Editor’s note: On 15 September 2014, Leo Beranek celebrated his 100th birthday. When we proposed to reprint this 65-year-old article, Leo’s reply was, “Everything in the article is valid today, so it can be reprinted with no embarrassment,” and Bill Cavanaugh’s introductory remarks attest to that. We hope you will enjoy reading this article as much as we enjoy presenting it.

In Rotterdam, Holland there is a three-story apartment house, about one block long, with forty-eight apartments. Except for a noticeable difference in types of windows, the general construction appears orthodox. But this building is a large, realistic field laboratory for studying the best possible methods of quieting and heating apartment buildings. Construction details differ from apartment to apartment. Each wall and each floor is, in effect, a test panel.

This is one of the few rational approaches to the improvement of acoustics in buildings. Bold in its conception, the...

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