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Laboratory Cabin

A laboratory working on human biophysics decided to examine over a week period such parameters as gases rejected or inhaled, as well as temperature fluctuations during certain tasks and their subsequent resting periods. It was deemed more expedient to have an industrial airproofed cabin custom modified for those purposes. However, on delivery it was found that the noise level inside the cabin was 80 dB(A)! This was of course totally unsuitable for most of the planned experiments. The contractor merely pointed out that he had delivered a cabin that was up to the industry’s standards; furthermore, there was no acoustic clause in his contract. His argument was ultimately accepted by the court.

Lesson Learned: Always state the intended use in the acoustic specifications beside the acoustic objectives. Should you feel unequal to the task, then call a knowledgeable acoustic engineer.

Home Cinema

When they acquired their new flat, a middle-aged couple decided to allocate one room to their home cinema. A specialized contractor came and visited, and made a submission for the installation of the system, complete with the image and sound system and the required absorptive materials. When the room was duly fitted out, the owners were very happy with the image and sound. But not so were the neighbors, who complained that they had the sound without the image or any choice in the program! When questioned, the contractor merely shrugged and pointed out that the contract included the interior acoustic treatment of the room as well as the installation of the image and sound system, but it definitely did not include anything regarding extra acoustic insulation to other spaces. The owners were left with no other choice than bitterly moving out of the flat.

Lesson Learned: When acquiring a sound system, always make sure that the required sound insulation either is already available or will be delivered.


  • 1. European Framework Directive 89/391: OSH Framework Directive on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, June 12, 1985.
  • 2. I. Fraser, Guide for the application of European Directive 2006/42/EC machine directive, European Commission on Industry, Luxemburg, 2010.
  • 3. ISO Publication R 1996: Acoustics—Assessment of noise with respect to community response, Geneva, 1971.
  • 4. ISO 1996-3: Acoustics—Description and measurement of environmental noise—Part 3: Application to noise limits, Geneva, 2003.
  • 5. FDIS ISO 1996: Acoustics—Description, measurement and assessment of noise in the environment, Geneva, 2014.
  • 6. Recommandation du Ministere de la Sante du 21 juin 1963 relative au bruit (Recommendation of the French Ministry of Health on noise, in French), Paris, June 1963.
  • 7. ISO 15667: Acoustics—Guidelines for noise control by enclosures and cabins, Geneva, 2000.
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