When designing a room, such as a concert hall, it is important that the reverberation time of the space is correct so that speech is intelligible and music sounds good. You are probably familiar with spaces such as railway stations which are too reverberant they have too little absorption which makes it difficult to communicate. Knowing the absorption of architectural materials is vital when designing a room with good acoustics.
The reverberation room is used to measure absorption coefficients of materials used in buildings throughout the world. Researchers at University of Salford in Manchester, England, developed a standard test method for auditorium seating which is now used to test the seating of major concert venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
The chambers are designed to be very reverberant, so the walls are made of painted dense brick. Every chamber has a reinforced concrete sloping roof and a non-parallel pair of walls to make the room more diffuse. The reinforced concrete floor is built on a rockwool insulation board to provide vibration isolation.
Reverberation rooms like these are used to test the absorption of materials used in rooms and in noise control. These reverberation rooms are used mostly for final year and postgraduate research projects. The room is also used to examine the modal behaviour of small rooms. The room can also be easily changed, by adding absorbers and diffusers, to simulate a variety of acoustic environments.