Building Acoustics

The field building- and room acoustics of the group "Materials and Systems" is specialized in the measurement, calculation and analysis of sound radiation from building components, the transmission of sound through building elements and the transmission of structure-borne sound between coupled elements as well as the sound propagation within rooms. In these activities we also take into account the human perception of noise.

One focus of our research is the sound insulation in wooden and lightweight construction with research projects in cooperation with industry partners from the construction industry as well as from other industry sectors, with public as well as with academic partners from Switzerland and abroad.

In these research projects, for example, we develop
• engineering models for prediction of sound insulation,
• components with superior sound insulation, absorption and diffusion, as well as
• new methods for determining the properties of innovative materials.

We have experience in the application of numerical methods, such as
• statistical energy analysis (SEA),
• transfer matrix method (TTM),
• finite element method (FEM), and
• combined mirror-sourcing and ray-tracing methods.

We operate well-equipped laboratories for the experimental characterization of small-sized material samples with dimensions of a few centimeters, among others
• impedance tube,
• air flow resistivity set-up, and
• apparatus for dynamic stiffness,

as well as facilities for complete components, such as
• airborne sound insulation of windows, doors and walls,
• airborne and impact sound insulation of floors,
• sound absorption measurements in the reverberation room, and
• building equipment,

even up to laboratories for entire building segments with several rooms,
• flanking sound transmission in the lightweight laboratory

In our laboratories we determine the necessary input data for the prediction or for the validation of the numerical results, as well as for certification of components (airborne sound insulation, impact sound insulation, absorption coefficient, building service equipment noise).
All facilities are therefore subject to strict quality assurance, whereby the laboratories for material certification or relevant building regulations are further accredited.



Kurt Eggenschwiler

Kurt Eggenschwiler
Head of Lab

Phone: +41 58 765 4177
kurt.eggenschwiler@empa.ch