Architectural Acoustics

2nd Edition

Authors: Marshall Long
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123982582
eBook ISBN: 9780123982650
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 3rd March 2014
Page Count: 984
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Architectural Acoustics, Second Edition presents a thorough technical overview of the discipline, from basic concepts to specific design advice. Beginning with a brief history, it reviews the fundamentals of acoustics, human perception and reaction to sound, acoustic noise measurements, noise metrics, and environmental noise characterization. In-depth treatment is given to the theoretical principles and practical applications of wave acoustics, sound transmission, vibration and vibration isolation, and noise transmission in floors and mechanical systems.

Chapters on specific design problems demonstrate how to apply the theory, including treatment of multifamily dwellings, office buildings, rooms for speech, rooms for music, multipurpose rooms, auditoriums, sanctuaries, studios, listening rooms, and the design of sound reinforcement systems. Detailed figures illustrate the practical applications of acoustic principles, showing how to implement design ideas in actual structures.

This compendium of theoretical and practical design information brings the relevant concepts, equations, techniques, and specific design problems together in one place, including both fundamentals and more advanced material. Practicing engineers will find it an invaluable reference for their daily work, while advanced students will appreciate its rigorous treatment of the basic building blocks of acoustical theory.

Key Features

  • Considered the most complete resource in the field – includes basic fundamental relations, derived from first principles, and examples needed to solve real engineering problems.
  • Provides a well-organized text for students first approaching the subject as well as a reliable reference for experienced practitioners looking to refresh their technical knowledge base.
  • New content for developing professionals includes case studies and coverage of specific focus areas such as audio visual design, theaters, and concert halls.


Professional engineers, consultants and researchers in architectural acoustics, acoustical engineering and related mechanical and architectural fields. Upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking engineering or architecture courses with related modules.

Table of Contents



First Edition Acknowledgments

Second Edition Acknowledgments

1. Historical Introduction

1.1 Greek and Roman Period (650 BC–AD 400)

1.2 Early Christian Period (AD 400–800)

1.3 Romanesque Period (800–1100)

1.4 Gothic Period (1100–1400)

1.5 Renaissance Period (1400–1600)

1.6 Baroque Period (1600–1750)

1.7 Origins of Sound Theory

1.8 Classical Period (1750–1825)

1.9 Romantic Period (1825–1900)

1.10 Beginnings of Modern Acoustics

1.11 Twentieth Century

2. Fundamentals of Acoustics

2.1 Frequency and Wavelength

2.2 Simple Harmonic Motion

2.3 Superposition of Waves

2.4 Sound Waves

2.5 Acoustical Properties

2.6 Levels

2.7 Source Characterization

3. Human Perception and Reaction to Sound

3.1 Human Hearing Mechanisms

3.2 Pitch

3.3 Loudness

3.4 Intelligibility

3.5 Annoyance

3.6 Health and Safety

3.7 Other Effects

4. Acoustic Measurements and Noise Metrics

4.1 Microphones

4.2 Sound Level Meters

4.3 Field Measurements

4.4 Broadband Noise Metrics

4.5 Band-Limited Noise Metrics

4.6 Specialized Measurement Techniques

5. Environmental Noise

5.1 Noise Characterization

5.2 Barriers

5.3 Environmental Effects

5.4 Traffic Noise Modeling

5.5 Railroad Noise

5.6 Aircraft Noise

6. Wave Acoustics

6.1 Resonance

6.2 Wave Equation

6.3 Simple Sources

6.4 Coherent Planar Sources

6.5 Loudspeakers

7. Sound and Solid Surfaces

7.1 Perfectly Reflecting Infinite Surfaces

7.2 Reflections from Finite Objects

7.3 Absorption

7.4 Absorption Mechanisms

7.5 Absorption by Nonporous Absorbers

7.6 Absorption by Resonant Absorbers



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© Academic Press 2014
Academic Press
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About the Author

Marshall Long

Since 1971, Marshall Long has been engaged in acoustical engineering consulting as principal of the firm he founded. Based in California, USA, Marshall Long Acoustics, has established a national and international reputation, completing over 3,000 projects in architectural acoustics, noise and vibration control, environmental impact assessment, and audio visual design. With engineering degrees from Princeton and UCLA, Dr. Long has taught acoustical engineering courses at UCLA and Southern California Institute of Architecture, and has guest lectured at Cal State Long Beach and USC. He has published numerous papers and articles in the field of acoustics. The author has recently been awarded a US patent on the recording and reproduction of three-dimensional sound. For further information visit the firm’s website at

Affiliations and Expertise

President, Marshall Long Acoustics, Sherman Oaks, CA, USA


"The strength of the book lies in the breadth of material that it covers, and it will work as a starting point for anyone interested in any of the many topics that the author presents."--Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Architectural Acoustics, 2nd Edition

"...provides a comprehensive overview to the many aspects of architectural acoustics, sound isolation, equipment noise control and sound reinforcement systems, balancing both theoretical and practical considerations."--Noice Control Engineering Journal, July-August 2014

"…a first-rate reference for consultants who practice architectural acoustics or for architects and engineers who are looking for a complete compilation on acoustical techniques."--International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration