Noise control in ground floor flats of residential buildings


For the development of urban areas and in particular the development of residential areas the usage of ground floors plays an important role. In the past years however, the utilization as flats has decreased to a great extent. This is due on the one hand to the security disadvantage of the increased risk of burglary and on the other hand to the greater noise pollution. Some studies have even explicitly advised against or even ruled out residential use on ground floors. Due to the increasing shortage of living space, especially in larger cities, the ground floor apartment is experiencing a revival and can thus become an important solution for reducing the housing shortage. Furthermore, other advantages of a ground floor apartment are obvious. Since the entrance is possible frequently without stairs, such an apartment can be implemented thereby often quite simply for aged or handicapped people. In addition, direct access to the garden, terrace or courtyard allows a clear upgrade of the living situation and living at eye level with the outside world. Last but not least, the lower heating due to stronger shading as well as the thermal compensation in the direction of the cooler basement rooms in summer prove to be advantageous.

Research questions

In the project presented here, a major disadvantage of ground-floor apartments, namely the generally higher noise pollution, is to be examined in more detail and strategies for effective noise control are to be developed. The aim of the project is therefore to contribute to the attractiveness of ground floors for residential use and to compare solution approaches for the targeted reduction of noise pollution in existing ground floor apartments. The procedure is outlined below and the individual subprojects are described in more detail.

Scientific approach and methods

In a first step, the possible noise pollution in typical ground floor flats is to be recorded, systematized and characterized in more detail. The results of projects, studies, bachelor's and master's theses already completed at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences can be used for this. These will be compiled and supplemented by literary values in order to create an overview of possible noise sources and immission situations that is as complete and accurate as possible. Furthermore, this compilation is to be supplemented and verified by in-situ measurements at some exemplarily selected ground floor apartments in the Stuttgart area. These selected dwellings are to be exposed to noise pollution from different types of noise in order to be able to carry out an actual validation of the types of noise. In addition, the aim is to record the sound insulation level of the dwellings. Finally, this part of the project will be concluded with a compilation of different exposure scenarios in urban areas.

Targeted results

The project concludes with a catalogue of measures that should make it possible to select suitable measures depending on the situation. In the case of flats to be planned and newly built, there are different possibilities than in the case of retrofitting measures in existing flats. Likewise, the same measures are not always sensible and effective for different noise levels. The catalogue of measures is intended to provide all potential participants and planners with information on how effective noise protection can be implemented in ground floor apartments.

ManagementProf. Dr.-Ing. Berndt Zeitler
FundingVermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg 



Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
Berndt ZeitlerProfessor / IAF Direktorium / Akustikgruppe+49 711 8926 2507 7/104
Jan KrügerLehrbeauftragter / Wissenschaftler+49 711 8926 2982 7/114