Designing for acoustics with wood
As with any material, delivering pleasing acoustics in wood buildings, both light-frame wood and mass timber, requires careful considerations to reduce vibrations and sound transmission.
All types of buildings are subject to four types of sounds requiring mitigation:
- Airborne sound (speech, stereos)
- Impact sound (footsteps, falling objects)
- Flanking sound (airborne and impact sounds emitting through tiny cracks and holes)
- Sound reverberation caused by reflection off surfaces
With proper design, occupants can enjoy the same privacy and acoustic performance in wood structures as they have come to expect from steel and concrete buildings. As a natural insulator, wood can offer added warmth and comfort while dampening and controlling sound. Wood fibre panels can replace conventional insulation made from fossil fuels while providing significant noise reduction. Interior wood finishes, slats and cladding can further enhance a building’s acoustics.