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Design of underground car park with voice alarm system

Photo: COWI

​The design of a new car park under the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen focuses on security to make people feel comfortable and safe.

Engineering disciplines such as fire, lighting and sound are just as important as the challenging geotechnical and structural engineering of a new underground car park under the Copenhagen Habour.

​In 2015, a new three-storey underground car park will open covering a total area of three football fields 12 metres under the Royal Danish Playhouse. COWI is the consultant on the new car park and in charge of the design.

COWI initiated the project by conducting a sociological user survey which reveals users' experience in underground car parks. The new car park should make parking a good and safe experience. As a result, daylight and electrical lighting have been used to naturally guide people towards the exit areas. Also, the acoustics and sound have been carefully designed for the unlikely event of an evacuation situation.

Voice alarm system

COWI's acousticians have designed the acoustics and the loudspeaker layout in corporation with the architects Lundgaard og Tranberg to create a comfortable sound environment and to ensure the required speech intelligibility based on Danish fire standards in case of an evacuation situation.

COWI has designed the acoustics based on simulations of the 3D geometrical model from the architect. The acoustic simulation showed that a certain amount of sound absorption was necessary to achieve reasonable speech intelligibility inside the car park. The absorption was based on a design by the architects with perforated metal baffles containing mineral wool.

With this amount of absorption, the loudspeaker layout was optimized to comply with the architect's wishes only to use the number of loudspeakers necessary to reach the targeted coverage and speech intelligibility.

The loudspeakers are ceiling speakers placed in between the baffles and towards the edge of the parking area to also cover the three storey high connecting space.

LAST UPDATED: 24.02.2017