Module title: Building Acoustics and Sound Insulation

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 10.00
ECTS credit value: 5

Module code: BSV11147
Module leader: Sean Smith
School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Building and Surveying


2019/0, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Sean Smith
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module is taught through a series of practical laboratory tasks, lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Examples of housing, education and commercial construction forms using digital media from various sources (photography, video, animation) will be critically evaluated in order to inform students. The use of real site photographic digital images, case study material and products will enhance the learning experience (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

Students will be given an outline of the key factors in acoustics with regards to sound transmission using a narrative example. This will also be explained using basic mathematical models to allow for a greater understanding of the subject and to allow for an appreciation of suitability of building materials (LO2, LO5).

Examples of good building design and layout will be appraised to give an understanding of the core issues associated with acoustics and buildings (LO2)

Practical assessments of reverberation within a space will be undertaken to provide an understanding of the importance of finishes and volume on design (LO4).

Skills and design techniques will be taught through practical demonstration and tutorials. These lectures will be available via Moodle (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

Formative Assessment:
A mid-session interim coursework submission for peer review, will be facilitated in order to help students with time management and provide a better understanding of the marking structure.

Summative Assessment:
You will be asked to undertake an acoustic review of a proposed timber building. This will take the form of a written technical document detailing an acoustic strategy incorporating; partition mark-ups, specification guidance and detail drawings. A presentation of your work would be a core component. This will take the form of a ‘design team meeting’. It should be seen as an opportunity to highlight your thoughts and wider understanding of the subject matter. This assignment should be completed on your own.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 6
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 77
Independent Learning Groupwork (Scheduled) 5
Total Study Hours100
Expected Total Study Hours for Module100

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Oral Presentation 10 1-5 5 HOURS= 0.25, WORDS= 0
Technical Drawing 40 1-5 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Project - Written 50 1-5 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Introduction to sound insulation measurements and performance monitoring.
Sound transmission pathways, mechanisms and timber acoustic performance.
Design and performance of timber frame attached houses and apartments.
Acoustic design for commercial timber frame buildings (i.e. school, hospital buildings).
Acoustic detailing in traditional and novel timber construction systems.
Design and performance of rooms for the control of reverberation time.
Timber in acoustic products and system approaches to design.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Appreciate the complexities of sound transmission pathways, robustness and structural junctions;
LO2: Critically appraise the acoustic design of timber separating walls and floors for attached houses and apartments / flats;
LO3: Critically appraise the acoustic design of timber separating floors and walls for civic and commercial buildings;
LO4: Understand the assessment of reverberation time and its controlling factors within a given space;
LO5: Critically appraise the acoustic design of separating walls and floors utilising novel timber construction systems.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Please contact your Module Leader for details
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