Foto: Wohnhaus der SolarCity

An innovative approach for facades with optimised noise protection and natural ventilation

The aim of this project is to advance the state of the art in the engineering of double-leaf building facades that facilitate natural ventilation while providing sufficient sound insulation. Realization of natural (window) ventilation is in some instances difficult due to a number of factors. Thereby, noise pollution (especially traffic noise) plays an important role. To address these issues, the present project explores innovative solutions in terms of façade constructions for concurrent natural ventilation and noise control.

Short Description

Status

ongoing

Summary

Starting point / motivation

The main aim of this research is to advance the state of the art in the engineering double-leaf building facades that facilitate natural ventilation while providing sufficient sound insulation. Building envelopes that would allow natural ventilation without compromising the acoustical performance would be highly critical in view of energy efficiency of buildings located in urban settings and noise-affected locations.

Realization of natural (window) ventilation is in some instances difficult not only due to climatic factors but primarily because of noise issues (especially traffic noise). The proposed research focuses on the latter impediment.

Noise from outside of a building (particularly traffic noise) travels unhindered through open windows and can interfere with occupants' requirements (e.g. sleep and regeneration in residential habitat, concentration and communication in office spaces). One must thus address acoustical issues, while pursuing the - as such desirable - natural ventilation solutions for buildings.

Contents and goals

Based on previous research and prior experiences in building acoustics, a set of candidate variables of a generic double-leaf construction are considered that would affect the sound insulation performance of double-leaf building elements with openings for natural ventilation. These include the size - and to a certain extent, the shape - of the openings in each layer, the relative positions of the openings (expressed, for instance, in terms of displacement or view factors), and the presence of acoustical absorption in the interstitial cavity between the two layers of the construction.

Methods

To experimentally assess the influence of these variables under reliably controlled conditions, a modular and flexible model instance of a double-leaf construction is designed, assembled, and installed between two adjacent reverberant chambers of our acoustics laboratory.

The constitutive elements of both layers of this modular construction can be removed to emulate facade openings. A comprehensive sequence of parametric configurations of these openings shall be constructed.

These configurations shall be subjected to systematic sound transmission measurements. Thereby, various values of the aforementioned candidate variables can be realized and examined. The results of the comprehensive measurements shall be structured in terms of both frequency-dependent and weighted sound transmission indices.

Expected results

The results shall be analyzed toward developing empirically-based statistical models for the prediction of the sound insulation properties of double-leaf constructions with openings for natural ventilation. Likewise, the empirical results shall be deployed to examine the applicability of computational room acoustic applications for acoustical modeling of such double-leaf elements.

Project Partners

Project management

Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology
TU-Vienna, Univ. Prof. Dr. A. Mahdavi

Contact Address

Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology
Vienna University of Technology
Karlsplatz 13/4
A-1040 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 58801 270-03
Fax: +43 (1) 58801 270-93
E-Mail: bpi@tuwien.ac.at
Web: www.bpi.tuwien.ac.at

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