Architectural Lighting and Acoustics

Unit code: NEF4108 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
Footscray Park


This subject consists of two distinct themes, the first is Architectural Lighting of buildings and the second is Building Acoustics. They are taught in parallel by different academic (and sessional academic) staff.

Part A
Light and the visible portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Visual performance characteristics of the human eye. Photometric concepts and units of measurement. Direct and indirect surface illuminance calculations. Electric lamp technology, including incandescence, gaseous/vapour discharges. Principles of Colourimetry. The CIE classification system/colour rendering indices. User 'quality' assessment of illuminated spaces including control of glare. Daylight as an alternative to electric light. CIE and other models of sky luminance as a means to simple daylight estimation. Surveys of existing building illumination systems and practical (actual) illumination of buildings using a range commercial luminaires and lamps.

Part BAcoustic principles applicable to Building Acoustics such as the decibel scale, sound power vs sound pressure, and wave propagation. Description of laboratory and field testing sound insulation values, identifying sound transmission paths in buildings, and subjective descriptors of sound insulation. Down-duct noise calculations, sizing of duct attenuators, and regenerated noise from duct elements. Sabine absorption calculations, description of early and late reflections, and room design for speech intelligibility. These topics will be discussed in context with National Construction Code, Australian Standard, Environmental Protection Agency, and Green Star acoustic criteria.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the lighting and acoustic systems of a commercial building in accordance with Australian standards and current best practices in industry;
  2. Design the lighting for a commercial building using computer calculations;
  3. Exhibit professional lighting capabilities in presentation of concept plans, collaboration methods with other industry professionals, basic understanding of terminology and demonstration of three dimensional planning;
  4. Formulate the range of solutions and equipment for designing building acoustic systems, and be able to categorise the applicability of alternate systems for a given building; and
  5. Select appropriate forms of specification (for tendering) for the installation of building lighting systems.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 15%
Problem-solving exercise for acoustic and lighting
Assessment type: Project
Grade: 70%
Project A) Presentation of project concept and plan - 35% Project B) Developed acoustic and lighting project - 35%
Assessment type: Portfolio
Grade: 15%

Required reading

Reading texts and other resources will be made available on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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