Normative calculations regarding room acoustics are given in technical standards such as DIN 18 041: Acoustical quality in small- to medium-sized rooms, or VDI 2569: Sound protection and acoustical design in offices. To come forward with detailed recommendations to ensure an acoustical comfort for certain rooms and usages, it is necessary to apply acoustical simulations and auralizations. With this, the planning of rooms for multiple usages (e.g. atria, auditoriums) or open space offices and large conference rooms can be done with a high degree of planning reliability.
While in statically calculations of the reverberation time or the necessary sound absorption surfaces the specific room conditions and the local arrangement of the absorption elements remain unconsidered, these aspects were taken into account in dynamically acoustical simulations. Next to the reverberation time (T) additional parameters such as the Speech Transmission Index (STI), the Sound Pressure Level (SPL), the Definition (D) or the Mean Free Path can be predicted for selected zones. Thereby, these acoustical parameters can usually only be determined after completion by measurement according to EN ISO 3382. The application of an acoustical simulation is an important planning building block for the optimization of user-oriented and efficient buildings.
The energetic properties of a building and the thermal conditions inside the building can be predicted with the aid of a simulation program. On the one hand, the energy amounts of certain consumers can be calculated and evaluated with parameter studies and sensitivity analysis. With this, an energy-optimized, aligned concept can be developed for the building envelope and matching HVAC components.
On the other hand, complex and dynamically effects of interactions between building parts and HVAC components can be assessed using EN 15251: Indoor environmental input parameters for design and assessment of energy performance of buildings addressing indoor air quality, thermal environment, lighting and acoustics, and the evaluation of comfort criteria according to EN ISO 7730: Ergonomics of the thermal environment, which is done by an analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort criteria using calculations of the PMV and PPD indices and further local thermal comfort criteria.
Based on location-oriented, hourly climate data, thermal simulations can illustrate the effects of the interactions between the local climate and the energetic properties of the building.
In the design process of buildings a daylight simulation is a useful tool to ensure the optimum exploration of the available daylight. With this, it is possible to reduce the electrical energy demand for artificial lighting. According to a thermal simulation the availability of daylight is a dynamically and constantly changing process that depends on the geographic location of the building, the surroundings and the local climate conditions.
As for thermal and acoustical room conditions, the visual characteristics of rooms are one of the relevant factors relating to comfort and efficient building properties. An optimized lighting concept (if appropriate a combination of daylight and artificial light) as well as a visual contact to the outside have a positive effect on the ability to concentrate and the productivity.