands and products, which the expert must include in the planning. In practice, the additional hiring of an expert does not cause much enthusiasm for the client, but there is no need for any retrofitting afterwards.
In most cases, the sound analysis is determined only by reverberation time to be able to present the measures for the room acoustics concept. The most professional way of measuring is on site, but in practice this is done rather rarely or only in large spaces such as lecture halls or concert halls.
The reverberation time (T) describes the measure of reverberation in a room. More precisely, it is the time it takes for the sound pressure level to decay by 60 decibels after the source of sound in a room has been turned off. However, the reverberation time is frequency-dependent, since materials such as stone, wood, carpet or textiles absorb sound to different degrees. Thus, the length of the reverberation time depends on all the absorption surfaces and the cubature of a room.
Using the formula according to Sabine, the reverberation time can be measured mathematically (T=0.061 x V/A). For this, only the cubature and the sum of all surface qualities in m2 are needed, more precisely, by the sound absorption coefficients alpha in the octave or third octave band.
If there is too much reverberation in a room, it has a negative impact on the understanding in it. Especially in conference rooms or open-work spaces, the demand for the right acoustic environment is very high and has implications for speech intelligibility at every point in the room.
It stands for Speech Transmission Index and is responsible for measuring the speech transmission index to ensure good speech intelligibility. Like a heat map, it identifies areas of an open workspace that may or may not provide high speech intelligibility. This can additionally determine which measures should be targeted to support the other methods.
With the help of STI, a detailed measurement succeeds in providing a solution for maintaining speech intelligibility. It transmits, receives and analyzes synthetic speech signals. A challenge with this is the external and impulsive noises that occur during the STI measurement which can distort the results.
Ray tracing shows how sound waves are distributed in a room. It helps in planning rooms for specific purposes. Nonetheless, ray tracing is important and specifies exactly where products should be placed to break up, direct or properly distribute unwanted sound. For example, people in a large seminar room who are in the back rows should be able to understand the speaker just as well as people in the front rows - without an echo or reverberation.
This three-dimensional graphic shows the relationships between decibels, reverberation time in a wide range of frequencies.
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