Sound Transmission Indoors – Study of Whole Houses

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Project 38’s goal is to provide insight into how typical dwelling envelopes affect indoor sound levels due to non-sonic boom aircraft noise. Many existing aircraft noise guidelines are based primarily on outdoor sound levels. However, human perception is largely based on indoor response. This study will leverage existing technologies in sound transmission to model the combined sound isolation of dwelling envelopes. The model will be whole-housed focused; that is, the research will focus on composite dwelling envelopes (walls + windows + roof, etc). Initial focus will be on continuous noise signatures using the 50 Hz to 10,000 Hz range. Model results will be verified against outdoor/indoor recordings taken as part of the previous PARTNER Low-Frequency Noise study. Additionally, typical construction types around major U.S. airports will be identified and used to develop model predictions of indoor noise levels. Finally, a pilot effort will explore the application of the finite element method for continuous noise signatures including spectral content below 50 Hz, thus potentially extending the whole house model into the low frequency region. The models and techniques developed through this project will result in an improved tool for assessing aircraft noise propagation through structures that may be used in future work to model additional source signatures and construction types.

Anticipated outcome

Improved tools for modeling and assessing aircraft noise propagation through typical dwelling envelopes. Database of typical construction types around major U.S. airports.

Participating universities

Georgia Institute of Technology
Pennsylvania State University

Lead investigators

Erica E. Ryherd, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct to College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology
Kathleen Hodgdon, Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University
Victor W. Sparrow, Professor of Acoustics, Graduate Program in Acoustics, Pennsylvania State University

Project manager

Hua He