Designing With Sound

Performance Driven Design | Form through Sound

22 12 09 Presentation | Tal & Shimrit

| Concept

Acoustic wall through the landscape, cutting, dividing and designing the urban nature, runs from one attraction point to another while sculpturing the environment.
With the idea of quality life style for young families we will follow the wall in to a better tomorrow.
The area will contain sport activities for a verity of age groups. from the first day, the young mother will want her quality time with her child to take place in the open air, to an afternoon activities for energetic youth to explore their limits…

| The designers approach, a more specific concept

Generative wall designed by the sound wave and acoustic qualities, functions volumes and the relations between the functions the road and the neighborhood.

| The design presses for the geometry

[1] Dividing the area in to 3 activities for 3 age groups and deciding on the acoustic qualities for each one.
[2] We started the design sketching in a plan to determent the outline of the wall and creating layers of “protection” examined the functions qualities, volumes and acoustic consensuses.
[3] Planning throw the section for the purpose of checking the acoustic qualities and adjusting the wall according to sound wave.

| Materials, from recycled to functions

_ytong-tec block [ ]
a block with high acoustic quality and resistant to environmental damage, whether and fire. easy  to maintain and nice clean look.
_shredded rubber from tallies to glowed scattering.
_and many more…  marked on the poster in a list of icons

| The next step

Refining the characterization for the activity area and the geometry according to that.

We’d love to meet you for a grasshopper session…


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Concept & Inspiration | Tal & Shimrit

our inspiration for this project is drawn from the work of the artist Ned Kahn who makes artworks inspired by natural phenomena such as wind, water and fire. Kahn‘s artworks are installed in museums and public spaces worldwide.

Composed of thousands of translucent, white plastic squares that move in the wind, the artwork is intended to suggest that the building has been enveloped by a digitized cloud. The optical qualities of the skin change dramatically with the weather and the time of day. The articulated skin is supported by an aluminum space frame so it appears to float in front of the building. The design evolved through a collaboration with the architects, Koning / Eizenberg.

For The concept we will take the aesthetic qualities of the metal leafs in motion and replace the force, from wind to sound wave.

and for the next step maybe even try and convert the coustic enrgy in to a new kind of energy such as electricity…

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measurements and Pics from the RL site | Tal levy & Shimrit cohen

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measuring Road Traffic Noise | The Ministry of Environmental Protection

רעש מכבישים_מדידה וחיזוי

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To sum it all up | Tal levy & Shimrit cohen

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measurement[2] | Tal levy & Shimrit cohen

| Strategy for picking the site

from looking in noise map of TelAviv we identified 2 interesting spot that were described as an island of silence in an impossible situation, so decided to check it out

| Method of measuring
[1] Measuring in 5 different spots.
[2] From both sides of the barrier.
[3] calculating the relative decrease in dB

| The site

| Mesuring   a

| Mesuring   b

| Mesuring  c

| Mesuring   d

| Mesuring   e

| Conclusions

we identified an error in the original noise map that we baced oure reaserch on…

this is the accurate one 🙂

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SoundWave | By Tal Levy & Shimrit Cohen

As we know from our high school science classes, sound waves are created when an object moves or vibrates. When these waves reach our ears, they cause our eardrums to vibrate, sending signals to the brain that we interpret as sound. 



 | Frequency 

  [number of wave crests per unit time that pass a fixed location | measured in Hz- the number of waves per second]

 measures the tone or pitch of a sound.  
 For example, a bass guitar plays lower frequencies than a violin. 
 Human beings usually hear 15 to 20,000 [Hz] frequency sound.  


    | Amplitude  

 [the wave height | measured in dB] used to measure the intensity of a sound

 A measurement of the wave traveling through the air is used as an indication of the intensity of sound or its volume, and is described in terms of a scale called the decibel (dB). Noise measurements made by filtering high- and low-pitched sounds—approximating the way an average person hears sounds—is called the A-weighted level or dBA [1924].

   0 dB     |          the faintest sound we can hear;
 30 dB   |          a quiet library or in a quiet location in the country; 
  45 dB   |          typical office space or ambience in the city at night;  
 60 dB   |          a restaurant at lunch time; 
70 dB   |          the sound of a car passing on the street; 
80 dB   |          loud music played at home;  
 90 dB   |          the sound of a truck passing on the street;  
 100 dB |          the sound of a rock band; 
115 dB |          limit of sound permitted in industry; and  
 120 dB |          deafening. 

 The dB(A) scale begins at zero, which represents the faintest sound that can be heard by humans with very good hearing. Conversations take place in the 50 dB(A) range and a chainsaw whines at about 100 dB(A). Normal highway traffic sounds rank about 75 dB(A) and jet airliners around 90 dB(A). For most people, discomfort starts in the 70 to 80 dB(A) range, with the threshold of pain around 140 dB(A). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has chosen 67 decibels as the point where state and federal agencies must consider reducing the noise level.


 Amplitude  | Sound behavior

 Because the sound has the properties as wave, it has properties of “reflection” and “transmission”, and attenuates in accordance with the distance. These properties are illustrated below for reference.

When a wave reaches the boundary between one medium another medium, a portion of the wave undergoes reflection and a portion of the wave undergoes transmission across the boundary. The reflected wave may or may not undergo a phase change (i.e., be inverted) depending on the relative densities of the two media. It was also mentioned that the amount of reflection is dependent upon the dissimilarity of the two medium. For this reason, acousticly minded builders of auditoriums and concert halls avoid the use of hard, smooth materials in the construction of their inside halls. A hard material such as concrete is as dissimilar as can be to the air through which the sound moves; subsequently, most of the sound wave is reflected by the walls and little is absorbed. 






Reflection of sound waves off of surfaces can lead to one of two phenomenon – an echo or a reverberation. Reverberation |  often occurs in a small room with height, width, and length dimensions of approximately 17 meters or less. Why the magical 17 meters? The effect of a particular sound wave upon the brain endures for more than a tiny fraction of a second; the human brain keeps a sound in memory for up to 0.1 seconds. If a reflected sound wave reaches the ear within 0.1 seconds of the initial sound, then it seems to the person that the sound is prolonged. The reception of multiple reflections off of walls and ceilings within 0.1 seconds of each other causes reverberations – the prolonging of a sound. Since sound waves travel at about 340 m/s at room temperature, it will take approximately 0.1 s for a sound to travel the length of a 17 meter room and back, thus causing a reverberation (t = v/d = (340 m/s)/(34 m) = 0.1 s). This is why reverberations is common in rooms with dimensions of approximately 17 meters or less. Perhaps you have observed reverberations when talking in an empty room, when honking the horn while driving through a highway tunnel or underpass, or when singing in the shower. In auditoriums and concert halls, reverberations occasionally occur and lead to the displeasing garbling of a sound.

Echo | Reflection of sound waves also lead to echoes. Echoes are different than reverberations. Echoes occur when a reflected sound wave reaches the ear more than 0.1 seconds after the original sound wave was heard. If the elapsed time between the arrival of the two sound waves is more than 0.1 seconds, then the sensation of the first sound will have died out . In this case, the arrival of the second sound wave will be perceived as a second sound rather than the prolonging of the first sound. There will be an echo instead of a reverberation. 

| Geometry & Reflection

The way sound rays reflect off plane (flat) mirrors or surfaces is very simple: the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.

The angles in question are measured with respect to the normal to the reflecting surface. The angle of incidence is the angle the incident light ray makes with the normal, and the angle of reflection is the angle the reflected ray makes with the normal.

This is exactly the same behavior seen in billiard balls bouncing off a rail on a pool table. (We neglect friction and other minor effects.) Even sound waves bouncing off a wall at an angle follow this same law of reflection.

| Atmospheric effects

Winds will increase sounds downwind from a source and reduce them upwind. This is not solely a result of the velocity effect, but also because the spherical wave-front is deformed by the prevailing wind.   


As discussed previously, the speed of sound is dependant on temperature, the higher the temperature, the higher the speed. This means that when the temperature near the ground is higher than that of the upper air, sound rays tend to arc upwards slightly. Thus less energy will reach a listener some distance away at ground level. (For a given amount of sound energy, the distribution area is increased).

At night, when the ground surface is cooler than the upper air, the inverse occurs: sound energy tends to arc downwards. (For a given amount of sound energy, the distribution area is reduced).


| Barrier Design

Barriers, such as walls or screens, will act to create an acoustic shadow. The reduction in sound level within this shadow zone is dedendant on frequency (as we discussed earlier). At high frequencies the effect of the barrier is most pronounced whereas at low frequencies much diffraction occurs at the edges, so the shadow effect is diminished.


| Type of Road and Average Speed

Rural roads – 110 km/h speed limit – use 1
Urban Freeway – 90 km/h speed limit – use 92
Urban Highway – 70 km/h speed limit – use 65
Urban Street – Dual Carriageway – use 60
Urban Street – Single Carriageway – use 55
Urban Street – Single Congested – use 50 


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BioBarriers | Data [Environmental Noise Barriers by Benz Kotzen]

Bio-barriers are structures that incorporate planting as an integral part of their design. They are being researched and developed across Europe, particularly in theNetherlands. Some early bio-barriers proved unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, such as the need for maintenance and irrigation, but newer designs have addressed these problems. In the UK, however, there is continuing resistance to bio-barriers precisely because of these early teething troubles and the need for continued maintenance (Figures 5.68 and 5.69).

 The question of irrigation and maintenance raises fundamental concerns aboutattitudes towards barrier provision. Where the decision has been made to provide a barrier to meet legal or design objectives, the appropriate barrier should be chosen and the concomitant maintenance must be regarded as an essential part of the scheme. The need for periodic maintenance should not inhibit this choice. A range of natural-looking bio-barriers has been developed which offers an alternative to earth mounds. These have the advantage that they do not require the space needed for a mound, in effect creating a living barrier on a narrow strip of land (Figure 5.70). As well as reducing land-take, these bio-barriers act as wildlife corridors creating habitats for small mammals and insects.


Experience has shown that the successful appearance of a bio-barrier depends on:

›          compatibility of plant species with soil conditions and type (soils must be

›          analysed for fertility, acidity, salinity, contaminants, organic content and

›          drainage);

›          density of planting (plants should not compete with one another);

›          provision of irrigation or watering during plant establishment;

›          provision of irrigation and watering through dry periods;

›          establishment of an appropriate plant maintenance regime, including weed control, pruning, application of fertilisers and replacement of dead plants.

For ease of categorisation, bio-barriers may be divided into four generic types,


the names of which reflect the main structures or principles of the design:

›          A-frame and vertical corten steel bio-barriers;

›          box wall bio-barriers;

›          woven-willow bio-barriers;

›          stack and crib bio-barriers.


Note: In many situations the planting medium will tend to dry out when there is little

rainfall. Supplementary irrigation may then be required. A-frame and vertical corten steel bio-barriers The A-frame barrier consists of two slightly corrugated corten steel sheets which are splayed at the base, anchored to the ground with treated timber staves and angled to form an apex. The corten steel, which forms an anticorrosive rust on the surface to protect the inner core of the steel, acts as a reflective barrier and is expected to have a useful life of more than 20 years. Plant material is placed immediately adjacent to both sides of the barrier at regular intervals and trained up it using loose rubberties. Care is taken that the plants do not scrape or chafe against the plates in the wind. Before the planting is established, and during the winter where deciduous plantin is used, the steel plates give the barrier a rust colour. This natural colour blends easily into rural/semirural areas. In summer and once the planting is established, the steel is mostly screened and the barrier gives the appearance of a dense, tapering hedge (Figure 5.71 and see Figure 5.68(a)). Thus, deciduous planting allows the appearance of the barrier to change colour according to the season, in keeping with its surroundings. Planting can be varied according to the location and species such as willow, alder, ash, field maple, privet, lime and ivy have been used in the Netherlands. The vertical corten steel barrier comprises a single sheet of corrugated corten steel which may be placed vertically or splayed slightly. The steel plates are supported by a timber frame to the rear. Planting is usually placed on both sides of the barrier, screening the steel sheets on the front and the frame to the rear. Care should be taken to provide a stable structure as any movement disturbs the plants’ roots and inhibits growth (see Figure 5.68(b)). Both A-frame and vertical barriers are installed by Mostert and De Winter in the Netherlands and are registered as ‘Geluid Groeischerm’ (Soundproofing Growing Screen).

In the Netherlands, willow, the most commonly used species with this type of barrier, provides a suitable biotope for some insects. The suitability of willow species, however, should be assessed according to the ground conditions. In areas of low rainfall, irrigation may be needed. Some willows, too, may be sensitive to salt spray and salt in the ground, and susceptible to some diseases and pests, especially in the initial stages of growth. The issue of spray from roads that have been de-iced using salt and the resulting accumulation of salt in the soil is an important consideration for all roadside and barrier planting. Finally, although these barriers are welcome additions to the designers’ portfolio, they are relative newcomers only and there are still a few problems associated with structures, fixings, the long-term establishment of some planting, and damage to plants in high winds and other extreme weather conditions. Close planting is not an option since subjects fail due to root competition. Maintenance of the planting and its fixings is an issue complicated by the choice of plant species, the need to train or prune some subjects and to maintain the form of the original design.

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Testing sound level around intersection Hahalacha+Ayalon highway | By Tal Levy & Shimrit Cohen

Testing  two areas in relation with the junction, in front and behind sound barriers.
using a sound level meter.


The location, Ayalon Hahalacha intersection divided into four spots each couple on a difrent
side of Hahalacha Junction , north and south. Each couple contain one point facing Ayalon
and the other behind a barrier. First area on the south side, point A facing Ayalon, and B behind a small 5 meter high mound and 5 meter deep.

Two measurements were taking place:
[1] First on 13:00 till 13:50 noon on the 25.09.10.
[2] Second on the same day at 17:00 till 17:50. Each spot tested for  10 min.


Location two on the north side, Point C facing Ayalon, and D Behind 15cm thick acoustic concrete wall  4 meter high (from the road side) beside it a tall mound with plants and trees 9 meters high not include the vegetation, from the residence parking lot.

Out of the data collected, we can see the help of a sound barrier and most of all the difference between the amount of noise produced by high speed cars as we saw at noon when the road was relatively open and free, camper to the rush-hour at evening which the road was much busier.

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2008 International Workshop | Music-media, Space & Digital Design

The workshop’s agenda was located in an interdisciplinary field, between Music and Architecture, as two complementary fields that affect each other. The interaction between Sound and Architecture leans on the premise that sound is a design tool and not only a decoration that we add at the end of design process. As long as we assume that Sound affects the way we feel and behave in space, we can capture sound parameters from existing environment and implement its influence back into our built environment as form generator.

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January 2018
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