Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Practice,Second Edition
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More About This Title Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Practice,Second Edition


Get the leading guide to acoustics for architects, engineers, and interior designers.

A widely recognized, comprehensive reference to acoustic principles for all concerned with the built environment, Architectural Acoustics, Second Edition provides design professionals with up-to-date information on basic concepts, acoustical materials, and technologies for controlling wanted or unwanted sound within and around buildings.

Written by a team of internationally recognized experts and experienced consultants, this Second Edition covers fundamental acoustic principles, design criteria, acoustical materials, control strategies, and methods for a wide variety of building types, including educational, healthcare, recreational, residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation facilities. Particular attention is given to places for listening and performance such as theaters, churches, concert and recital halls, outdoor arenas, classrooms, multiuse auditoria, libraries, music practice and rehearsal rooms, recording and broadcast studios, sports venues, home theaters, and other spaces that people meet to communicate and enjoy performance.

Updated throughout, this edition features:

  • New information on acoustical standards and guidelines for sustainable building design.
  • Additional, richly detailed case studies demonstrating real-world applications, including the acclaimed Walt Disney Concert Hall and many other building types.
  • Nearly 200 photos and illustrations that further elucidate specific principles, applications, and techniques.
  • New developments in sound reinforcement and audio visual systems and their integration in room design.
  • Progress in research and future directions in acoustical modeling.

With fundamental conceptual understanding of basic acoustical principles provided by Architectural Acoustics, Second Edition, building designers can confidently create aesthetically and aurally pleasing spaces, while avoiding problems that could be very costly, if not impossible, to solve later.


William J. Cavanaugh, FASA, INCE (Bd. Cert.), is a founding partner and senior principal emeritus of Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc., an acoustical consulting firm based in Sudbury, Massachusetts. His distinguished career as an acoustical consultant to the world's leading architectural and engineering firms and as a teacher at architectural schools spans more than four decades. He has served as president of both the National Council of Acoustical Consultants and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. He was awarded the prestigious Wallace Clement Sabine Medal, the Acoustical Society of America's highest honor in architectural acoustics, in 2006.

Gregory C. Tocci, FASA, INCE (Bd. Cert.), a registered professional engineer, is founding partner, president, and chief executive officer of Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc. His extensive background and experience as a mechanical engineer brings important insights to solving mechanical system noise and structural vibration problems in buildings. He has served as president of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering and the National Council of Acoustical Consultants, and is a co-chair of American National Standards Institute Committee S12 Noise, Working Group 44 on Speech Privacy.

Joseph A. Wilkes, FAIA, is a registered architect and the editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Architecture (Wiley). He has taught at the schools of architecture at the University of Florida and the University of Maryland and has served on the Building Research Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences.



About the Authors.


Chapter 1 Introduction to Architectural Acoustics and Basic Principles (WILLIAM J. CAVANAUGH).

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Basic Concepts.

1.3 Design Criteria.

1.4 Selected Standards in Building Acoustics.

Further Reading.

CASE STUDY: Fogg Art Museum Lecture Hall, Harvard University (1895–1973) 33.

Chapter 2 Acoustical Materials and Methods (REIN PIRN AND JEFFREY L. FULLERTON).

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Sound Attenuation.

2.3 Sound Absorption 44.

2.4 Common Building Materials.

2.5 Acoustical Materials.

2.6 Special Devices.

2.7 Performance Tables.


Further Reading.

Selected Web Resources.

CASE STUDY: Duke University Chapel: A Lesson on Acoustical Materials.

CASE STUDY: Boston Waterfront Development Under a Flight Path: Sound-Isolating Façade.

Constructions to Reduce Intrusive Noise.

CASE STUDY: Berklee College of Music: Sound-Isolating Constructions Between Percussion Studios.

Chapter 3 Building Noise Control Applications (GREGORY C. TOCCI).

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Acoustical Analysis.

3.3 Standards Organizations for the Building Industry.

3.4 Overview of Building Noise Control Design.

3.5 Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning System Noise Control.


Further Reading.

CASE STUDY: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts: Cooling Tower Sound Isolation.

CASE STUDY: Field Impact Insulation Class Rating Measurements of Condominium Floor/Ceiling Construction.

CASE STUDY: Noise Insulation Class Rating Measurements of a Hotel Guestroom Door.

CASE STUDY: 500 Atlantic Avenue Hotel/Condominium Building Vibration Isolation.

Chapter 4 Acoustical Design: Places for Listening (L. GERALD MARSHALL).

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Sound Outdoors and Transition to Indoor Acoustics.

4.3 Concert Halls and Recital Halls.

4.4 Opera Houses, Theaters, General-Purpose Auditoriums, and Worship Spaces.

4.5 Other Places for Speech and Music Activities.


Further Reading.

CASE STUDY: Holy Cross Church, Dewitt, New York.

CASE STUDY: Mitchell Hall at the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware—Historic Renovation.

CASE STUDY: The New Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, Scarsdale, New York.

CASE STUDY: Katherine M. Elfers Concert Hall at the Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut.

CASE STUDY: Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, Lenox, Massachusetts.

CASE STUDY: Hollywood Bowl Stage Redesign, Los Angeles, California.

Chapter 5 Sound Systems (MATTHEW J. MOORE).

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Loudspeaker Systems.

5.3 Equipment.

5.4 Examples of Sound Reinforcement and Reproduction Systems.

5.5 Special Sound System Installations.

Further Reading.

CASE STUDY: Hanover Theatre, Worcester, Massachusetts.

CASE STUDY: Agganis Arena and Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

CASE STUDY: Ave Maria University Oratory, Ave Maria, Florida.

CASE STUDY: University of Connecticut Student Union, Storrs, Connecticut.

CASE STUDY: Rhode Island Senate Chamber, Providence, Rhode Island.

CASE STUDY: Rhodes Arts Center, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Gill, Massachusetts.

CASE STUDY: Tufts University Granoff Music Center, Medford, Massachusetts.

CASE STUDY: Jay Pritzker Music Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois.

Chapter 6 Recent Innovations in Acoustical Design and Research (GARY W. SIEBEIN AND BERTRAM Y. KINZEY, JR.).

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Understanding and Measuring Room Acoustic Qualities.

6.3 Acoustical Modeling and Aural Simulation.

6.4 Other Directions in Architectural Acoustics Research.

6.5 Conclusions.


Further Reading.

CASE STUDY: Recent Halls for the Performing Arts and Acoustical Model Studies.

CASE STUDY: Segerstrom Hall, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Orange County, California.

CASE STUDY: McDermott Concert Hall, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, Texas.

CASE STUDY: Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Anchorage, Alaska.

CASE STUDY: Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, Texas.

CASE STUDY: The Esplanade Concert Hall, Theaters on the Bay, Singapore.

CASE STUDY: Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Takemitsu Memorial, Tokyo, Japan.

CASE STUDY: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California.

CASE STUDY: Computer Model Tests.

Chapter 7 Sustainable Design and Acoustics (ETHAN SALTER, LEED AP).

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Organizations Leading the Green Building Movement.

7.3 Acoustical Challenges of Green Design.

7.4 Postoccupancy Evaluations of Green Buildings.

7.5 Examples of Building Types Designed for Green Ratings.

7.6 Conclusion.


Further Reading.

Internet and Web Resources.

CASE STUDY: Global Ecology Research Center at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

CASE STUDY: Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon, California.

CASE STUDY: Charles Salter Associates Tenant Improvement Office, San Francisco, California.


Appendix A: Conversion Factors, Abbreviations, and Unit Symbols.

Appendix B: Acoustical Societies Throughout the World.

Appendix C: Selection of an Acoustical Consultant.

Appendix D: Self-Study Guide for Using this Book.