Conference paper Open Access

Perception of acoustic comfort in large halls covered by transparent structural skins

Monika Rychtarikova, Daniel Urban, Magdalena Kassakova, Carl Maywald, Christ Glorieux

Large halls, such as shopping malls, atria or big entrance halls often suffer from various acoustic discomfort
issues, which are not necessarily caused by extremely high noise levels. Due to the large size of
halls and consequently the long trajectories that sound waves travel between the source, interior surfaces
and the receiver, sound reflections arriving from surrounding surfaces are not as strong as they would be in
smaller rooms. Reports in literature and comments by users of large halls concerning acoustic discomfort in
large halls, refer mainly to continuous reverberation related noise. Therefore, quantification of the acoustic
comfort by the reverberation time, which is related to the average absorption of interior surfaces and by the
equivalent sound pressure level, which in a large space is dominated by direct sound, is not adequate to
describe the global acoustic comfort or soundscape. Based on statistical noise analysis on auralized
soudscapes, this article proposes a set of measurable monaural and binaural acoustic parameters that adequately
describes the acoustic comfort in large halls. The study is focusing on rooms covered by traditional
materials, such as glass, plexiglass, etc. , and ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) foil structures.

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