Performance Specifier

As a starting point this tool specifies the background noise levels, required sound insulation levels (both on site and laboratory rated) and the reverberation times for all spaces held in the standards below. 

  • BB93 - The Acoustics Design For School
  • BREEAM - Offices, Schools
  • HTM - Healthcare
  • Part E
  • BS8233

Having established appropriate performance standards for a space, this tool can be used to pass the selected standards to a second tear Web Based Design Tools, where these tool can be used determine construction methods to meet the specified standards.

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Residential Design Tool

This design tool is provided for both architects and contractors in order to promote better decisionmaking at key stages of a project. 

The fundamental construction type chosen for a project has a huge impact on the acoustic performance and the ease with which the acoustic performance can be increased.

This residential design tool has been created to to provide our clients with key pieces of acoustic design information to aid the decision making process when reviewing various construction options. By making better choices at an early design stage, or at tender stage, significant re-design can be avoided which not only saves money but also reduces.

The desired on-site performance target can be selected, ranging from Approved Document E’s minimum of requirement of 45 dB DnTw, through to 3dB, 5dB and 8dB in excess of the minimum requirement.

Once a construction type is selected, this tool allows you to switch seamlessly between the various on-site performance targets and even provides a simple graphical animation of the changes to the construction detail as you move through the options.

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Noise Map

Having established the background noise requirement for a given space, it is useful to determine noise levels at the façade of a building, such to determine the required sound reduction of a façade.

It is often the case that simple openable windows can be used to ventilate spaces on the far side of a building, since the building itself can be used to provide a good acoustic buffer.  Noise levels at the façades of a building are dependent upon the building position and orientation, hence the challenge at scheme design is therefore in determining the best position and orientation of a building.  This tool presents the benefits of building shape, building location and orientation to a wide range of noise sources.

The result is a noise map in both plan and section, allowing designers to identify the noise levels at the different façades by means of a simple mouse click.  From here, it is then possible to select the best type of noise attenuation needed to control noise ingress.

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Open Windows

MACH Acoustics Noise Mapping Tool & Performance Specifier allows the sound reduction of a façade to be established.  When naturally ventilating a building, the key factor affecting the performance of the façade, is the open window.  This tool therefore aims to help select window types to maximize the chances of using natural ventilation.

Since the 1970‘s, the acoustic performance of windows has been stated to be between 10 and 15 dB, however Napier University has shown that the tested sound reduction of conventional windows lies between 13dB and 26dB, depending upon window opening area, the angle of sound to the window and the window type.  This tool has therefore been provided such to offer designers easy access to the test data provided by Napier University.

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Window/Attenuated Façade Selector

One of the main difficulties in designing low energy buildings can be the prevention of noise break-in via vented facades.

The aim of this tool is for it to be used in combination with MACH Acoustics Noise Mapping Tool, where this tool allows users to estimate noise levels at the buildings envelope, based upon its shape, position and orientation to a noise source.

Hence this tool takes Napier’s work one-step further, allowing users to investigate the outcome of MACH Acoustics research into vented facades. Facades sound testes and modeling results are provided in a flow chart manner informing our client has best to design windows and shape façade to enhance levels of sound reduction well above those previously considered/ achievable from conventional designs.  Please see our book “The Future of Windows” for further information.

Partition Selector

The Performance Specifier above is to determine the on-site DnTw and laboratory Rw sound insulation requirements for walls and floors, in a range of building types.

This Web Database Tool holds a full specification for almost all of Gypsum, Lafarge and Kenufl partitions.  The purpose appropriate and cost effective acoustics detail between wall and other separating elements.  This information can then be downloaded and the process repeated, quickly building up a selection of details in a matter of minutes.

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Sound Insulation of Composite Structures

Having access to MACH Acoustic sound insulation data based is seen to prove our client with a useful insight into the sound insulation of complex / composite structures.  This Web Database Tool allows users to determine the sound reduction of various materials and composite structures including glazing, block lined with plasterboard, stud wall incorporating plywood, floor makeups and so on.

MACH Acoustics are constantly updating this database.  We are also happy to receive email for us specific constructions, this information will be added to our added to this tool as well as being emailed back to those requesting information.   Please email chris@machacoustics.com, there is typically no charge for this service. 

Construction Details

Construction Detail Finder informs on acoustic details. The simple to use navigation system allows the user to select the approximate level of sound reduction required, and then the type of detail needed; head detail, based detail, plan details, etc.  The buildings frame, soffit and/or ceiling type (when applicable) are then selected to find the most appropriate and cost effective acoustics detail between wall and other separating elements.  This information can then be downloaded and the process repeated, quickly building up a selection of details in a matter of minutes.

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Room Acoustic Calculator

Room acoustics/reverberation affects the way a space sounds. A high reverberation time can make a room sound loud and noisy, with speech sounding muddy and unintelligible.   Hence rooms designed for speech typically have a low reverberation time: ≤1 second, whilst music halls tend to have a higher reverberation time such that the room adds depth and warmth to the music.

This Web Based Design Tool calculates the required levels of acoustic treatment needed to achieve a specific reverberation time, where this specific reverberation time can be obtained from the Performance Specifier tool.

The logical, intuitive calculation process allows users to identify quantities of ceiling tiles, wall panels and other acoustics treatment such as rafts and acoustic lights etc. Combination of these elements can be found simply by adding additional levels of treatment to the calculation process.

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Treatment Selector

Room acoustic treatments can have a major impact upon the appearance and cost of a building. This database tool provides a similar function as the partition finder, but in this case, a filtering process allows different room acoustic treatments to be identified, along with their specifications, manufacturers and indicative costs.

The key advantage of this tool, is that once materials have been selected they can then be transferred across into the Room Acoustic Calculator such to identify the effects of these treatments on the reverberation time of a given space.

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Whole Building Design - Revit Tools

Providing information at our clients figure tips and responding immediately to basic design question is a long-term goal at MACH.  We has come to realize that offering our clients Web Based Design Tools to review and investigate the acoustic design of buildings is an important USP, since architects and contractors often want to adept and change design proposals as projects progress.

We are therefore bringing the above web based design tools together under one umbrella, allowing designers to assess the implication of change to the whole building or just one part of the building.  We therefore have ability combine the above web based tool with a unique project database provided by MACH allowing each and every part of the project to be reviewed and investigated on line. 

The approach we are taking is similar to a cloud based Revit model, with the data manipulated in a tabulated format, where different elements and design tools can be called upon to allow for key parts of the building to be revised and assessed by different members of the design team in real time. 

There is however the obvious question as to who takes responsibility for design changes.  MACH does.  We prepare the unique project spreadsheet based upon our understanding of the building performance requirements and design intent.  Within this spreadsheet all the acoustic elements will have been designed, however providing a live interactive tool allows users to assess their own concepts.

We would therefore value the opportunity to come in and talk to you about this possibility