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By Butcher, Ken; Poebuck, Justin; Race, Gay Lawrence

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Structure borne noise reduction is achieved by isolating the source of vibration so that the sound cannot be transmitted. For example noisy machinery can be mounted on anti-vibration mountings – which work in the same way as CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 31 car shock absorbers to dampen the transmission of vibration. e. gaps that the vibration cannot bridge or by the use of different materials with better attenuation characteristics. 10 and CIBSE Guide B(3) chapter 5. Within a space sound is affected by the room acoustics.

Obviously, in some situations such as at work, it is not always possible to take all potential actions to improve comfort due for example to constraints of work dress code or lack of control such as non-openable windows. The concept of adaptability, whilst very obvious to many, has only recently been included in comfort standards such as ASHRAE(6) and CIBSE(1). This is largely because the current need to reduce carbon emissions and the drive towards more holistic approaches has led to increased interest in naturally ventilated buildings rather than closely controlled air conditioned ones.

9 and CIBSE Guide B(3) chapter 5. 2 Design criteria Various criteria are used to specify acceptable sound levels for the acoustic environment giving sound level in decibels (dB) against sound frequencies, with the two most common for building services being: — noise rating (NR) curves — noise criteria (NC) curves. Noise rating (NR) curves (see Figure 16) are used by CIBSE to indicate acceptable building services noise levels for varying building and room types, as shown in Table 5. Measured values of the noise spectrum in dBA can be compared with these reference curves to check that appropriate conditions are met, using the rule of thumb that: NR ≈ dBA – 6.

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