SAU Nordic databases - explanations (for Bastian, SONarchitect and CadnaB)

Database descriptors "SBUF", "SAU", "Nordtest" etc ...

The database exists in 3 versions, for Bastian or SONarchitect or CadnaB, but the content is basically the same. Small differences may occur because of update procedures or unexpected incompatibilities with the software.

The database contains sound insulation data of commercial products (by a given manufacturer) as well as generic data (without any manufacturer). For technical reasons, it is currently not possible to describe in detail the origin of all data entries in the database, names and descriptions must be brief to fit on screen. In this section, some explanations are given to the brief product descriptions as well as links to some reports that may help the user interpret the meanings. In case you are uncertain, please contact me and I'll be happy to help out.

Manufacturers data

In most entries in the database, the name of the manufacturer as well as the product is stated. However, manufacturers frequently change their range of products and the descriptions in the database may be obsolete. Hence, it is recommended to check product references with the manufacturer before prescribing them in consultant's reports etcetera. In case you encounter erroneous descriptions in the database, please inform me and I will try to update. The data may still be valuable, but I'll make a note with double Q marks "??" in the name to alert the user to look into the description field of this product.

Data from manufacturers are audited by several means. The quality assurance procedure is described on the AdvertiseProducts page. It is not possible to reach a 100% confidence in the data quality, but I try and keep up a high standard and several users have helped over the years to alert me on possible errors. Through the practical applications, anomalies may be detected and the database is improved by time. For this reason, it is important to use the current version only. Using old versions may result in errors that are hard to explain at a later stage. Keep up to date and do report entries that may be erroneous for some reason.

Generic data from literature, research or by calculation

1. Concrete constructions (homogeneous or layered) have been calculated by me with a semiempirical calculation model developed in the Nordtest project 1346-97 conducted by the Nordic laboratories. In case the data were measured in a laboratory, this is stated. Download the report from Nordtest here or here. The calculation model is described briefly in a technical report from Delta Akustik & Vibration, available here. This model has been further validated by me in extensive comparisons with field data, reported in the doctoral thesis in 2009 (Managing uncertainty in building acoustics comparisons of predictions with the 12354 standards to measurements. Luleå tekniska universitet), available here. Hence, the data from Svensk Betong (abbreviated SvBtg), Starka or the Norwegian manufacturers of precast concrete elements, have been calculated with this model.

2. Wooden constructions (CLT) have been calculated by me with more or less the same semiempirical calculation principle as for concrete elements. The underlying work, and the estimated uncertainty in calculation results (with Bastian/CadnaB/SONarchitect) is described in a brief paper to the Euronoise 2021 e-conference, read this before using the data.

3. : SBUF: Database for buildings described in the architectural handbook SBH "Så byggdes husen 1880-2000". The handbook is not available for download, all users may buy the very detailed and comprehensible printed matter from Svensk Byggtjänst. The database contains data adapted for calculations according to EN ISO 12354 for most of the constructions described in this handbook. The background and the methodology to develop those data are described in the report 0405 from Sveriges Byggindustrier (SBUF projekt 11254). It also contains many practical advise based on interviews with acousticans active from 1960, that I made during this project. Download the report, the database appendix and a brief article in Bygg&Teknik, april 2005.

4.  "SAUdb_Walls_Windows_Roofs_Sources.pdf" is referenced in the database, which refers to the report found here.
The data were developed in a joint project for the Swedish authorities for roads, rails and airports, in order to facilitate the renovation of houses close to noisy roads/rails/airports in a structured way. As you certainly know, there is an infinite number of windows, walls and roofs that may be encounted during a survey - you may need to correct input data for the specific conditions, but at least you may get a hint on the performance of similar constructions. The methodolgy was to apply Insul v5.3, first to a number of constructions measured in the laboratory or in the field, adjust input data and model defintions, then extract an empirical correction based on the average and standard deviation of the comparison for each group of construction, then finally calculate the relevant constructions and apply those corrections. In case you need assistance to interpret the data or add specific constructions, please contact me.

5. SAU is used as a lable when I have added data of constructions where there were no references available. The reason is typically to help out where users might need data, but please note, this is done without taking any kind of responability of their accuracy. In most cases the data are calculated theoretically or based on an assessment of similar constructions. Where I have realized the data may be more uncertain than is typical, this entry is marked with "??" in the product name, to alert the user to take a larger margin than usual. In case you need to get more detailed information, please contact me. The data for masonry walls, as described in the SPEF handbook "Rätt murat och putsat" were developed by me since no manufacturer supported data. Some commonly used denominations of e.g. plasterboard walls are used, where e.g. "202" refers to 2 layers of plasterboard on each side of a common stud, m-wool refers to glass wool or rock wool, "140" refers to the gap between the plasterboards etcetera. In case of doubt, send me an e-mail.

6. Sintef report 2012:102 "Lydmåling i laboratorium av vinduer, yttervegger, tak og ytterveggventiler
Konstruksjonsdata for eldre og nye konstruksjoner for beregning av lydisolering mot utendørs støy" has been introduced in the database, with due permission by Sintef. The report is available at their site, click here.

Detailed questions on application

What can I do in case I miss a construction in the database?

  1. Enter your own data into the database. See the manual, page 169. Basically, go to the Database menu (NOT within the ConstructionChooser), choose relevant product category and then use right hand click to open a submenu. Either choose NewAsCopy, or NewConstruction. Make sure to use input data for the construction as measured in a laboratory, i.e. without flanking transmission. How to edit data in SONarchitect will be informed later on.
  2. To find appropriate data for an element, get in touch with the manufacturer or contact us. We have special softwares and a large experience in estimating sound insulation of building elements.
    N.B. In case you enter your own data, make sure to state this in the clients report, or whether you apply data from the SAU Nordic database.

Why are the toppings on HD/F hollowcore elements only 25 and 90 kg/m2 in the database - toppings are typically 1-2 cm thicker, meaning at least 20-40 kg/m2 heavier?

This is to account for the curvature of the pre-stressed HD/F elements. The mid of the elements are typically raised 1,5-2 cm and the topping consequently thinner. The weights given in the database are empirical, taken from many field studies so they are very typical for the real applications.


I fail to select lightweight elements in the database menu. Trying to select them via the room view or the table they does not work. Why?

BASTIAN filters the constructions being displayed in the CONSTRUCTION CHOOSER dialog box based on the junction type. So, if a rigid junction (without or with elastic inter-layers) is selected only such constructions will be displayed which are single heavy elements (i.e. matching the junction type). To select a lightweight separating or flanking element please change at first the junction type at this junction accordingly. Then the double-lightweight elements will be displayed. See next item.

Is it possible to enter sketches for user defined constructions?

Yes. Define the image file name in the Database menu and save the file in the Bastian-folder.

For constructions in the optional SAU Nordic database, the www addresses of the manufacturers are given. Please look for further information at their pages or contact them.

Are the construction data in the SAU Nordic databases the same in BASTIAN and SONarchitect?

Yes. Products advertised in the BASTIAN-databases are also distributed to users of SON-architect software, through a cooperation with their Scandinavian distributor Norsonic AS ( In case you find differences, those are unintentional, please inform us!


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