Special Issue "Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes"

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A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gary W. Siebein

University of Florida, School of Architecture, 625 NW 60th Street, Suite C - Gainesville, Florida 32607, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 352 331 0009
Interests: acoustics; architectural acoustics; classroom acoustics; soundscape design; urban design; architectural design; evidence-based design; performance hall design; sustainability; occupational noise; building performance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soundscape theory provides a framework to unite the technical fields of architectural acoustics, environmental noise control, and psychoacoustics or the perception of sounds by people with architectural design and assessment of the inhabitation of buildings and urban spaces in a holistic manner. It bridges across disciplines including architecture, urban design, architectural acoustics, interior design, urban planning, psychology, hearing, music, neuroscience, linguistics and engineering among others. It also forms links between science, engineering, design and the psychological and social sciences as well as aural aesthetics and musical composition. Furthermore it provides the tools through which sound can be explored as part of a creative, interactive, inclusive and iterative process of design for individual buildings and urban spaces. Recent research has developed measurement tools, advanced computer modeling and simulation systems, mapping techniques, questionnaires and narrative interview techniques to qualitatively evaluate the soundscape, language to describe the soundscape, design strategies to enhance the soundscape as well as a number of case studies illustrating applications of the theory in the design and inhabitation of buildings, urban spaces, parks and natural areas.

This issue of Buildings will broadly address recent advances in the theory, technology, practice and applications of soundscape design in buildings and urban spaces. High-quality manuscripts will be accepted from all areas of soundscape design in buildings and urban spaces. We are particularly interested in papers that address issues including how soundscape design methods can enhance the architectural and acoustical design of buildings, urban spaces, parks and natural areas; historical soundscapes in buildings and cities; improvements in soundscape design and assessment methods including instrumentation, survey tools, simulation technology, computer modeling and mapping; case studies of designs and installations; artistic and aesthetic composition and/or evaluation of sonic architecture; and perceptual studies in applied soundscapes. We are also interested in case studies of collaborations among researchers, designers and practitioners in multiple disciplines working together on complex soundscape evaluations and designs. Articles developing theoretical/philosophical positions on soundscape in design; linguistic, cultural, semiotic and social and other humanistic areas of study are also encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Gary W. Siebein
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • soundscape
  • urban design
  • architecture
  • soundwalk
  • architectural acoustics
  • acoustical design
  • sonography, noise
  • sound art
  • sonic environment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Basic Research in Human–Computer–Biosphere Interaction
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 635-660; doi:10.3390/buildings4040635
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
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Abstract
In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI) can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a
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In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI) can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a complex, and a non-linguistic soundscape. As an example, utilizing HCBI to experience forest soundscapes can help us feel one with nature, without physically being present in nature. The goal of HCBI is to achieve ecological interactions between humans and nature through computer systems without causing environmental destruction. To accomplish this, information connectivity must be created despite the physical separation between humans and the environment. This combination should also ensure ecological neutrality. In this paper, we present an overview of an HCBI concept, related work, methodologies, and developed interfaces. We used pre-recorded animal calls to enable a bio-acoustical feedback from the target wildlife. In this study, we primarily focus on the design and evaluation of a bio-acoustic interaction system utilizing tracking collars, microphones, speakers, infrared cameras, infrared heat sensors, micro-climate sensors, radio-tracking devices, GPS devices, radio clocks, embedded Linux boards, high-capacity batteries, and high-speed wireless communication devices. Our experiments successfully demonstrated bio-acoustic interactions between wildlife—more specifically, an endangered species of a wild cat—and human beings via a computer system, thus validating the HCBI concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of a Virtual Urban Soundscape
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 139-154; doi:10.3390/buildings4020139
Received: 24 January 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
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Abstract
The main research question addressed in this article is to find out to what extent it is possible to predict statistical noise levels such as L5 and L95 on an urban public square, based on the information about the square’s functionality,
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The main research question addressed in this article is to find out to what extent it is possible to predict statistical noise levels such as L5 and L95 on an urban public square, based on the information about the square’s functionality, the activities going on, and the architecture of the surrounding buildings. The same information is also exploited to auralize the soundscape on the virtual square, in order to assess the disturbance perceived by people of the traffic noise by means of laboratory listening tests, which are based on binaural sound recordings acquired in situ and incorporated in simulations to evoke typical acoustical situations. Auralizations were carried out by two calculation algorithms (ray-tracing and image source method) and two acoustic scenarios (an anechoic situation and a virtually reconstructed square in Odeon®). The statistical noise levels, calculated from the auralized soundscapes, compare well with measurements in situ. The listening test results also show that there are significant differences in people’s perception of traffic noise, depending on their origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Real-Time Room Acoustics Simulation into a CAD Modeling Software to Enhance the Architectural Design Process
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 113-138; doi:10.3390/buildings4020113
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (16755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For architects, real-time 3D visual rendering of CAD-models is a valuable tool. The architect usually perceives the visual appearance of the building interior in a natural and realistic way during the design process. Unfortunately this only emphasizes the role of the visual appearance
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For architects, real-time 3D visual rendering of CAD-models is a valuable tool. The architect usually perceives the visual appearance of the building interior in a natural and realistic way during the design process. Unfortunately this only emphasizes the role of the visual appearance of a building, while the acoustics often remain disregarded. Controlling the room acoustics is not integrated into most architects’ workflows—due to a lack of tools. The present contribution describes a newly developed plug-in for adding an adequate 3D-acoustics feedback to the architect. To present intuitively the acoustical effect of the current design project, the plug-in uses real-time audio rendering and 3D-reproduction. The room acoustics of the design can be varied by modifying structural shapes as well as by changing the material selection. In addition to the audio feedback, also a visualization of important room acoustics qualities is provided by displaying color-coded maps inside the CAD software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Volume for Concert Halls Based on Ando’s Subjective Preference and Barron Revised Theories
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 60-68; doi:10.3390/buildings4020060
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 27 March 2014
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Abstract
The Ando-Beranek’s model, a linear version of Ando’s subjective preference theory, obtained by the authors in a recent work, was combined with Barron revised theory. An optimal volume region for each reverberation time was obtained for classical music in symphony orchestra concert halls.
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The Ando-Beranek’s model, a linear version of Ando’s subjective preference theory, obtained by the authors in a recent work, was combined with Barron revised theory. An optimal volume region for each reverberation time was obtained for classical music in symphony orchestra concert halls. The obtained relation was tested with good agreement with the top rated halls reported by Beranek and other halls with reported anomalies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Site-Specific Soundscape Design for the Creation of Sonic Architectures and the Emergent Voices of Buildings
Buildings 2014, 4(1), 1-24; doi:10.3390/buildings4010001
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 29 January 2014
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Abstract
Does a building contain its own Voice? And if so, can that Voice be discovered, transformed and augmented by soundscape design? Barry Blesser’s writings on acoustic space, discuss reverberation and resonant frequencies as providing architectural spaces with characteristic listening conditions related to the
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Does a building contain its own Voice? And if so, can that Voice be discovered, transformed and augmented by soundscape design? Barry Blesser’s writings on acoustic space, discuss reverberation and resonant frequencies as providing architectural spaces with characteristic listening conditions related to the architectural space’s dimensions and materiality. The paper argues that Blesser and Salter expand such discussion into pantheistic speculation when suggesting that humanity contains the imaginative capacity to experience spaces as “living spirits”. This argument is achieved by building on the speculation through the discussion of a soundscape design methodology that considers space as containing pantheistic qualities. Sonic architectures are created with electroacoustic sound installations that recompose existing architectural soundscapes, to create the conditions for the emergence of the Voices of buildings. This paper describes two soundscape designs, Revoicing the Striated Soundscape and Subterranean Voices, which transformed existing architectural soundscapes for the emergence of Voices in a laneway and a building located in the City of Melbourne, Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Soundscapes
Buildings 2013, 3(4), 728-738; doi:10.3390/buildings3040728
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 12 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper offers a new approach to understanding, improving and designing soundscapes. “Soundscape” means all the sounds that can be heard in a specific location. Soundscapes can be understood only through peoples’ perceptions, and this paper proposes using those perceptions to link soundscape
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This paper offers a new approach to understanding, improving and designing soundscapes. “Soundscape” means all the sounds that can be heard in a specific location. Soundscapes can be understood only through peoples’ perceptions, and this paper proposes using those perceptions to link soundscape improvement and design with traditional noise control methods. Decades of experience have yielded in-depth understanding of how undesirable sounds may be controlled or reduced. The control methods, however, are generally applicable to single sources of sound while soundscapes are composed of multiple sounds. Using human judgments, first in the laboratory and later in the field, it will be possible to deconstruct any soundscape into its desirable and undesirable sounds, which may then, one-by-one, be subjected to proven methods of noise control. This approach includes complications, not the least of which is deciding how much the undesirable sounds should be reduced to perceptually improve the soundscape. Previous published studies, primarily laboratory, but also field studies, suggest that initial laboratory work followed by increasingly complex field applications, should result in an understanding of how soundscapes can be improved and desirable ones designed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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