Major test facilities

User comfort, overall structural performance, compliance with regulations: all of these criteria require in-depth knowledge of the acoustic characteristics of a structure’s components. The CSTB European Acoustics Laboratory can perform the necessary measurements, whether the components are used in a building, a means of transportation or an urban infrastructure. It can also develop innovative approaches combining tests and simulations in order to improve the understanding of acoustic phenomena and optimize innovative systems.

Standardized tests and innovative approaches

The independent and Cofrac-accredited European Acoustics Laboratory of the CSTB has nine testing stations in a 2000 m² lab. It is equipped to rapidly test all types of materials, products and equipment according to international standards (NF, EN, ISO and ASTM). In addition to its standardized testing activities, the laboratory can also conduct customized tests and develops innovative approaches combining tests and simulations, using specially-designed software (in particular, AcouSYS). All of this work contributes to improving the acoustic quality of new systems, while reducing the time and cost of development.

Studies of products and equipment

The CSTB acoustics laboratory performs assessments of several parameters on a wide array of systems.

  • Acoustic insulation
    Measuring the capacity of an element to mitigate the transmission of air-borne noise: street noise, shouting, conversations, singing, or noise from televisions, music, etc.
  • Acoustic absorption coefficient
    Measuring the capacity of an element to reduce sound reverberations. This concerns construction elements, as well as road noise barriers, performance hall seats, etc.
  • Impact noise
    Measuring the role of flooring in reducing impact noise from people walking on it, children playing or furniture being moved. Floor coverings and floating screeds can also be tested.
  • Noise from rain
    Measuring the impact noise from rain falling on roof elements of a building (veranda panels, roofing, roof windows, outlets, roof lights…) or an automobile (windshield).
  • Noise from power installations
    Measuring noise emitted by air flow and hydraulic equipment in a structure.

Testing can be performed on elements of automobiles, trains, boats, aircraft; road noise barriers; building components and equipment, i.e. all types of roofing, walls, windows, facades, panels, ceilings, floors and coverings; structural junctions and components, drainage pipes and utility shafts. This also concerns hydraulic (tapware) and ventilation equipment in buildings, and any noisy home appliances.

Studies of materials

Thanks to the facilities of its acoustics laboratory, the CSTB can characterize the acoustic properties of solid, viscous and porous materials. This data can be used as input for assessing acoustic behavior at the level of a component or a structure.