Learning a Vocabulary for Acoustics Fundamentals

By Jeff Boldt 

With current architecture trends favoring open rooms, hard surfaces, expanded daylighting, and exposed HVAC ducts, acoustics design has become more important in the AEC design community. But, by nature, acoustics design is a response to the subjectivity of the human response to sound and comes with regularly changing terminology that can be confusing. 

In my Engineers Notebook column for the December 2020 issue of ASHRAE Journal, I collaborated with David Wright, IMEG Senior Acoustic Technical Specialist, to clear up some of the common misunderstandings in the vocabulary surrounding acoustic fundamentals. Our column reviews how acoustical design became fundamental for the AEC industry and offers a simple vocabulary of basic acoustic terms that are almost always considered in any type of project. 

Acoustics and noise control design are needed now more than ever. Basic acoustics can be handled by mechanical engineers or architects with acoustic knowledge, but a professional acoustician can always be a valuable member of any AE team. 

For more information, check out my next blog on implementing architectural acoustics in learning environments.


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