1pNS1: Innovative Solutions for Acoustic Disturbances Occurring in Slender Buildings

Bonnie Schnitta – bonnie@soundsense.com
Sean Harkin – sean@soundsense.com
Patrick Murray – patrick@soundsense.com
Collin Champagne – collin@soundsense.com
jeremy Newman – jeremy@soundsense.com

SoundSense, LLC
39 Industrial Rd, Unit 6
PO Box 1360
Wainscott, NY 11975

Popular version of paper 1pNS1: Innovative solutions for acoustic disturbances occurring in slender buildings
Presented Monday Afternoon, 1:20PM, November 29, 2021
181st ASA Meeting, Seattle, Washington

The construction of tall, slender buildings is trending globally. Structural engineering has made it possible for architects to achieve soaring heights with a smaller building footprint, leaving yesterday’s skyscrapers a thing of the past. The typical height to base ratio of a slender building is 10:1, although an 18:1 ratio is more common today. Tall buildings must flex and bend to absorb wind loads. As the ratio of height is increased, the impact caused by the wind on the slabs of each floor is also increased. This impact causes added movement of the walls, floors and ceilings which generate audible sounds of snap, creak, and pop. Regular exposure to this phenomenon may negatively impact the health and quality of life for the occupants. These disturbances can cause someone of normal hearing to wake from sleep or have their concentration disrupted, which is a growing concern for those individuals working from home. Medical experts have stated that exposure to this type of noise at home may cause stress, depression, high blood pressure, tension, tiredness, fatigue, or sleeplessness.
The presentation by SoundSense’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Bonnie Schnitta, at the upcoming Acoustic Society of America conference will show how to measure the sound and vibration in slender buildings during high wind conditions and what solutions exist for the findings. Case studies will be used to show how novel techniques have been used by SoundSense successfully in various projects.

In addition to showing how to engineer rooms that will acoustically withstand high wind conditions without excessive building sounds, interior architecture will be discussed to highlight how some designs may actually contribute to secondary noises. The presentation will cover the following:
• Use of insulation, density and resiliency to upgrade the acoustic properties of walls, preventing room to room noise transmission;
• Attachment of pipes and ductwork to walls or slabs using flexible connections, springs or rubber pads;
• How to appropriately use resilient seals in windows.

A device recently patented will be introduced to show how to assess acoustic leakage points, as even the smallest gap in the construction of a wall may compromise the efficacy of an acoustic treatment.

The importance of including materials that function as acoustic absorbers in any project’s design will also be discussed. Slender buildings typically utilize hard, reflective materials in large rooms, such as glass or drywall. When sound waves bounce off such surfaces it will create an echoey space that often amplifies noise.
The solutions developed by SoundSense to be presented at the upcoming ASA conference, will inform the attendees on the benefits of thoughtful, acoustic design to ensure the reduction or elimination of interior noise in Slender Buildings.

 

Bonnie Schnitta of Soundsense

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