• January 2022

What is Architectural Acoustics?

DJA Blog Acoustic Architecture Banner min

At David James Architects, we know a thing or two about designing modern, sophisticated buildings – whether they be residential, retirement, commercial or retail projects.

Within the design of truly modern buildings is an inevitable focus on acoustics – the science of how sound travels through your home, store or commercial premises.

Depending on the purpose of the prospective build, the acoustic requirements are completely different and often unique – with consideration given to a number of factors such as privacy and comfort.

Why does Architectural Acoustics matter?

Failing to take Architectural Acoustics into account at the planning stage could leave you with an incredibly functional and beautiful build, but one with dysfunctional sound design that retracts from the experience of the occupants.

Planning ahead and giving great consideration to these factors before ground is even broken will mean that you avoid extra costs, as well as delays completing renovations and modifications.

Examples of Architectural Acoustics in action can be found everywhere you look, with the most obvious ones being entertainment centres such as theatres, football stadiums and music arenas, as well as religious sites such as churches and mosques.

It’s easy to see then that humans have been engaging in the practice for thousands of years for specific purposes – however, with technology having advanced to such an extensive level, we can increasingly integrate Architectural Acoustics into our residential and commercial designs with added effectiveness.

At David James Architects we take pride in the sophisticated nature of our designs, with our innovative approach allowing us to take everything into consideration – and our builds would not be complete without acoustics.

Real-world acoustic applications

Research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has continually shown that noise has a significant impact on human health and recovery, emphasising the importance of it in hospitals and retirement homes.

This can be referring to both environmental noise such as road traffic, construction work, and city ambience, as well as internal noise and the way sound interacts with the building.

For this reason, great Architectural Acoustics is about reducing the impact of both – for example, in a hospital, consistent noise or sudden loud noises can impact the health and recovery of patients as well as the ability of care staff to do their job to the best of their ability.

In a residential home, even the most beautiful and comfortable, consistent noise and sudden interruptions reduces the quality of life dramatically.

What makes great Architectural Acoustics?

Architectural Acoustics is absolutely comprehensive in its nature, taking into consideration factors such as walls, ceilings, building materials, shapes, surfaces and light fixtures – everything has an impact on the transmissibility of sound throughout your home or commercial premises.

With design increasingly taking into account environmental factors - an indisputably good thing – it does lead to potential lack of focus on issues such as sound design.

We recommend the use of a source-path-receiver approach to tackling problem sound transmission – identifying where the sound is coming from, and how it navigates its way through the construction, and into to your ear. This can change dramatically depending on where you are standing.

There are three useful considerations to make:

  • Control over vibrations. What we perceive as sound is essentially vibrations in the air (or other medium such as stone or water). Establishing measures to control vibrations can prevent noise pollution from reaching the receiver, using materials such as high-density stone wool.
  • Installation of barriers. Increasing the amount of material between you and the source will reduce the amount that reaches the receiver. This can be done using doubled paned windows, as well as other methods.
  • Control the path. Once you have identified how the sound reaches the receiver, and the path it takes, you can work to close off this path.

Choose David James Architects for modern, innovative Acoustic design

At David James Architects, we are passionate about delivering comprehensive design plans that leave no stone unturned, including expert acoustic and sound design. You can check out our portfolio of projects elsewhere on our website, or give our friendly team a call today on 01202 755633.