The basic principle of common room acoustics computer models is the energy-based geometrical room acoustics theory. The energy-based calculation relies on the averaging effect provided when there are many reflections from many different directions, which is well suited for large concert halls at medium and high frequencies. In recent years computer modelling has become an established tool in architectural acoustics design thanks to the advance in computing power and improved understanding of the modelling accuracy. However concert hall is only one of many types of built environments that require good acoustic design. Increasingly computer models are being sought for non-concert hall applications, such as in small rooms at low frequencies, flat rooms in workplace surroundings, and long enclosures such as underground stations. In these built environments the design issues are substantially difference from that of concert halls and in most cases the common room acoustics models will needed to be modified or totally re-formulated in order to deal with these new issues. This paper looks at some examples of these issues. In workplace environments we look at the issues of directional propagation and volume scattering by furniture and equipment instead of the surface scattering that is common assumed in concert hall models. In small rooms we look at the requirement of using wave models, such as boundary element models, or introducing phase information into geometrical room acoustics models to determine wave behaviours. Of particular interest is the ability of the wave models to provide phase information that is important not only for room modes but for the construction of impulse response for auralisation. Some simulated results using different modelling techniques will be presented to illustrate the problems and potential solutions.
2005 by The Acoustical Society of Japan