Building Acoustics (also known as architectural or room acoustics) is the science and engineering of achieving a good sound within a building. Building acoustics is generally about achieving good speech intelligibility in a theatre, restaurant or railway station, enhancing the quality of music in a concert hall or recording studio, or suppressing noise to make offices and homes more productive and pleasant places to work and live in.
A key parameter in building acoustics is reverberation time which is a measurement of the way space ‘sounds’ and hence gives an indication of the intelligibility of sound in that space. A high reverberation time, for example, can make a room sound muffled, loud and noisy. Rooms designed for speech typically have a low reverberation time whereas a higher reverberation time can add depth, richness and warmth to the music.
The reverberation time of a room is defined as the time it takes for sound to decay by 60 dB after an abrupt termination.