4.2 Good acoustic environments

Describing or defining good acoustic environments is a complex and multidisciplinary task. Below, different aspects are examined but they are far from comprehensive.

Like any other building parameter, a good acoustic environment must fulfill basic needs such as:

  • Helping occupants to live with and follow the daily and seasonal cycles of the outdoor environment
  • Enabling occupants to adapt to changing conditions (daily, seasonal) and needs
  • Protecting the occupant from the noise and allowing him to be in control.

The acoustic environment provides the framework of the sound picture, but there are sounds that are “expected” and “wanted”, more acceptable and desirable – the sounds of street life through an open window during the daytime, for example. And sounds of nature (birdsong, flowing water) can help alleviate stress.


Sound and noise preferences are individual.
Our mood influences our perception of sound and noise Choice of interior surfaces influence the quality of the acoustic environment.