Special Issue "Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Acoustics and Vibrations".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016) | Viewed by 33578

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Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jian Kang
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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the fast global urbanisation and the increasing requirements for high-quality built environments, the creation of a better sound quality, both for indoor and outdoor environments, has received more attention. This Special Issue, therefore, aims to collect 10-20 papers in this area, including room acoustics, building acoustics, and environmental acoustics. More specifically, topics covered will include room acoustics design, indoor noise control, sound insulation of building envelops, environmental acoustics, acoustic materials, and vibration. Research in the engineering aspects of sound and vibration, such as sound propagation and noise control techniques, as well as perception aspects of sound, such as indoor acoustic comfort and environmental soundscapes, will be considered.

Prof. Dr. Jian Kang
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • room acoustics
  • building acoustics
  • environmental acoustics
  • sound insulation
  • acoustic materials
  • vibration
  • sound propagation
  • noise control techniques
  • perception
  • acoustic comfort
  • soundscape

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of the Distance from a Diffusive Surface on the Objective and Perceptual Evaluation of the Sound Field in a Small Simulated Variable-Acoustics Hall
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7030224 - 28 Feb 2017
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2674
Abstract
Simulations of the acoustic effects that diffusive surfaces have on the objective acoustic parameters and on sound perception have not yet been fully understood. To this end, acoustic simulations have been performed in Odeon in the model of a variable-acoustic concert hall. This [...] Read more.
Simulations of the acoustic effects that diffusive surfaces have on the objective acoustic parameters and on sound perception have not yet been fully understood. To this end, acoustic simulations have been performed in Odeon in the model of a variable-acoustic concert hall. This paper is presented as a follow-up study to a previous paper that dealt with in-field measurements only. As in measurements, a diffusive and a reflective condition of one of the lateral walls have been considered in the room models. Two modeling alternatives of the diffusive condition, that is, (a) a flat surface with high scattering coefficient applied; and (b) a triangular relief modeled including edge diffraction, have been investigated. Objective acoustic parameters, such as early decay time (EDT), reverberation time (T30), clarity (C80), definition (D50), and interaural cross correlation (IACC), have been compared between the two conditions. Moreover, an auditory experiment has been performed to determine the maximum distance from a diffusive surface at which the simulated acoustic scattering effects are still audible. Although the simulated objective results showed a good match with measured values, the subjective results showed that the differences between the diffuse and reflective conditions become significant when model (b) is used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
Global and Continuous Pleasantness Estimation of the Soundscape Perceived during Walking Trips through Urban Environments
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020144 - 05 Feb 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2630
Abstract
This paper investigates how the overall pleasantness of the sound environment of an urban walking trip can be estimated through acoustical measurements along the path. For this purpose, two laboratory experiments were carried out, during which controlled and natural 3-min audio and audiovisual [...] Read more.
This paper investigates how the overall pleasantness of the sound environment of an urban walking trip can be estimated through acoustical measurements along the path. For this purpose, two laboratory experiments were carried out, during which controlled and natural 3-min audio and audiovisual sequences were presented. Participants were asked to continuously assess the pleasantness of the sound environment along the sequence, and globally at its end. The results reveal that the global sound pleasantness is principally explained by the average of the instantaneous sound pleasantness values. Accounting for recency or trend effects improved the estimates of the global sound pleasantness over controlled sound sequences, but their contribution is not significant for the second group of stimuli, which are based on natural audio sequences and include visual information. In addition, models for global and continuous pleasantness, as a function of the instantaneous sound pressure level Leq,1s, are proposed. The instantaneous sound pleasantness is found to be mainly impacted by the average sound level over the past 6 s. A logarithmic fading mechanism, extracted from psychological literature, is also proposed for this modelling, and slightly improves the estimations. Finally, the globally perceived sound pleasantness can be accurately estimated from the sound pressure level of the sound sequences, explaining about 60% of the variance in the global sound pleasantness ratings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
The Personal Viewpoint on the Meaning of Tranquility Affects the Appraisal of the Urban Park Soundscape
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7010091 - 17 Jan 2017
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3546
Abstract
Previous research has shown that tranquil areas in the city, such as urban parks, are usually perceived as positive and have a restorative effect on visitors. However, visitors could experience these spaces differently depending on the meaning they assign to the concept of [...] Read more.
Previous research has shown that tranquil areas in the city, such as urban parks, are usually perceived as positive and have a restorative effect on visitors. However, visitors could experience these spaces differently depending on the meaning they assign to the concept of tranquility. To investigate how individuals’ personal views on tranquility affect their perception of the sonic environment, a soundscape study was conducted in several city parks in Antwerp, Belgium. Mobile sound measurements were combined with a questionnaire survey amongst 660 park visitors. Within the survey, the participants’ viewpoint on tranquility was evaluated using their agreement with a set of previously established prototypical statements, categorizing them into one out of three main tranquility viewpoint groups: people that associate tranquility with silence, those that associate it with hearing natural sounds, or those that associate it with social relationships. Next to this, the sounds that participants had heard during their visit were noted, and their perception of the overall quality of the soundscape and the degree to which it matched their expectation were assessed. Results show that the park visitors who associate tranquility with natural sounds or to silence are more often found amongst those that report hearing mechanical sounds a lot. The same groups of visitors rate the overall quality of the sonic environment of the park more often bad to very bad. These findings suggest that park visitors pay attention more to the sounds they do not expect to hear, and that the higher their expectations about the soundscape, the more critical they become in their appraisal of the soundscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
A Psychoacoustic Investigation on the Effect of External Shading Devices on Building Facades
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(12), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6120429 - 14 Dec 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2911
Abstract
Due to energetic and natural lighting factors, building facades often present external shading devices, but the acoustic properties of such devices have not yet been well studied. This study was carried out using a full-scale model of a portion of a shading device, [...] Read more.
Due to energetic and natural lighting factors, building facades often present external shading devices, but the acoustic properties of such devices have not yet been well studied. This study was carried out using a full-scale model of a portion of a shading device, in a semi-anechoic chamber, using traditional and sound absorbing louvres. The psychoacoustic effects produced by the shading system were evaluated through comparisons between averaged values of loudness, roughness and sharpness levels, as well as sound pressure levels as reference. Results highlighted that the sound absorbing shading device offers good attenuation in terms of loudness, roughness and sound pressure level, with a small reduction in sharpness. The traditional shading system studied does not efficiently reduce the analysed parameters, or even worsens the situation. Several analyses of variance were carried out, one for each situation studied. The sound source position and the louvres’ tilt angle both produce statistically significant effects on almost all of the variations of the parameters studied. The analyses of the partial eta squared factors highlighted that source position and louvre tilt angle affect the variations of the parameters studied to a different degree in respect of the two types of louvres. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
Personality Traits Bias the Perceived Quality of Sonic Environments
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(12), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6120405 - 03 Dec 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2325
Abstract
There have been few empirical investigations of how individual differences influence the perception of the sonic environment. The present study included the Big Five traits and noise sensitivity as personality factors in two listening experiments (n = 43, n = 45). Recordings [...] Read more.
There have been few empirical investigations of how individual differences influence the perception of the sonic environment. The present study included the Big Five traits and noise sensitivity as personality factors in two listening experiments (n = 43, n = 45). Recordings of urban and restaurant soundscapes that had been selected based on their type were rated for Pleasantness and Eventfulness using the Swedish Soundscape Quality Protocol. Multivariate multiple regression analysis showed that ratings depended on the type and loudness of both kinds of sonic environments and that the personality factors made a small yet significant contribution. Univariate models explained 48% (cross-validated adjusted R2) of the variation in Pleasantness ratings of urban soundscapes, and 35% of Eventfulness. For restaurant soundscapes the percentages explained were 22% and 21%, respectively. Emotional stability and noise sensitivity were notable predictors whose contribution to explaining the variation in quality ratings was between one-tenth and nearly half of the soundscape indicators, as measured by squared semipartial correlation. Further analysis revealed that 36% of noise sensitivity could be predicted by broad personality dimensions, replicating previous research. Our study lends empirical support to the hypothesis that personality traits have a significant though comparatively small influence on the perceived quality of sonic environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
Analysis of Psychoacoustic and Vibration-Related Parameters to Track the Reasons for Health Complaints after the Introduction of New Tramways
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(12), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6120398 - 30 Nov 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2832
Abstract
Background: A change to new tramways in Graz (Austria) led to severe complaints in residential areas. To understand the underlying reasons for these complaints, a systematic measurement campaign was designed. Methods: Six locations in Graz and two locations in a comparably sized city [...] Read more.
Background: A change to new tramways in Graz (Austria) led to severe complaints in residential areas. To understand the underlying reasons for these complaints, a systematic measurement campaign was designed. Methods: Six locations in Graz and two locations in a comparably sized city were selected. Parallel indoor recordings of sound and vibrations were conducted from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. (due to sleep problems) at all locations. Results: Vibration levels remained below the limits of the Austrian standard (Wm-weighting) although variability was observed among sites, tram types and pass-bys. A complex characteristic of the acoustic feature space was found with A-weighting (differences between A- and C-weighting of more than 15 dB were observed). C-weighted background to peak noise ratios clearly distinguished “old” from “new” trams. Psychoacoustic indices indicated a high variability between locations and tram types. Roughness and loudness was higher in “new” versus “old” trams at most locations. “New” trams exhibited high sharpness values and variability, especially at higher speeds—when compared with trams from a control city. Conclusions: Standard indicators of sound and vibration were not sensitive enough to uncover the reasons for the complaints. Only the integrated analysis of the ambient soundscape (high signal-to-noise-ratio), the more noticeable sound (in psychoacoustic terms) and the observed high variance of the immissions provided guidance to implement appropriate technical solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
Field Measurements of Water Supply and Drainage Noise in the Bathrooms of Korea’s Multi-Residential Buildings
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(11), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6110372 - 22 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3364
Abstract
In Korea, water supply and drainage noises result in one of the main noise complaints because more than 50% of people reside in multi-residential buildings. In this study, a series of field measurements were therefore carried out to examine the current noise situation. [...] Read more.
In Korea, water supply and drainage noises result in one of the main noise complaints because more than 50% of people reside in multi-residential buildings. In this study, a series of field measurements were therefore carried out to examine the current noise situation. The noise levels were measured in the bathrooms of the upper and lower floors, as well as in habitable rooms. The measurement results for the bathrooms of the lower floor (N = 113) are 47.8 dBA (water closet), 42.7 dBA (basin), and 33.9 dBA (bathtub) for water drainage, while values vary between 33.7 dBA and 37.0 dBA for the water supply. The results suggest that the water drainage noise needs to be controlled first. The system bathroom (42.8 dBA) produced lower noise levels than the wet construction method (48.2 dBA) for all of the sanitary wares. The highest noise levels in the living rooms (N = 11) and bedrooms (N = 8) of the lower floor are 34.3 dBA and 39.1 dBA, respectively. The average noise level in the rooms (N = 19) is 37.8 dBA. The overall result suggests that it is necessary to develop an acoustic guideline to satisfy the higher Class of the 2nd ISO/CD 19488, although the current noise level satisfies Class C (living room) and Class D (bedroom). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
Validation of a Numerical Model for the Prediction of the Annoyance Condition at the Operator Station of Construction Machines
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(11), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6110363 - 18 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1904
Abstract
It is well-known that the reduction of noise levels is not strictly linked to the reduction of noise annoyance. Even earthmoving machine manufacturers are facing the problem of customer complaints concerning the noise quality of their machines with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, all the [...] Read more.
It is well-known that the reduction of noise levels is not strictly linked to the reduction of noise annoyance. Even earthmoving machine manufacturers are facing the problem of customer complaints concerning the noise quality of their machines with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, all the studies geared to the understanding of the relationship between multidimensional characteristics of noise signals and the auditory perception of annoyance require repeated sessions of jury listening tests, which are time-consuming. In this respect, an annoyance prediction model was developed for compact loaders to assess the annoyance sensation perceived by operators at their workplaces without repeating the full sound quality assessment but using objective parameters only. This paper aims at verifying the feasibility of the developed annoyance prediction model when applied to other kinds of earthmoving machines. For this purpose, an experimental investigation was performed on five earthmoving machines, different in type, dimension, and engine mechanical power, and the annoyance predicted by the numerical model was compared to the annoyance given by subjective listening tests. The results were evaluated by means of the squared value of the correlation coefficient, R2, and they confirm the possible applicability of the model to other kinds of machines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
Advanced Rating Method of Airborne Sound Insulation
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(11), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6110322 - 26 Oct 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
This paper describes an advanced calculation scheme based on the loudness level linked to the specific fluctuation strength yielding a weighted normalized loudness level difference as a single number value. This advanced rating method is a useful tool investigating airborne sound insulation. Evidence [...] Read more.
This paper describes an advanced calculation scheme based on the loudness level linked to the specific fluctuation strength yielding a weighted normalized loudness level difference as a single number value. This advanced rating method is a useful tool investigating airborne sound insulation. Evidence has been presented that a simple level difference is not a suitable method to exhibit the effects of a given signal to the airborne sound insulation. Additionally, while using a weighted normalized loudness level difference, the effect of different test signals results in a significant influence in the single number value. By analyzing the difference between the standard airborne sound insulation value and the weighted normalized loudness level difference, the sound pressure level that is transmitted through a partition is demonstrated to contain important details concerning the subjective assessment. This study supports findings in the literature that airborne sound insulation performance is significantly dependent on what type of sound signal is used. This paper investigates six different thicknesses of a sand-lime brick using five different sound samples. The study indicates that no single number value can be modeled at this time in relation to a certain construction to fulfill comparable results related to a hearing sensation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Article
An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People’s Behaviour in an Open Public Space
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(10), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6100276 - 27 Sep 2016
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 3710
Abstract
Several studies have investigated how environmental sounds and music can modulate people’s behaviours, particularly in marketing research. However, there are relatively few examples of research about such relationships with a focus on the management of urban public spaces. The current study investigated an [...] Read more.
Several studies have investigated how environmental sounds and music can modulate people’s behaviours, particularly in marketing research. However, there are relatively few examples of research about such relationships with a focus on the management of urban public spaces. The current study investigated an open public space used mainly as a pedestrian crossing to analyse the relationship between the audio stimuli and peoples’ behaviours. An experiment relying on covert behavioural observation was performed. During the experiment, three different music stimuli and a control condition (i.e., no music) were reproduced in order to find out firstly whether music compared to no music could elicit an increase in the number of people stopping in the investigated area, and secondly whether music is associated with a longer duration of stay for those who stop. Results showed that the presence of music had no effect on the number of people stopping in the area, but it had a statistically significant effect on the duration of stay for those who stopped. The above findings support the idea that people felt more invited to stay in the area with music rather than with no music, and suggest that the acoustical manipulation of the existing sound environment could provide soundscape strategies capable of promoting social cohesion in public spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Review

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Review
A Review on Natural Ventilation-enabling Façade Noise Control Devices for Congested High-Rise Cities
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020175 - 13 Feb 2017
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4367
Abstract
This review summarizes the current status of the research and development of natural ventilation-enabling noise control devices for use on the façades of high-rise residential buildings in congested cities. These devices are important for a sustainable urbanized city, as they are supposed to [...] Read more.
This review summarizes the current status of the research and development of natural ventilation-enabling noise control devices for use on the façades of high-rise residential buildings in congested cities. These devices are important for a sustainable urbanized city, as they are supposed to offer good acoustical protection to citizens, allowing for an acceptable level of natural ventilation inside residential units; energy for mechanical ventilation can then be saved. From the information presented in the existing literature, it is concluded that protrusive devices, such as lintels and balconies, are not effective noise screening devices, even if they are installed with sound absorbers and/or reflectors, under the effect of city reverberation. On the contrary, plenum windows and similar structures, which are plenum structures with a staggered air inlet and outlet, are interesting alternatives that are worth rigorous considerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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