NS 8178:2014 Acoustic criteria for rooms and spaces for music rehearsal and performances

The Norwegian Standard NS 8178:2014 is the first of its kind in the world, and has since it was pubished in 2014 spread to many countries around the world, such as Japan, Australia, USA, Brazil, France, England, Korea, Gemany, Polen, Great Britain and many others. The purpose of the standard is to help planning of new buildings and rroms for music use, in refusbishment projects and to assess the suitability of existing rooms for different music purposes.

Ordering the Norwegian Standard NS 8178

There are approximately 500 000 musicians in Norway today, both profession-als and amateurs. The standard is relevant for music rooms being used by the vast majority of musicians. Music plays a significant role in education and schools, as well as in other arenas. Research also shows that music is important in child development and skill building. For instance, Norwegian school marching bands enjoy high participation rates, and need large rehearsal spaces.

There are clear correlations between the intended use of a music room, music type and ensemble type, and room size. The standard sets requirements for the room depending on the type of music it is intended to be used for; amplified music, soft or loud music. These definitions of music types are used throughout the standard. The standard defines then the required room size, acoustic treatment, background noise levels and sound proofing.

The size of rooms and spaces are important

Quite often, the most important thing is to set criteria for room volume, space and height. These are requirements related to the dimensions of the building that need to be included early in the planning process. The standard should be used as a premise for the planning of both new buildings and rehabilitation of the existing buildings. It is necessary to determine the space according to function and the number of performers.

NS 8178 categorizes rooms into rehearsal cells, medium to large size ensemble rooms, and performance and multipurpose halls. The categories reflect the practical conditions in the music world. Performers play or sing in small or large groups, and have varying needs when it comes to room volume, reverberation time, room height and room geometry.

Who are the users of the standard?

The standard is aimed at municipalities and local governments, advisors, architects, construction companies, facility owners (public and private) and others who run or own relevant buildings. The standard can also be used by others, from individual musicians to larger groups.