Students in the Fall, 1993 Noise Control Class
Ilene J. Busch-Vishniac
Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712
During the Fall, 1993 semester, students in a combined undergraduate and graduate noise control class examined the acoustical environment at Ridgetop elementary school in Austin, Texas. This school is directly under the flight path for Austin's Mueller Airport, and was recently soundproofed to prevent aircraft noise from interfering with instruction. The purpose of the project was to introduce students to the types of acoustic measurements typically made by noise control engineers, and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. Measurements included background noise levels, transmission loss from one room to its neighbors and through windows, reverberation time for a typical classroom, and barrier excess attenuation (using the school as the barrier). The results show that outdoor sound levels at Ridgetop elementary school peak at quite high values when aircraft are landing at Mueller airport. However, indoor sound-pressure levels are such that aircraft noise is generally inaudible, and certainly not disruptive. Further, the rooms are well designed for speech communication. Student assessments of the project experience will be presented.