The Book of Acoustics

7.0 How to design with acoustics

7.4 The step by step process for Designing with acoustics

1. Understand

»What is the purpose of this space?
»How many people will use it?
»What are your client’s expectations?

2. Identify

» What are the common acoustic complaints?
» What is the reverberation time?
»What are the noise levels?
» What are the primary sources of unwanted sound?
» How is the shape of the room affecting sound dynamics?

3. Set goals

» What is the target reverberation time for this space?
» What specific noises do you want to reduce?
» How do you want people to feel in this space?
» What activities do you want to support in this space?

4. Treat

» Do you need to absorb, block, cover, diffuse—or a combination of treatment strategies?
» How much treatment material do you need?
» What is the ideal placement for each material?

5. Evaluate

» Do the measurements (RT, Db, etc) reflect your start goals?
» Are noise sources addressed?
» How do people feel in the space?
» Do the resulting acoustics support the activities taking place in the space?

When should you bring in an expert?

Ideally, as early as possible. An acoustic expert can help steer you in the right direction at the start of an acoustic design project and help you address challenges and discover solutions you might not have spotted yourself. In projects involving critical listening environments, such as a concert hall or theatre, involving an expert is especially essential.


The Book of Acoustics

This is a handbook for architects and interior designers who want to create acoustically beautiful spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more productive.