Acoustic comfort is an environmental key factor in buildings for which ITS offers its services: measurements, study, works.

Acoustic comfort: an essential component of buildings quality

Acoustic comfort has a major impact on the habitability of many living spaces that must have minimal performance so as not to be unsuitable for their destination, in particular with regard to the problem of reverberation limitation and also with regard to the issue of isolation to airborne noise.

In nurseries, day-care centers, kindergartens: to atrium, activity and play rooms, sleeping rooms must be paid a special attention in terms of acoustics, as to offices, medical rooms, rooms reserved for staff and also halls and stairwells.

In France, the recognition of acoustic comfort as a key component of the quality of buildings is not yet translated into a regulation (in the form of orders or decrees) that all the afore mentioned premises should meet, but the appropriate values ​​of the indicators of acoustic performance of interest are the subject of a fairly broad consensus.

In educational establishments, whether nursery schools or not, rest and exercise rooms, teaching premises, activity and play areas, reception halls and closed assembly rooms shall be soundproofed, as teachers' rooms, medical rooms (e.g. infirmaries), meeting rooms, washrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and also circulations and cloakrooms; where they exist, music rooms, multipurpose rooms, sports halls or noisy workshops must be soundproofed as well.

In health facilities, acoustic performance indicators must meet minimum values ​​for accommodation and care spaces, examination and consultation rooms, medical and nursing offices, waiting rooms, operation, obstetrics rooms and bithing rooms, as well as in the internal circulations, and other premises where patients may be present.

In hotels, rooms and bathrooms, indoor circulations must have high-performance sound insulation, and also offices, staff rest areas, cloakrooms, reception halls, reading rooms, meeting rooms, bars, kitchens, and even: workshops, shops, garages, car parks, delivery areas, toilets, TV rooms, laundries, garbage rooms; when hotels are equipped with them: gymnasiums, swimming pools, restaurants, casinos, reception rooms, discotheques and dance halls must comply with the regulations in force in relation to noise limitation.

In residential buildings, the main rooms, kitchens and bathrooms must be sufficiently efficient in terms of airborne noise insulation with respect to other dwellings, common indoor circulation building, garages (individual or collective) and business premises.

Acoustic comfort
Acoustic comfort is an environmental
key factor in buildings
   

Work rooms where machines and appliances are likely to expose workers to a daily sound exposure level exceeding 85 dB(A) shall have minimum characteristics so as to limit the amplification of sound levels in relation to reverberation.

In France, recognition of acoustic comfort as an environmental key factor in buildings is reflected in regulations (in the form of orders and decrees) to which all the above-mentioned premises are subject.

In addition, in the offices and associated areas (individual or collective offices, open spaces, meeting rooms, relaxation areas, restaurants, circulations, and even: floors to be set up) acoustic comfort as an essential environment factor can be properly accouted if an ad hoc standard, despite not mandatory, is considered.

Moreover, insulation of air noise between premises, insulation from the noise of the outdoor space, shock noise level, reverberation time, noise level from equipment for sports halls (i.e. reserved for the practice of following sports: gymnastics, athletics, volleyball, handball, basketball, tennis, fencing and table tennis) are specified in another ad hoc standard which is also not mandatory.

Measurements and study of acoustic comfort

Measurements and study of the acoustic comfort of living spaces can be carried out by ITS human resources, duly qualified in building physics:

  • with periodically checked and calibrated metrological equipment (sound level meters, noise generators) for determining acoustic performance indicators such as reverberation time, spatial sound decay rate by doubling the distance to a source, reduction index for airborne noise - and more generally, all the physical quantities related to sound pressure level, which, in general, depends on the frequency
  • with measurements results processing software
  • with tools for simulating the propagation of sound in enclosed spaces, in relation to the various physical phenomena present (reflection, absorption, transmission, diffraction), which influence noise attenuation (e.g. atmospheric absorption, and taking account of the presence of obstacles e.g. screens, walls)
  • with means for sizing soundproofing and noise reduction hardware

Work related to acoustic comfort

ITS markets installation / fitting works aimed at the acoustic comfort of buildings:

  • with regard to the limitation of noise propagation:
    • building envelope elements (walls - including door units and glazed frames -, roofs, floors)
    • partitions and separations, enclosures (soundproofing canopies) for noisy equipment, e.g. with regard to heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC)
    • silencers / mufflers and other noise reduction devices including for industry
  • with regard to the reduction of the reverberation of premises:
    • sound-absorbing coverings: wall, ceiling or suspended elements
    • acoustic screens

Why entrust measurements, studies or work related to acoustic comfort to ITS ?

With regard to measurements and studies related to the acoustic comfort of buildings, ITS human resources have extensive experience in these subjects: the quality management system for ITS engineering missions is regularly assessed as complying with the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, and customers express their satisfaction with the services provided on time, at the agreed price, and with meticulously prepared deliverables.

When, following a diagnosis carried out by ITS, it is proven that the acoustic comfort of a space or a building leaves something to be desired, the recommendations and advices of ITS are oriented towards the (often: multidisciplinary) research of solutions for improvement, taking into account all the contextual aspects for the elaboration of technical and financial compromises described in a complete, unambiguous, precise way with verifiable performances. The ITS's approach combines expertise and high regard for the Customer relationship (a specific insurance covers such ITS activities).

With regard to works aiming at the acoustic comfort of constructions marketed by ITS, they are always organized with partners (advised by ITS) who share with the human resources of ITS the love of a job well done, and who have - in addition to the technical know-how required - adaptability, both with regard to the construction schedule and to what concerns the real site works perimeter and modalities, as may be required to evolve for various reasons that are not always foreseeable.