Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Published in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127 (1), 223–232, January 2010. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America


This project utilizes computational modeling to study the effects of varying two architectural parameters, absorption ratio and aperture size, in a realistic coupled volume concert hall. Coupled volumes have been shown to exhibit non-exponential sound energy decay profiles, referred to as double slope effect. A number of objective metrics (T30/T15, LDT/T10, decay ratio, and ΔL) have been used to quantify the double slope effect of the profiles generated in the virtual hall. T30/T15 and LDT/T10 showed similar trends across all hall configurations, indicating decreasing double slope effect with increasing coupled volume absorption ratio for each aperture size, and producing highest values at a specific aperture size for each absorption ratio. Generally, LDT/T10 provides finer resolution than T30/T15 when analyzing the decay profiles in this study. Results from the two metrics derived from Bayesian analysis, decay ratio and ΔL, seem less consistent. Subjective testing has also been conducted to determine the effect of varying the two architectural parameters in the hall, and multidimensional scaling analysis shows that, in general, listener preference is inversely proportional to the level of double slope effect, with the highest levels of preference occurring at low and medium levels of double slope effect. Recommended design guidelines for coupled volume halls are provided based on these computational and subjective results.