The new free tool SoViST supports architects, building physics advisors and structural engineers in designing the optimal acoustic performance of buildings with a lightweight structure in steel or timber.

Building with lightweight structures safes on the amount of construction material used, thereby decreasing the environmental impact of building activities. Moreover, lightweight constructions fit a fast and efficient building process, facilitate easy adjustment of floor plans and interior spaces and make way to renewal and renovation of existing buildings, for example by adding an extra level upon the roof.

The transmission of sounds and vibrations, however, still is of a major concern in building design with lightweight structures. Therefor SoViST is published, a free webtool to support architects, building physics advisors and structural engineers in designing the optimal acoustic performance of buildings with a lightweight structure in steel or timber.

SoViST stands for ‘Sound and Vibration Steel Timber’. The software has been developed by Levels, part of Level Acoustics & Vibration in Eindhoven, in reply to requests of several Dutch companies and organizations which are involved – in different ways – in the development, production and application of lightweight building systems in wood or steel. Contributions to the tool were deliverd by for example Tata Steel, Saint-Gobain and Bouwen met Staal, the Dutch Steel Construction Institute.

The tool derives from research by Dutch scientific research laboratory TNO, which started back in 2003. Main research object was the transmission of sounds and vibration in lightweight buildings through the so-called ‘building knots’. These are the places where the load bearing constructions, floors, facades and interior walls come together. The study resulted earlier in a vibrations design guideline (HiVoSS), adaptation of the European standard for sound- and vibration behaviour and isolation EN 12354 as well as a method for determining the vibration transmission subduction Kij.

Based on these predecessors, SoViST enables simulation and calculation of the transmission of sounds and vibrations within a building with lightweight structures. With the tool it is also possible to make a quick scan of the performance of preferred solutions and match them with the alternatives, giving insight in the most suitable applications from an early design stage on.

  • The computer program can be downloaded for free from: leveltools.nl/files/SovistInstaller.exe
  • Further information on the background and usability of the tool can be obtained at Bouwen met Staal, Mic Barendsz, e: mic@bouwenmetstaal.nl
  • More information and guidance in acoustic design of lightweight buildings in steel is provided in the acoustic-section of this website
  • Photos: Datacenter AM4, Amsterdam (Benthem Crouwel Architects, © Jannes Linders) and (middle and below) DSM Biotech Center, Delft (cepezed architects, © Joep Jacobs / Leon van Woerkom).
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