42969 - Illumination Engineering and Acoustics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After the course, the student will know the fundamentals of lighting and applied acoustics necessary to properly design a building. In particular, the student will be able to properly design a building envelope having the necessary acoustic and lighting requirements.

Course contents


Fundamentals of Acoustics
The acoustic phenomenon, The sound pressure. Acoustic waveforms in elastic medium. The hypothesis for the wave equation. The velocity of sound. The generation of sound.  the wavelength. Some specific wavelength. RMS pressure. Sound power, Sound intensity and Sound impedance. Sound levels. The definition of Decibel. Simple operation with Decibels.
Sound Pressure Levels, Density Levels, Intensity Levels, Power Levels.

Frequency Analysis.
Frequency analysis: octave and third bands. Sound examples and analysis. Isophonic curves. the A-weighting curve. White and Pink Noise.

Sound Absorption, reflection, transmission
The real and apparent absorbing coefficient. Absorbing materials. The Helmholtz resonator. The transmission coefficient. 

Building acoustics

The sound insulation power. The mass-frequency law. The resonance frequency. The critical frequency. Measurements of the sound insulation power. The impact noise level. Other requirements in Italian laws.

Room acoustics
Direct, reverberant, semi-reverberant acoustic field. The critical distance. The reverberation time: Sabine's formula and definitions. The Linear, Time-invariant system. The Impulse Response. The measurements of the IRs Acoustic parameters (ISO 3382).

Example: evaluation of the acoustic quality in a real room.

2 Module LIGHTING:

Principles and fundamentals of lightings. Definitions.
Sources of lighting: classification. Indoor lighting.

Natural and artificial lighting. Examples


  1. L. Tronchin, Elementi di Fisica Tecnica e Controllo Ambientale, Progetto Leonardo, Bologna, 2010
  2. Moncada Lo Giudice G., De Santoli L., “ Benessere termico, acustico e visivo” volume terzo, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 1999
  3. Materiale distribuito dal Docente

Assessment methods

The final examination will be an oral examination.

It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, originality of reflection and familiarity with the acoustics and lighting tools. It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, disarticulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, or a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of lighting and acoustics. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the tools of lighting and acoustics. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyze the lighting and the acoustics.

Teaching tools

web page of the Course (in Italian): http://www.fistecamb.com/Courses/course-014.htm

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Lamberto Tronchin

See the website of Valerio Tarabusi