DIN 18041 –"Audibility in rooms
requirements, recommendations and advices for planning"
DIN 18041 represents the basis of room acoustics planning for most of the rooms encountered in everyday life. This standard presents requirements and recommendations for room acoustics planning as well as planning information for the use of sound systems and aids for improving speech intelligibility in the case of hearing impairment. At the beginning of the planning are initially defined the target values for different rooms in a project defined according to DIN 18041. A subdivision into two room categories is to be made. Rooms that focus on communication between people of medium and greater distance are assigned to Group A. Requirements for the reverberation time are formulated for these rooms depending on the type of use (eg meeting room, lecture room or conference room) and the volume of the room. The requirements for "acoustic accessibility" (including use) of the rooms are also taken into account, which includes the needs of people with hearing impairments, "language learners" and "non-native speakers". The second room category, Group B rooms, includes common areas such as foyers, break rooms, reception areas, dining rooms, offices or other work spaces. In these rooms, the focus is on communication over short distances. Depending on the length of stay in the room or the need for noise reduction or room comfort, DIN 18041 makes recommendations for room acoustics. However, the recommendations are not aimed at the reverberation time as in rooms from the room group A, but the ratio A / V of "equivalent sound absorption area A" and volume V. The "equivalent sound absorption surface" is determined from the material properties (sound absorption) and the geometric surfaces of the room. According to DIN 18041, foyers of office buildings can be classified either as rooms without residence time (type of use B1) or as rooms for temporary stay (type of use B2). Break rooms, canteens and dining rooms are usually "rooms for longer-term rest" (type of use B3). Office rooms are assigned to types of use B3 (individual office), B4 (office) and B5 (call center), depending on the type of office and communication that occurs. The recommendations for office space can initially be used for the preliminary planning. In the further planning phases, office space should be planned according to VDI 2569 "Sound insulation and acoustic design in the office", as this guideline also deals with sound propagation and sound shielding between workplaces. Further and more in-depth information is presented in the commentary book for DIN 18041 (published by Beuth publishing house).
Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Kirchner
of the IHK Berlin publicly appointed and
sworn expert for room acoustics
Akustikbüro K5 GmbH