A new route to exposed thermal mass: Sound absorbing poured concrete

Shaun Lombardo, John Orr, David Coley, Michael Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
154 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the novel possibility of utilising the structural concrete floor slab as a means of providing additional mid to low frequency sound absorption through the addition of cavities on the ceiling side, formed using flexible formwork, acting as Helmholtz resonators. Mid to low frequency sound absorption in rooms is typically achieved through the use of perforated plasterboard or a suspended tile-in-grid system. Such an approach can separate the room from the thermal mass of the ceiling above, leading to higher peak temperatures or increased cooling load. Suspended ceilings can also increase the embodied energy of the building and limit the potential for stack effect ventilation by reducing room height. In this work, frequency dependent absorption coefficients of perforated concrete samples were measured using an impedance tube test. The results were found to agree with a theoretical analysis, suggesting that it would be relatively easy to predict the performance of perforations of other depths and diameters including those targeted at absorbing higher frequencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-420
Number of pages13
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Issue number4
Early online date9 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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