Sound can have both a positive and a negative effect. If it’s in the form of excessive noise, it can have an annoying, disturbing and even harmful effect. However, if sound is providing music, entertainment or information, it needs to be enhanced and isolated so you can hear it clearly and gain maximum benefit.
Sound control acoustic engineers can help with both types of sound in order to improve the lives of those affected by them. They can ensure that noise is reduced in all types of indoor and outdoor environments and can also help with building design where specific sounds need to be heard and must be at the best possible level.
Having a Positive Impact on Beneficial Sound
Building design is often about making sure the finished property looks great, is practical in use and will last for a long time with minimal maintenance.
For concert halls and similar constructions, there’s also the additional challenge of ensuring they have acoustic excellence so performers are audible for all members of the audience and sound the best they possibly can.
The same principle applies to railway stations and similar buildings where announcements need to be clearly heard above the general background noise of people and vehicle activity. Missing or mis-hearing such announcements can have serious implications and will not endear customers to the service.
Making sure buildings perform well acoustically depends on designing the space properly and using the correct materials and equipment. These will enhance the sounds you want to hear and at the same time cut out background noise that can cause unwelcome interference.
In order to ensure a building performs well acoustically before it’s even built, it’s necessary to use modelling and simulation techniques to determine the best approach. Achieving that correct approach is also helped by having the knowledge and experience that comes from previous successful projects.
When the acoustic performance of a building is business-critical, it’s essential that a sound control acoustic engineer works with the architect to ensure the best possible outcome. For an existing building that’s performing poorly, an acoustic engineer can also help to improve matters although the best outcomes generally apply when a new building is correctly designed at the outset.
Reducing Unwanted Noise
The Building Code of Australia requires that residential properties are built in such a way that noise is reduced to acceptable levels. This includes having internal walls that prevent noise from adjoining properties and using wall, roof, door and window materials that will reduce external sounds. Similar principles apply to office premises where excessive noise can cause unwanted distractions and where confidential conversations need to be kept from others. Really loud and constant noise can also be harmful to health.
Avoiding excessive noise requires good design and construction that takes all aspects into account. This requires the services of an acoustic engineer who can assess the:
- noise emanating from an entertainment venue as well as the internal acoustic performance
- extent of transport noise and the noise from industrial, construction and other commercial sites.
The aim is to assess the level of noise and the means of reducing it to an acceptable level. This may require the incorporation of noise barriers, buffer zones or insulation materials, or may need a more radical redesign of a building’s layout. Again, this is more easily accomplished if an acoustic engineer is involved at the start of a project rather than after a problem has occurred.
Acoustical engineers undertake various roles to make life better. They can help with the source of the sound or the introduction of methods to enhance or reduce sound.