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A Word about Other Interesting Topics (Thermal and Fire Protection of Buildings, Structures, and Rodent Repulsion)


The aim of this chapter is just to remind the acoustically minded that there are other fields strongly interacting with acoustic design. It is wise to check their requirements in order to avoid painful misunderstandings resulting in lost time and energy.

With acoustics being a so-called transversal discipline, there will be interactions with most of the building fields, for example, as innocuous as painting, as paint can eventually ruin an absorptive material.


It is well known to the acoustician (and most of the time to the architect too) that a heavy wall or floor is often a simple and useful way to obtain a rather high insulation wall or floor [1]. But can it always be obtained?

The structural engineer wants the building to support itself. He also wants it to be able to comply with some specific requirements. For example, the engineer may be confronted with a situation where there is high seismicity; this will result in the need to lighten the top of the building (the acoustician will probably end up with a lighter than hoped for floor slab) and a larger than planned expansion joint (typically 10 cm wide, which can be a problem for both acoustic insulation and fire control). More to the point, he may want the structure to support itself under special circumstances (e.g., earthquake, fire), and this will have some consequences for the construction too, especially if vibration control measures have to be implemented (cf. Section 19.6.1).

Regarding the weight aspects, this usually is not too much of a problem if identified early on; one will then use plasterboard ceilings and partitions (cf. Sections 12.5.4 and 3.12.14) to achieve the required sound insulation between floors. But one will have to be careful regarding impact noise and vibration control: Should the floor be insufficiently stiff, then the vibration attenuation measures will not work properly. This may eventually result in beams under the equipment to be resiliently supported, but please kindly note that in real life, it is not uncommon to shift the location of the technical and mechanical equipment during the project (with awkward problems then to be solved supporting the equipment!). More to the point, the presence of large beams may be a problem with regards to the available ceiling height.

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