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Dear Colleagues,

Soundscape theory provides a framework to unite the technical fields of architectural acoustics, environmental noise control, and psychoacoustics or the perception of sounds by people with architectural design and assessment of the inhabitation of buildings and urban spaces in a holistic manner. It bridges across disciplines including architecture, urban design, architectural acoustics, interior design, urban planning, psychology, hearing, music, neuroscience, linguistics and engineering among others. It also forms links between science, engineering, design and the psychological and social sciences as well as aural aesthetics and musical composition. Furthermore it provides the tools through which sound can be explored as part of a creative, interactive, inclusive and iterative process of design for individual buildings and urban spaces. Recent research has developed measurement tools, advanced computer modeling and simulation systems, mapping techniques, questionnaires and narrative interview techniques to qualitatively evaluate the soundscape, language to describe the soundscape, design strategies to enhance the soundscape as well as a number of case studies illustrating applications of the theory in the design and inhabitation of buildings, urban spaces, parks and natural areas.

This issue of Buildings will broadly address recent advances in the theory, technology, practice and applications of soundscape design in buildings and urban spaces. High-quality manuscripts will be accepted from all areas of soundscape design in buildings and urban spaces. We are particularly interested in papers that address issues including how soundscape design methods can enhance the architectural and acoustical design of buildings, urban spaces, parks and natural areas; historical soundscapes in buildings and cities; improvements in soundscape design and assessment methods including instrumentation, survey tools, simulation technology, computer modeling and mapping; case studies of designs and installations; artistic and aesthetic composition and/or evaluation of sonic architecture; and perceptual studies in applied soundscapes. We are also interested in case studies of collaborations among researchers, designers and practitioners in multiple disciplines working together on complex soundscape evaluations and designs. Articles developing theoretical/philosophical positions on soundscape in design; linguistic, cultural, semiotic and social and other humanistic areas of study are also encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Gary W. Siebein
Guest Editor



Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on theInstructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.




  • soundscape
  • urban design
  • architecture
  • soundwalk
  • architectural acoustics
  • acoustical design
  • sonography, noise
  • sound art
  • sonic environment

Published Papers

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Site-Specific Soundscape Designs for the Transformation of Sonic Architectures
Author: Jordan Lacey
Affiliation: SIAL Sound Studios, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia jordan.lacey@rmit.edu.au
Abstract: Does a building contain its own voice? And if so, can that voice be discerned, transformed and enhanced by soundscape design? In Places Speak, Are You Listening Barry Blesser discusses the reverberation and more specifically the eigentones of a space, resonant frequencies with extended lifetimes that provide architectural spaces with a characteristic acoustic quality related to its dimensions and materiality. But the sonic qualities of an architectural space extend beyond a consideration of acoustic characteristics. What of a space’s poetic properties, its own unique personality? Can soundscape design uncover such qualities of architectural spaces, and if so, can sonic architectures be transformed by the recomposition of existing sonic infrastructures? This paper describes two soundscape designs that attempt to transform sonic architectures through the analysis, resynthesis and recomposition of on-site sounds. The first, Revoicing the Striated Soundscape, is a soundscape installation in an outdoor public space comprising repurposed air-conditioners for the recomposition of the immediate soundscape. The second describes an iterative soundscape installationperformance, Subterranean Voices, which recomposes the sonic architecture of an underground chamber. The paper suggests a methodology whereby on-site sounds can be transformed by electroacoustic playback systems for the diversification of sonic architectures.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Integrating real-time room acoustics simulation into a CAD modeling software to enhance the architectural design process
Authors: Sönke Pelzer, Lukas Aspöck, Dirk Schröder†, Michael Vorländer
Affiliations: Institute of Technical Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
† currently at EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
Abstract: With real-time 3D visual rendering of CAD-models, a valuable tool was provided for the application in architecture. The architect usually perceives the visual appearance of the building interior in a natural and realistic way during the design process. Unfortunately this emphasized the role of only the visual appearance of a building, while the acoustics often remain disregarded. It can be concluded that controlling the room acoustics is not integrated into most architects’ workflows – due to a lack of tools. The present contribution describes a newly developed plug-in for adding an adequate 3D-acoustics feedback to the architect. The plug-in uses real-time audio rendering and 3D-reproduction to present intuitively the acoustical effect of the current design project. This includes structural shapes as well as material selection. In addition to the aural feedback, also a visualization of important room acoustics qualities is provided by color-coded maps that are layered on top of the visual rendering inside the CAD software. It can be expected that the advances that visual real-time feedback gave to the user to improve the visual appearance can be extrapolated to room acoustics as well. Due to the intuitive integration also non-experts in the field of acoustics are able to avoid acoustical flaws by just listening to the room, or monitor a simple set of parameters. In principle, the same approach can be applied to urban planning, soundscapes, and to noise control in architectural spaces.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Optimal volume for halls based on Ando's subjective preference and Barron revised theories
Authors: Salvador Cerda
Affiliations: Politécnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera, s̸n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Abstract: The Ando-Beranek model, a linear version of Ando's subjective preference theory obtained by the authors in a recent work, was combined with Barron revised theory. An optimal volume region for each reverberation time was deduced for concert halls and for classical music. The obtained relation was tested with good agreement with the halls reported by different authors and other halls with reported anomalies.



Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gary W. Siebein 
University of Florida, School of Architecture, 625 NW 60th Street, Suite C - Gainesville, Florida 32607, USA
Website: http://www.dcp.ufl.edu/arch/main/faculty/seib.htm
E-Mail: gsiebein@siebeinacoustic.com 
Phone: +1 352 331 5111 
Fax: +1 352 331 0009 
Interests: acoustics; architectural acoustics; classroom acoustics; soundscape design; urban design; architectural design; evidence-based design; performance hall design; sustainability; occupational noise; building performance