Computer modeling of barrel-vaulted sanctuary exhibiting flutter echo with comparison to measurements

Heather Lai, Brian Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computer modeling in acoustics allows for the prediction of acoustical defects and the evaluation of potential remediations. In this article, computer modeling is applied to the case of a barrel-vaulted sanctuary whose architectural design and construction led to severe flutter echoes along the main aisle, which was later mitigated through acoustical remediations. State-of-the-art geometrical acoustics and wave-based simulations are carried out to analyze the acoustics of this space, with a particular focus on the flutter echoes along the main aisle, before and after remediations. Multi-resolution wavelet and spectrogram analyses are carried out to isolate and characterize flutter echoes within measurements and computer-simulated room impulse responses. Comparisons of simulated responses to measurements are also made in terms of decay times and curves. Simulated room impulse responses from both geometrical acoustics and wave-based methods show evidence of flutter echoes matching measurements, to varying degrees. Time-frequency analyses isolating flutter echoes demonstrate better matches to measurements from wave-based simulated responses, at the cost of longer simulation times than geometrical acoustics simulations. This case study highlights the importance of computer modeling of acoustics in early design phases of architectural planning of worship spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-109
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2020


  • room acoustics
  • finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)
  • non-diffuse acoustics
  • flutter echo


Dive into the research topics of 'Computer modeling of barrel-vaulted sanctuary exhibiting flutter echo with comparison to measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this