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Building Technology
 
Architectural design measures for noise mitigation
Hi,
Noise had been a dominant problem for the urban life since ages. With urbanization almost whole of the world seems to have been engulfed by this problem. The principles of accoustics have been utilised only for designing special structures such as auditoriums, opera houses, etc. But, I, as an architect, feel that without ensuring proper noise mitigation measures the complete troublefree environment cannot be ensured.

Now what I seek is how as a planner or an architect we can ensure comfort against such menace as that of noise and associated vibration. The measures should be cheap, requiring less space, feasible and of course practical.
Prakash Kumar
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Architectural design measures for noise mitigation
Acoustics in architecture, I believe is such a vast topic that it would be difficult to discuss all it's aspects here.
If we are talking about sound insulation, then we need to look at two scenarios -
1. Providing sound insulation to occupants of a space from external sources
2. providing the same for occupants, but from within - from plant, neighbouring rooms, reverberation, other occupants etc.

New legislation in the UK stipulates that certain levels of sound insulation must be achieved within dwellings.

It all depends on the frequencies that we are trying to cut out.

As a general rule of thumb - dense materials transmit impact sound but provide good insulation for airborne sound.
whereas materials such as mineral wool, carpets etc help in absorbing impact sound, but offer little in terms of cutting out airborne sound.
therefore, a combination of the 2 provides a satisfactory equilibrium.

When it comes to providing sound insulation from external sources, a simple solution is to plant trees.
Arshad Khan
Architectural design measures for noise mitigation
Thanx Mr. Arshad,
of course plants do prove to be solution for any problems as this.
i even read about the use of various materials for this purpose.
but imagine the situation in cities with unplanned urbanisation, where we cannot afford to put greenery except for the small parks.
can't we imagine of some measures as planners where the houses only serve as an element towards mitigating this problem both for itelf and the neighbouring buildings.
Prakash Kumar
Architectural design measures for noise mitigation
I have read a study (I don't remember the source, sorry) that trees do not actually reduce noise per se (they do scatter it but there's no net reduction in decibels. However, the study said, people feel that it is less loud when they have a visual barrier such as trees between them and the sound. Just a quick note of caution against quick recipes for sound reduction... Also, in my experience, vibration related to sound is also a huge problem, which would not be resolved unless one isolates the ground on which the sound-source (such as a construction machine) and the building sit on, which is not always possible.
Ozgur Basak Alkan
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