Core Module Information
Module title: Building Acoustic Performance

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: BSV11151
Module leader: Russell Macdonald
School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Building and Surveying


Description of module content:

This module includes the following…
Introduction to sound insulation measurements and performance monitoring
Sound transmission pathways and mechanisms
Designing for School, Hospital buildings and other Civic and commercial buildings
Designing and performance of rooms for the control of ambient noise
Designing and performance of rooms for the control of reverberation time
Assessing the implication of external noise sources on the design, orientation and layout of buildings
Designing and performance for timber frame attached houses and apartments
Designing and performance for blockwork and masonry attached houses and apartments
Designing and performance for steel frame and in-situ concrete attached housing
Understanding pre-conversion acoustic testing and refurbishment developments
Innovations in acoustics and sound insulation

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 design separating walls and floors for attached houses and apartments/flats.
LO3: critically appraise the design separating floors and walls for civic and commercial buildings.
LO4: critically appraise the design and detail for conversions.
LO5: understand the assessment of reverberation time and its controlling factors within a given space.
LO6: understand the implications of noise on the design and layout of the built environment.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2021/2, Trimester 1, BLENDED, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: BLENDED
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Russell Macdonald
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & Teaching Methods
This module is taught through a series of practical laboratories, lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Examples of housing construction forms using digital medial from various sources (photography, video, animation) will be critically evaluated in order to inform students. The use of real site photographic digital images and case study material will enhance the learning experience (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4,LO6).
Students will be given an outline of the key factors in acoustic 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, LO6).
Examples of good building design and lay out 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 (LO5).
Skills and design techniques will be taught through practical demonstration and tutorials. These lectures will be provided via a Virtual Learning Environment system to all students but also to allow for access by distance learning students

Embedding of Employability/PDP/Scholarship Skills
Employability, PDP and Scholarship skills are directly embedded in the module. The ability to design and understand working details are core skills of the Architectural Technologist, Technical Director or Building Inspector. Employability is enhanced by the provision of real site performance data and the ability to develop critical appraisal and problem solving techniques.

Formative Assessment:
Peer Review
Formative assessment is provided electronically for the on-line 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 for the coursework.

Exam Preparation
Towards the end of the module, support will be provided for revision and exam technique.

Summative Assessment:
Assessment 1 (Course work Project) – (LO’s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
Assessment 2 (Course work Project) - (LO’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Students will practically apply the knowledge they have learned to a real life project and be expected to demostrate this in the reports,

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Demonstration 6
Face To Face Tutorial 18
Independent Learning Guided independent study 152
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Discussion/Participation 10 1-6 10 HOURS= 0.3, WORDS= 0
Report 30 1-6 10 , WORDS= 2000
Report 60 1-6 14/15 , WORDS= 3000
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader