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Often the acoustics are not the first thing to pay attention to when buying a house. Only after the house has been involved does the reflection of the sound begin to stand out. The extra loud sounds of children running around, reverberating music and an echo behind your own voice will eventually become very bad. In particular, flat surfaces and smooth materials, which are often used in modern interiors, absorb the sound poorly. The reflection of the sound is stimulated and an echo or reverberation are the logical consequence. But what is acoustics?

Acoustics is the science that deals with sound. Sound consists of vibrations that propagate through a medium. The acoustics in a room depend on absorption and reflection (reflection) of the sound through walls or attributes and the size of the room. The absorption is done by a rough and soft wall finish. Reflection is done by a smooth and hard finish. When the sound is reflected a lot, it takes a while for the sound to die out. That time is called reverberation and can be calculated or measured.

There are basically a few ways to reduce the reverberation time in a room. The first is the addition of absorption material and the other is the application of “diffusers”, which ensures that sound waves are scattered.

Muting floors

Choosing the right floor or floor covering can make a world of difference. A high-pile carpet, a cork floor or a floor made of vinyl springs somewhat, so that your footsteps sound less loud. Moreover, the sound reflects less. Do you still opt for a tight floor, such as parquet, tiles, natural stone or laminate? By choosing a sound-insulating underlay you still work on good acoustics. If that is not enough, or if the floor is already there, a rug or carpet can help.

Full window coverings

You also help the acoustics by providing windows with upholstery. Think of curtains (the heavier, the better), whether or not in combination with blinds or roller blinds. Double layers work well anyway.


Furniture from rich fabrics

The choice of furniture plays a major role in the regulation of acoustics. A concrete chair in your living room will not help. A fabric variant, however, is. A sofa with rich fabric upholstery, a number of sturdy plants and large paintings reduce the reflection and thus the reverberation.

Think in corners

Splitting a large space into different smaller spaces will immediately reduce the reverberation. For this you do not have to take drastic measures, for example by placing room dividers or placing a bookcase at right angles to the wall. You can also separate rooms by working with panel curtains.

Not only in the interior you have to deal with the acoustics from time to time, but also in the construction you have to think about the sound of the environment. If you are going to build a house you have to start thinking for example what kind of insulation and façade cladding you should use so that, when you are inside your home, you can not be bothered by what’s going on outside.

At the moment we are working on the self-building plots at Petroleumhaven-West. Petroleumhaven is located in the district Laakkwartier. The new construction project is located on the busy Waldorpstraat and Neherkade and is close to the railway. You could argue here that the noise pollution in this neighborhood can be very high.

We must therefore take this into account for the self-build plots. For example, the municipality has indicated that the area Petroleumhaven lies between two significant sources of noise load, the rail section on the west side and the busy street and the Neherkade, on the east side, together with the other roads leads to a cumulative noise load that exceeds the legal preference value. of 55 dB, but still below the maximum noise load of 69.5 dB imposed by the Building Act. This is the value of the noise load that must be taken into account in the planning process when determining the characteristic noise protection of the home.

The projects we are working on are fortunate that they are not located directly on the busy Waldorpstraat and the railway. The houses that will be built for our projects will already provide a sound barrier.

For our project we have taken a number of measures to ensure that the noise remains outside. For example, we applied stone wool, steel and 3-fold glass to the façade.

Stone wool cavity wall insulation contributes significantly to the sound insulation of the façade structure. A façade construction with stone wool insulation minimizes the noise nuisance caused by, for example, traffic noise.