The acoustic comfort of premises is an essential dimension of the quality of buildings and of their habitability: its consideration (and often: its improvement) is one of the main activities of ITS, calling upon multidisciplinary skills:
- the measures in architectural acoustics, when evaluating (on site) the weighted standardized sound insulation between premises, the weighted pressure level of the standardized impact noise of the noise perceived in the premises, the normalized sound pressure level of the noise generated by an equipment, the reverberation time of a space or its decay of the sound level by doubling distance to the source
- the prediction in building acoustics (and also: in aerodynamics), to evaluate, often using internal computational means (or with the help of software from recognized publishers) performance indicators such as (for multilayered acoustic structures) the sound reduction index and the absorption coefficient, (for silencers) the insertion loss and the total pressure loss, (for premises) the indicators mentioned about which is mentioned above that they can be evaluated by appropriate metrology (e.g. before and / or after soundproofing works)
- the knowledge of construction materials as well as the construction systems, equipment, products available on the market (door set, glazings, silencers, absorbent linings) and properties that base their behavior in terms of acoustics (as appropriate: sound reduction, absorption, reflection, dispersion, insertion loss) and other features that should not be neglected (reaction to fire, sensitivity to hygrometric variations, induced overweight)
- the familiarity with construction technologies of all types (sometimes metallic, especially steel when it comes to industrial buildings, often masonry e.g. concrete, concrete blocks, bricks for the outer casing, frequently plaster - tiles or plates - for partition walls with aluminum framing when it is not wood or special aluminum or glass constructions
- the mastery of regulations, Unified Technical Documents (UTD), standards, guides, texts of all kinds that juxtapose, overlap and make the act of building a complex domain in many respects
Of course, from one project to another, the challenges are different, depending on the destination of the premises, depending on the layout (in relation to the positioning with respect to internal or external nuisance sources), sensitivity (in relationship with the acoustic ambience expected by the occupants), aggressivity (in relation to the impact for neighboring spaces, in terms of acoustics) of the spaces considered.
The improvement of the acoustic comfort of premises, as practiced by ITS, often concerns educational establishments (such as kindergartens or elementary schools, colleges, high schools, regional institutions for adapted education, universities and colleges, establishments for higher, general, technical or vocational education, whether public or private), sports halls (such as those reserved for the following sports: gymnastics, athletics, volleyball, handball, basketball, tennis, fencing and table tennis), offices and associated areas (individual or collective office, open space, level ready for conversion, meeting or training room, lounge area, restaurant), working premises (industrial or non-industrial).
Depending on the case, the implementation of absorbent coatings (for walls, under-roof or in the form of ceiling tiles or of other suspended elements) should be considered, since it is a question of limiting the reverberation of a space to confer to it the qualities required in terms of intelligibility (speech, music) or to limit the amplification of sound levels which is associated with the phenomenon of acoustic waves reflection on the areas constituting the limits of a room.
In other contexts, the use of acoustic screens (absorbent dividers) should be considered, when it comes to limiting the spread of noise within a given space (e.g. open space offices, canteens).
Moreover, the fight against the noise emitted by equipment requires specific soundproofing devices (cowlings, silencers) and in some cases: lagging of pipes and ducts, anti-vibratory decoupling.
ITS intervenes to improve the acoustic comfort of premises by proposing a personalized support: the solutions proposed by ITS to improve a situation by carefully selected soundproofing means take into account not only the technical requirements applicable to the considered space and the implementation methods but also the wishes of the project owner or users in relation to the architectural project, the decorative aspects, the choice of materials and colors, the budgetary imperatives.
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