Project Lead: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg

Project Summary: Laboratory testing services for acoustic performance of mass timber floor/ceiling assemblies require large panels to be shipped, assembled and tested at specialized facilities. This comes at considerable cost that limits the number of assemblies that can be tested and the number of parties able to pursue acoustic testing. This standardized laboratory testing is required for some building types such as multifamily, where a performance threshold for airborne sound transmission and impact isolation must be met [1]. Many other building types, such as commercial office, do not require such testing standards be used to validate acoustic performance of the proposed floor/ceiling assembly prior to construction, but most would certainly benefit from some design analysis for acoustics. A small acoustic test chamber will offer rapid conceptual and iterative testing capacity before a final full-scale assembly is selected for construction installation or more rigorous testing; in lieu of accredited laboratory testing results where they aren’t required, new and innovative acoustic assemblies can be investigated by designers, contractors, and engineers in a low-cost rapid prototyping manner for quick and comparative performance feedback.  

The micro acoustics chamber will be an educational resource, a demonstration tool, and a conceptual testbed for design teams and students alike, to develop new and innovative mass timber acoustic assemblies, understand acoustic implications of material choices in composite form and comparatively analyze the performance of acoustic detailing decisions at a small scale. The project will also leverage previous Tallwood Design Institute funding by incorporating use of acoustic field-testing equipment and use the A.A. Red Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory for fabrication.