Building acoustics

Sound insulation for a pleasant living and working environment#

Pleasant living and working environments require adequate structural sound insulation. Building acoustics aims to reduce the airborne and impact transmission of sound in buildings in order to minimize disturbances caused by internal and external noise. This is achieved through comprehensive measurements as well as research and development work in close cooperation with manufacturers and the construction industry.

Since buildings have many different sources and transmission paths of noise, building acoustics covers a broad spectrum of activities. The most important fields of work are:

  • Sound insulation measurements on building components of all kinds (airborne and impact sound). Measurements can be carried out in our test facilities or on site.
  • Measurement of noise caused by building service equipment:
    acquired through numerous projects, the Fraunhofer IBP experts are particularly knowledgeable when it comes to water installations.
  • Research and development in the field of building acoustics: in addition to publicly funded projects, the focus is on developing and optimizing building components and systems.

More than twenty building acoustics test facilities and numerous different measuring instruments are at our disposal. Measurements are performed in an accredited test laboratory recognized by the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt), ensuring that the issued test reports can be also be used for building inspection purposes.

Measurements according to standards

Most building acoustics measurements are carried out according to standardized procedures, mainly in the accredited testing laboratory area. Examples include air and impact sound insulation, sound absorption coefficients of building components, and noise generated by water fittings and building service equipment.

Special measuring methods

Standardized methods are not always sufficient to solve a measurement task. Therefore, additional equipment such as an acoustic camera, acoustic near-field holography, and a scanning laser vibrometer are available for particular issues. We also used methods which we have developed ourselves.

Development of acoustic building components

Optimizing existing building components, and developing new, improved designs are key activities at Fraunhofer IBP. The work is usually carried out on behalf of the manufacturer and includes almost all existing building products - from bricks right through to elevators.

Research

Applied research is a prerequisite for technical progress and long-term economic success in the construction industry. With all the necessary laboratories and facilities at its disposal, Fraunhofer IBP works on public and industrial projects in all areas of building acoustics.

Planning noise protection measures

To comply with noise protection requirements under building law and to avoid noise insulation deficiencies, construction measures must be carefully planned. Our experts support planners by making building acoustic calculations and providing measured and empirical values.

Sound immission protection

The level of external noise acting on a specific building location determines the extent of sound insulation of external building components. Determining the external noise level is the task of sound immission protection. The experts at Fraunhofer IBP are therefore also working intensively in this field.