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Updated urban facade design for quieter outdoor spaces

Jochen Krimm, Ulrich Knaack, Holger Techen


The increasing migration into cities leads to an increasing number of people stressed by noise. More and more people are moving into urban settings comprised of multiple noise sources and hard reflective glass and steel facades. The omnidirectional arrangement of noise sources like airborne noise or car traffic noise and their reflection on the facades neither composes urban arrangements with silent indoor areas nor comfortable quiet areas outdoor. To come up with requirements for silent areas inside and outside of buildings further design parameters have to be introduced. The facade is not only a shelter for the inside it can also provide comfort spaces outside the building. As engineers and architects we cannot change the noise source, but we can influence the impact on the surrounding urban space by controlling the reflection of noise emissions on the urban surfaces like facades. In a facade design the capability of reflecting noise can be tuned by modifying the surface. In order to come up with the acoustical needs no radical new way of facade design has to be introduced. Mainly a shift of attention to the acoustic parameters is needed. Based on acoustic measurements of basic geometry principles this research presents known facade designs and their acoustic parameters regarding the reflection capabilities and the functions in a facade.


acoustics, soundscape, geometry, facades, design parameter, noise, scale

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Copyright (c) 2016 Jochen Krimm, Ulrich Knaack, Holger Techen

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