What is Noise Intrusion?

Noise is typically defined as any unwanted sound. Unwanted sound can distract us from our daily lives (sleep, work, and personal time). While poor sound isolation is often attributed to noises we don’t want to hear, it can also result in sounds we don’t want heard. This can occur in Medical Office Buildings (MOB) where HIPAA speech privacy requirements dictate patient-doctor conversations remain private. Federal and State governments also have confidentiality requirements for specific spaces in their facilities. In residential multi-family dwellings such as apartments, condominiums, and townhomes, privacy complaints can become a problem that Homeowners Associations (HOAs) must address. Building codes also have minimum sound isolation criteria for multi-family dwellings.

Wave Engineering can perform field tests on existing wall and floor-ceiling assemblies (in offices, residential units, townhomes, etc.). We then use the test data to identify the problem and recommend solutions.

Sound Transmission Class – STC Tests

The Sound Transmission Class (STC) is a single-number rating used to quantify the sound isolation of a wall or floor-ceiling assembly. The higher the STC, the better the partition is at reducing sound transmission between spaces. STC tests are usually performed in an acoustic laboratory. In an existing building, Apparent Sound Transmission Class (ASTC) tests are performed. ASTC tests require us to generate loud pink noise on one side of the partition, and to measure the sound level on both sides.  We must also measure reverberation time on receiving side.  A typical test takes one to two hours to complete.

testing for privacy - acoustic engineer

Depiction of source and receiver rooms for ASTC Test

For more information on the ASTC test services Wave Engineering offers, please visit our ASTC Services page.