Acoustics are invisible, complex and often seen as a ‘dark art’ by design teams. To explain acoustics better, we developed in-house software to model and crucially to visualise how sound and air flow through windows and acoustic air vents in a building. Being able to ‘see’ and hear the sound in a building before it is constructed makes it easier to understand acoustics and collaborate with acousticians. Design teams can then assess the sustainability and effectiveness of various noise mitigation solutions for open windows and vented facades.
In noisy environments buildings will often be mechanically ventilated and windows kept shut, but this can double a building’s (summertime) energy consumption. So how do we overcome the clash between a building’s acoustic and ventilation requirements – and what are the challenges and benefits of sustainable acoustics?