Subjective and objective evaluation of the impact and airborne sound insulation of multi-unit residential buildings



Multi-unit residential building (MURB) occupants often express dissatisfaction with their suites’ acoustic conditions despite existing building acoustic standards and regulations as well as growing research on noise control and building acoustics. Reasons for this include the lack of proper characterization of acoustic comfort in MURBs and lack of comprehensive and stringent regulations. To better understand factors that impact acoustic comfort and explore strategies to improve the acoustic performance of MURBs, investigations of acoustic conditions were carried out. This work presents the results of the investigations which include subjective and objective evaluations of acoustic conditions in two MURBs. Impact sound insulation measurements using both a tapping machine and a rubber ball as well as 24-hour indoor noise monitoring were carried out in unoccupied suites. An online survey was then used to collect subjective assessments of the noise conditions in the buildings and the effects on occupants’ comfort post occupancy. Results of the data analysis suggest that occupants are more sensitive to low-frequency impact sounds than mid- and high-frequency impact noise.