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ETFE: Material for the Millennium

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Could you explain the acoustic benefits of the ETFE solution? Stadia benefit from some form of acoustic absorption, to aid PA speech intelligibility and to control the build-up of noise levels. An open-air structure provides a good amount of ‘venting’ of sound to outside, but a space enclosed by ETFE only ‘vents’ less than 15% of the incident sound through it at the important mid and high speech wavelengths. The result can be a quite lively acoustic space and the aural confusion that can create, which can be quite an unsettling acoustic environment.

Paul Malpas


The ETFE cushion system has high acoustic transparency; the pillows transmit almost all sound from the outside. The measure of acoustic insulation is the Rw value – which measures a materials capacity of acoustic insulation. A three layer ETFE foil pillow has an Rw value of 8dB. However, noise and rain suppression systems are now being incorporated into external structures with successful results and there is much potential for this to be developed further to improve acoustics of this product. Rain noise can be suppressed using a rain attenuation layer added to the top surface of the cushions. This acts as a dampener, stopping the sound reverberating around the space below. For more information please contact people from: http://www.taiyomembrane.in/

MBEnv(SustDev), GRIHA Trainer
Masters of Built Environment in Sustainable Development,
University of New South Wales,

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