We provide analysis and design to control and balance the competing acoustic functions – speech intelligibility, speech privacy and musical fidelity – in new buildings and renovations. Schools, community facilities, residential buildings, offices, theaters and cinemas, lecture halls, worship spaces, recording and broadcast studios, and teleconference rooms each require an acoustic design that is suited to the function of the space. We are adept at balancing the competing needs of multiuse spaces via both static design and variable acoustic approaches that use movable reflecting, absorbing and diffusing panels to tailor the facility for different uses.
We perform acoustic modeling, combined with computer simulations or scale models, to accurately analyze the generation, attenuation and nature of sound, as well as the acoustic characteristics of a space. We use CadnaA software to predict environmental noise and Renkus-Heinz’s EASE and EARS to create 3D models that mimic a room’s absorptive and reflective surfaces, as well as speaker and listener characteristics. This enables us to demonstrate what an occupant would hear while sitting in a particular seat in a room before construction has even started.
Our acoustical engineers are skilled in mechanical noise and vibration control. HVAC systems are a standard source of noise – both airborne and structure-borne – in any building. We understand how equipment selection, layout and airflow work together to determine background noise and vibration levels. We are also experienced in the development of silencer specifications, vibration isolation, room-in-room designs and floating-floor specifications.
Of the many sources of disruptive vibrations, one of the most difficult to accurately predict is human activity. The magnitude and impact of footfall-induced vibration can range from occupant discomfort to interference with medical imaging devices and scientific instruments. A structure with excessive vibration levels can be rendered unusable, with costly consequences.
We offer advanced techniques for footfall-induced vibration prediction that use finite-element modeling to generate multimodal time-history predictions. Using our proprietary software, FootFall, we can compare predicted structural model responses against any specific criterion for an entire floorplan. The greater precision of our methods, versus traditional methods using AISC/CISC Design Guide 11, enables the optimization of architectural layouts and allows for development of more efficient structural systems, while keeping vibrations below required maximum levels.
Our acoustical engineers are experienced in helping clients meet restrictions on vibration during construction phase. Our construction vibration assessment and monitoring services include analysis and monitoring to meet the requirements of City of Toronto By-Law 514-2008 and other local regulations. We also provide services to satisfy the requirements of Tarion Home Warranty Builder Bulletin 19R, including full-partition and mechanical noise and vibration reviews, inspections and testing.
Once construction is complete, we perform commissioning and compliance testing to verify that results meet specifications.
Our team also works with clients and industry organizations on technical writing projects to develop acoustical standards, specifications and design guidelines. Examples include development of the Shooting Noise Construction Guidelines for the Canadian Firearms Program, design guidelines for Cineplex Odeon, and contributions to ISO/TC 108, Mechanical Vibration, Shock and Condition Monitoring.
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