Business Industry Acoustics Insights from 2022 ASA Meeting

Jeff Teel, Director of Acoustics and Business Acoustics Technical Manager, recently represented Henderson Engineers at the Acoustical Society of America’s 182nd meeting in Denver, Colorado. This acoustics-industry event is attended by acoustical consultants, engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and those in academia (both faculty and students).

Teel provided a presentation on the acoustic design and performance of prefabricated partitions.  This presentation highlighted a case study over a recently completed project where prefabricated partitions (sometimes referred to as demountable walls) were used in a tenant fit-out of a building expansion.  Although demountable walls have many positive attributes that make them attractive for usage – such as ease of construction, the ability to adjust the room’s layout, and their cleanability characteristics – they are also widely known for providing poor sound isolation and speech privacy.

The case study detailed how diligent design was used on the wall details as well as the surrounding construction where the walls were to be installed. Carefully selected room finish materials, such as the ceiling tile, and the actual room layout itself also optimized the overall acoustic performance.  Acoustic testing after the expansion opened showed that the expected design ratings carried over to field performance.  The client says that occupant reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and conversations can be carried on inside the rooms without fear of breaching confidentiality.

Innovative Ideas Related to Acoustics

Outside of the traditional discussion points related to acoustics and noise in regard to typical day-to-day architectural acoustics, there were other interesting topics discussed. These included:

  • Noise – Community perception of traffic noise, sonic booms/sonic thumps, noise from wind farms, and cryptocurrency miners’ mitigation.
  • Standards – ASTM Acoustic measurement procedures for sound isolation and impact noise control, 2021 IBC Code Updates include new acoustics requirements for multifamily residences and schools.
  • Echolocation – Bats and dolphins: clicks bouncing off objects and back to animals ears to be able to “see” underwater and in the dark. Potential uses in sonar technology for the navy.
  • Musical acoustics – Physics of steel pan drums.
  • Psychological acoustics – Perception of teachers talking to students with cochlear implants, Recommended masks for teachers for best speech intelligibility, communication, and learning.
  • Physical acoustics – Monitoring thunderstorm with infrasound microphones to determine if tornados are present (can detect 1 to 10 Hz if tornados, minimal low-frequency tones for storms without tornados).

Henderson Knows Acoustics

Where people gather, communication matters. Acoustics engineering helps you cut through the noise and build a space where the focus remains on the message.  Whether in offices, classrooms or performing arts centers our job is to make it easier for you to do yours. Learn more about Henderson’s acoustics services by clicking here.

Written By
Jeff Teel

Acoustics Director | Associate

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