Acoustic guidelines

European guidelines

Standard specifications are usually minimum values to be achieved. As such, they are not sufficient for creating an optimum acoustic environment, but they are good reference values for legally compliant planning.


Therefore, in the acoustics department at XAL, we offer planning according to various internationally accepted standards.

These include:

- DIN 18041
- ÖNORM B 8115
- SIA 181
- etc.


When planning for locations outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, too, we comply with the respective national requirements as best as possible.

You can find an overview of the current internationally accepted standards by following the link below.

DIN 18041

The German standard DIN 18041 describes the acoustic quality in rooms. It is in principle only a recommendation, but is incorporated in generally accepted guidelines. For example, the workplace directive refers to DIN 18041.


The standard distinguishes between two categories of application:

1) Room Category A, where the acoustic quality has priority: e.g. conference rooms and lecture halls

2) Room Category B, where recommendations are given on room damping, e.g. exhibition rooms and offices


For rooms of category A, DIN 18041 specifies a target reverberation time with a corresponding tolerance range, depending on room size and room usage (music, speech, communication, sport, or the like). For rooms of category B, it provides guidance values for the A/V ratio, depending on room volume and room usage (e.g. staying for short or longer periods).


The Austrian standard ÖNORM B 8115-3 “Sound insulation and architectural acoustics in building construction – Part 3: Architectural acoustics”. In some aspects, it refers to DIN 18041 and also distinguishes between two room types: rooms in which good acoustic quality is to be ensured, and those in which noise should be attenuated.


The ÖNORM also provides recommendations: for rooms with good acoustic quality, the requirements of DIN 18041 have been largely adopted, with regard to target reverberation time. For rooms with a need for noise reduction, the ÖNORM recommends an average sound absorption coefficient similar to the A/V ratio.