Murray Hodgson: An Appreciation From a Practicing Acoustical Consultant
So much of what we know about the behaviour of sound in rooms comes from studies in reverberation rooms and concert halls. Hardly everyday architectural geometry. The author first met Murray Hodgson in Cambridge when Dr. Hodgson was doing his early scale model studies on factories. Geometrically and acoustically, factories are much more akin to the day to day built environment that we inhabit. The geometry of a factory is typically long, wide and very flat with scattering elements, typically on the floor. Murray would go on to apply his work on factories to other long, low and wide rooms. Our understanding of the acoustics of open plan offices, health care facilities and, of course, classrooms can be traced back to his post-doctoral work in Cambridge. One is impressed how the work on factory acoustics grew to cover so much of the rooms we live in. More impressive was his ability to tackle questions that others wouldn’t. Questions that acoustical consultants are often asked and really don’t have an answer for yet. Noise control in naturally-ventilated buildings for example. His legacy will show this work as seminal in the nascent green building type genre.
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