What Are The Primary Fundamentals Of Acoustic Design?

Fundamentals Of Acoustic Design?

Acoustic designing is a branch of architectural engineering wherein a particular focus is on achieving good sound in a space. This includes- 

  • Noise cancellation 

  • Echoes

  • Maintaining sound isolation

  • Sound transmission 

  • Being fit for acoustic performances 

As countries worldwide are striving for urbanisation and industrialisation, our everyday lives are interrupted by traffic and crowd noise. Therefore, this has put into perspective an increased need for acoustic architecture. To fully understand acoustic designs, it is vital to delve into their fundamentals. Which comprises the following.

Reverberation Time 

The reverberation time of a room is determined by checking how much time it takes for the sound to decrease by 60 decibels (dB). For instance, if it takes a speech delivery of 200 dB 30 seconds to reach 140 dB, then the room's reverberation time is 30 seconds. 

This feature is essential to the acoustics of the space because it determines whether the delivery of the speech will be clear or muffled. The higher the reverberation time, the lesser clarity speech will have in that space. 

 Sound Insulation

The purpose of sound insulation is to prevent the loss of decibels in the course of speech delivery. What this means is that if a person speaking from room A delivered their speech at 45 dB and it reaches room B at only 10 dB, then space requires more sound insulation. It is necessary as a result of a lot of decibels being lost on the path of transmission. Hence, this negatively is impacting the acoustics of the room.

Sound Absorption 

Sound absorption or acoustic absorption is the process by which objects, structures, and materials take in sound energy instead of reflecting it. This energy is either absorbed or further transmitted into space. 

Sound absorption positively impacts the acoustics of a room as higher absorption decreases the reverberation time. As seen above, a lesser reverberation time means better and more efficient speech delivery in the room.  

Noise Nuisance 

As briefly mentioned above, noise in domestic areas or establishments has become an issue due to rapid urbanisation and overcrowding. All the aforementioned factors- reverberation time, sound insulation, and sound absorption-can lead to lesser noise nuisance if modified appropriately. Noise nuisance can be of 3 types- 

  • Neighbour noises can be from other houses or establishments in the vicinity. 

  • Transportation noise coming from the vehicle. It primarily affects those who live on main roads.

  • Neighbourhood noises refer to construction sites, noise from businesses and other premises in the area. 

These are essential factors to consider before building or plot selection for a new building/space as it heavily impacts how it will be designed acoustically. 

Inferring from the points mentioned above, the four fundamentals of acoustic designs and architecture are clear. These fundamentals heavily determine the potential of a particular space as per sounds and the quality of communication. 


Acoustic design helps tackle a serious and increasingly threatening form of pollution- noise pollution. With lockdowns and quarantines as a likely situation at any time, it is vital to make sure our homes and spaces of comfort are acoustically designed for prolonged settlement in space/room.


Author’s Bio

Shrey Jain is the Co-Founder of Writofy & a Chartered Accountant who works with a team of creative content writers. He holds a forte in creating informative content on niches like crypto, business, fintech, digital marketing, and several others. In addition, his willingness to learn and share his knowledge can immensely help readers get valuable insights on varied topics. 

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