There are several US university programs focused on architectural acoustics and many sources of room acoustics modeling software that are commercially available. There are also free acoustics modeling and analysis software available from some universities and companies. These programs provide calculated estimates of quantities like reverberation time and sound pressure levels given certain parameters that account for room size, shape, surface absorption, and activity types.
Implementation in the Design Process:
Include performance criteria in programming document. Develop any additional special acoustical performance requirements to support functional programming of building (e.g., sources of recurrent noise that need to be controlled, special user populations which may have distinct auditory performance limitations, multiple uses of building spaces which may have different acoustic criteria. Investigate and choose appropriate acoustics modeling software for the project. (See Additional Resources below.)
Consider performance in building layout and form. Ensure that there are no inherent acoustic conflicts or limits to meeting performance criteria at schematic design. Perform preliminary software simulations to ensure that general acoustics parameters are met. Through Design Development demonstrate complete compliance with acoustical performance criteria via updated calculations or more detailed simulation modeling.
Address explicit performance criteria in design and materials selection and specification. Check to ensure materials selection meets necessary criteria for acoustical controls.