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Objective and subjective assessment of rain noise in rooms covered by structural skins

There is a great motivation for architects to apply structural skins including ETFE cushions to cover large spaces such as sports halls, swimming pools, shopping malls, airports, and/or different atria. The incentive lies behind interesting material properties, namely little weight, transparency, thermal performance, and sustainability. In terms of acoustics, ETFE cushions also have very special characteristics which made them almost acoustically transparent at low frequencies. These properties were discussed in many architectural, acoustic, or building physics conferences and articles recently (Chiu et al., 2015; Urban et el., 2016; Maywald and Riesser, 2016; Hu et al., 2017 Rychtáriková et al., 2017; Lamnatou et al., 2018; Rychtáriková et al., 2020; Lavasani et al., 2021; Zanelli et al., 2021), however, the effect of rain noise was not methodically considered in the design while it can remarkably influence the acoustic comfort and speech intelligibility of the interior space(Yu and Hopkins, 2020). Taking into consideration the demand to applicate structural skins in more noise-sensitive environments, such as universities, schools, and large libraries, this research aims to assess objectively and subjectively the effect of the noise generated by rainfall in the halls covered by ETFE cushions. Research Questions: • How is the rain noise perceived in large atria covered by structural skins? And how large is the influence of each rain characteristic (rainfall rate, drop size, the spectrum of raindrops, impact velocity, etc) in terms of perception by people? • How much does the dispersion of the rain from one drop to a large surface affect the total character of the sound source (point source /surface source) and its sound power level? • In which accuracy it is possible to predict the rain noise in large rooms? • Determination of the rainfall noise spectrum based on measurement of rain characteristics in the laboratory and large atria covered by structural skins. • Preparation of the architectural guideline with advice on how to reduce the disturbance of the rain noise in the rooms covered by the ETFE cushions.

Date:4 Oct 2022 →  Today
Keywords:acoustics, structural skins, ETFE, acoustic perception, rain noise, room acoustics
Disciplines:Building physics, Architectural sciences and technology
Project type:PhD project