Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


First Advisor

Lily M. Wang

Date of this Version

Spring 4-15-2021


Paine, Jared. Studying Acoustical Characteristics of Occupied Restaurants. MS Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021. Web


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Architectural Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Lily M. Wang. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright 2021 Jared A. Paine


Sound level data and occupancy data have been logged in five restaurants by the research team at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Sound levels and occupancy at 10 second intervals were documented over time periods of roughly two hours during active business hours. Noise levels were logged with dosimeters distributed throughout each restaurant, and occupancy was obtained from images recorded by infrared cameras. This work presents data on average sound levels and statistical metrics, such as L10 and L90 values as well as on each restaurant’s Acoustical Capacity and Quality of Verbal Communication, as introduced by Rindel (2012). Acoustical Capacity is a metric describing the maximum number of persons for reasonable communication in a space, calculated from the unoccupied reverberation time and the volume of the space. Quality of Verbal Communication is a metric describing the ease with which persons in the space can communicate at a singular point in time, depending on the reverberation time, the volume of the space, and the number of occupants in the space. This work also aims to confirm the validity of Rindel’s predictive model (2010).

Advisor: Lily M. Wang