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Aku20 – New improved building technique-neutral criteria for sound insulation evaluation

Published: 14 December 2016

In this project a variety of measured sound and vibration parameters are compared with questionnaires based upon the tenants’ subjective perception. Low frequencies are of special concern since an earlier research project (AkuLite) has indicated that frequencies 20-50 Hz are of great importance when it comes to perceived impact sound, a frequency region that today is not covered by any standard.

LTU – Engineering Acoustics is running a research project funded by Formas in cooperation with Simmons akustik och utveckling and Tyréns (PhD student). The project is in progress 2014-2017.

Multifamily lightweight houses have obtained great interest since the technique is supposed to be environmentally friendly, is possible to recycle and can be made energy efficient. Lightweight buildings though, have suffered from poor sound insulation at low frequencies, particularly regarding impact sound. Existing sound insulation criteria were established when heavy constructions dominated the market and they are not fully adapted to lightweight constructions. Therefore there is a need to develop new building technique-neutral criteria that better corresponds to the actual perception of sound from the tenants.

The objective is to determine in what way these lowest frequencies affect our sound perception and whether they therefore should be included in sound insulation evaluations. Improved sound insulation criteria with high correlation to subjective perception will lead to technique-neutral evaluations, simplified interpretation for stakeholders and a development within the lightweight building industry towards more competitive constructions with better sound performance.