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Berlin, Germany

Parts 1 and 2 of this treatise have concentrated on the reverberation time which is considered as the most important acoustic parameter among all serious acousticians. The author is convinced that - provided that it carries the right frequency characteristic - it forms the basis for the functional conditioning of any arbitrary enclosure. Only after having cleared the room from its "bass rumble and hum" can computer simulations and auralizations [1], which are employed preferably, of course, at the medium frequencies, give valuable hints upon the expected room quality. In order to correlate the preference put forward herein with other relevant criteria, its effect on the latter shall also, though only briefly, be now discussed. It should, however, be said beforehand that the favoured reverberation characteristic avoiding an increase, even better: enabling a decrease towards the low frequencies, does in no way complicate, instead even facilitate the tasks of an acoustician with respect to the manifold additional demands of modern architectures. In what follows a broad bow is drawn from Greek amphitheatres and Roman odeia, Chinese courtyard theatres and English Shakespearean globes to present soccer stadiums. In part 4 will then be presented - apart from a few exemplary restoration projects - the new design of a multipurpose theatre with a classical (cylindrical) gross structure of the auditorium, as demonstrations of this room-acoustical philosophy even under often adverse boundary conditions. In part 5 it will finally be shown that the same concept has not only functionally but also ergonomically proven to be of use in any enclosures for intense verbal communications. © 2011 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

When it comes to the acoustic design of rooms for speech performances one traditionally considers the transmission from a single speaker to a completely quiet audience, as should be the case in a theatre or lecture situation. Merely background noise from outside or neighbouring rooms and the reverberance of the only voice in the room could thus limit speech intelligibility. On such a relatively rare situation are all our standards and instructions primarily based. In real work and leisure environments which are normally flooded with communications and interactions, however, quite another phenomenon has come to the fore which has but little in common with the before mentioned problems: Simultaneously raised voices accumulate to a tremendous self-generated noise level with the number of users increasing who want to participate in conversations and discussions, if the room lacks a proper conditioning for this purpose. In parts 1 to 3 of this series a somewhat novel room-acoustic concept has been developed and was already applied in part 4 to a broad variety of enclosures for musical uses. Here concrete examples and practical results are now presented out of a broad spectrum of rooms for communicative uses. In the first section the focus is on the noise burden developing in smaller rooms. The second deals with the acoustical treatment of larger work and assembly rooms, i.e. again the ergonomic aspects of acoustics. The third section fully concentrates on the functional aspects of acoustics when finally aiming at the support of any kind of verbal performances and interactions in order to raise the acoustical quality of a room with an emphasis on more comfort for its users and more market value for its owners. © 2011 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

Noise control according to German standards DIN 4109 and VDI 4100 occasionally plays an important role. Architectural acoustics, however, are still deplorably underrated and ill-treated, even after the new DIN 18041 has been issued. This holds for enclosures of any size and uses. Experiences from hundreds of new buildings, restorations and adjustments which dealt with acoustic comfort as well as functional value for speech and music suggest that designers and consultants should pay new and more attention to the reverberation characteristics of the rooms. This series will focus on misconceptions and nuisances concerning the treatment of the bass spectrum. Concrete practical examples will help to demonstrate, how one may create new design options by enabling more acoustic transparency and clarity through an adequate damping of the low frequencies. © 2011 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

In Part 1 of this series the present working conditions for a functional room-acoustic design were outlined. The prevailing doctrines, standards and preoccupations were critically questioned which are cultivated by acousticians with respect to the desirable reverberation of rooms of differing size and use. Frequent problems were identified at the low frequencies especially in small, but also in large rooms. Here the often depreciated relevance of the bass regime will be underlined by further citations. A church room which is highly esteemed by musicians and sound engineers for its outstanding acoustical quality demonstrates the positive influence of a suppression of the reverberation at the low and simultaneous enhancement at the high frequencies on the performance and recording of speech and music. Numerous users of this room support these conclusions with their professional sensations. Copyright © 2011 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

Substantial complaints about deficits in education, loads on teachers and tutors as well as subsequent losses due to various diseases have raised the general awareness of noise levels in tuition and care utilities. To cope with this omnipresent problem, constructional measures are required which can provide environments for a relaxed communication among numerous users without necessarily raising their voices. Here a room-acoustical model installation is presented which has solved the problem by means of broadband sound absorbers concentrated in only the edges of a day-nursery of a public elementary school. These 'edge absorbers', especially designed for this purpose, are easily installed and simply refurbished in the same way as rigid ceiling or wall surfaces. The subjective assessment of the achievements by those responsible and the users themselves are backed by objective measurements of the reverberation spectra for four different acoustic conditions in the room. The report finally calls for a reinforced public and private engagement in this field. © 2013 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

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