A virtual design studio for low frequency impact sound from walking
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Experience with wooden multi-storey houses have shown that impact sound insulation is one of most critical issues to ensure a good indoor environment. Even in cases where the impact sound insulation is fulfilled, people perceive the sound from e.g. walking neighbours as very disturbing. To investigate the subjective perception, a test facility is needed which allows for a coherent evaluation of different floor designs by listening test. The facility should ensure, that when comparing different floors, the same excitation by a walker and the same receiving room are involved. Only the floor design should be changed. As a consequence the spread in the data will only be due to the spread in the perception by subjects. In this paper a virtual design tool for low frequency impact sound insulation is presented, which consists of four parts; measured walking forces, floor models, an auralisation system which consists of a grid of loudspeakers simulating the vibration of the floor and a receiving room furnished as a common living room. In a pilot study a listening test is carried out for 13 different floors with different impact sound spectra at frequencies below 100 Hz. The results indicate that the judged annoyance strongly correlates with the judged loudness. However, there is a substantial spread observed in between the subjects participating in the listening tests. To understand this spread, a more extended study is needed with more participants and a classification of the subjects with respect to criteria such as noise sensitivity or age.

Virtual lab environment

Subjective perception

Impact sound insulation

Wooden floors


Nata Amiryarahmadi

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Wolfgang Kropp

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Teknisk akustik

Acta Acustica

10224793 (ISSN) 26814617 (eISSN)

Vol. 5 40


Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)




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