Acoustics & Vibration Consulting Services in Toronto and Across Ontario
Our Acoustical Engineers Have Helped Canadian Organizations Solve Their Noise and Vibration Problems for Over 20 Years
With unrivalled expertise in the field of vibro-acoustics, backed by more than 20 years’ practical experience, Soft dB is proud to offer acoustical consultancy services and cutting-edge noise and vibration control solutions across Ontario. We employ a vastly skilled team of over 100 experts, including 30 acousticians and PhDs specialized in vibro-acoustics. Our dedicated workforce pool their accumulated knowledge and collective expertise to solve any problem related to:
- Building acoustics (HVAC system noise, room soundproofing, facade sound insulation, structure-borne noise, etc.);
- Environmental noise emissions (compliance assessments, data mapping and studies monitoring the impact on acoustic environments, projections detailing the post-implementation effect of noise attenuation measures, etc.);
- Noise and vibration control in industrial facilities and construction sites (monitoring and assessment of the integrity of structures and equipment, human perspectives, implementation of effective mitigation measures, machinery soundproofing etc.);
Noise Impact Assessments and Real-Time Monitoring
Whether it is caused by transport, industrial facilities or construction sites, external noise is always subject to regulation. In Ontario just like anywhere else, this is invariably a public health issue because environmental noise can have significant effects on the health and well-being of humans. We have the necessary skills and tools to conduct comprehensive environmental impact assessments, including:
- A full-scale acoustic characterisation of sound sources
- Modelling of the sound propagation environment
- The plotting of noise or vibration maps
- Ranking of noise sources based on their contribution to the soundscape
- Mitigating measures designed to ensure compliance with Ontario laws and regulations
We’ve also developed our own environmental measurement stations for real-time monitoring of noise levels, vibrations, traffic trends, weather and dust concentrations. Our unique web-based monitoring platform makes it easy for all decision makers to understand the real long-term impact of their operations on the soundscape, including advanced reporting and notifications to continuously inform key stakeholders about reducing or shutting down specific noisy equipment.
Noise and Vibration Control in Industrial Facilities
Industrial sites typically have multiple noise sources which can affect the comfort and health of workers, as well as high vibration levels which can negatively impact the integrity of equipment and/or structures, and can themselves also generate high noise levels.
Our acousticians and vibration experts take on-site measurements to gain a better understanding of the propagation paths as well as the vibratory and acoustic behaviours of all machines and processes involved. However, with new machines still in the design process, or when more complex vibro-acoustical measurements are involved, numerical calculations based on analytical models or even finite elements can be used to accurately predict the noise and vibration levels of select machines or parts. This enables our experts to implement and refine mitigation measures earlier on in the design or commissioning process.
Soundproofing Solutions Tailored to Your Equipment
Dealing with overly noisy machines and industrial equipment? Let’s wrap them up in our soundproofing blankets. They not only deliver outstanding noise isolation performance at a very reasonable cost, but are also highly durable and easy to install. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor equipment, our soundproofing blankets are particularly efficient in reducing noise at low frequencies, which are typically the most difficult to attenuate.
Made to measure so as to fit your equipment perfectly, our blankets consist of four layers of different materials, each with a distinct purpose: high sound absorption performance, limitation of sound propagation and protection against various contaminants and external agents. The blanket’s outer layer imprisons noise at its source, with no leaks whatsovever, and is fully resistant to water and UV rays. In your war against machinery noise, Soft dB’s soundproofing blankets are your toughest allies.
Confidentiality and Acoustic Comfort in Office Environments
The creation of larger and more affordable workspaces can mean acoustic considerations are often considerably downplayed during the design phase. Nevertheless, this can have a major influence on the well-being and productivity of employees. Some rooms are also designated as spaces for sharing confidential information, but it is not always easy to assess their effectiveness and thus guarantee occupants that their private conversations cannot be easily overheard by those working just outside these rooms.
Thanks to Class 1 measuring instruments developed in-house by our R&D engineers, our acousticians can objectively evaluate the comfort and confidentiality levels of your office spaces, in accordance with recognized standards such as WELL Building Standard and LEED v4.1 Acoustic Performance requirements. What’s more, we’ll help you achieve the desired acoustic standards while keeping your construction or retrofitting costs to a minimum. How? By first validating simpler, more cost-effective solutions, such as sound masking technology, before resorting to more complex soundproofing work and specialized sound absorbing materials.
Our Clients and Their Projects Are Our Pride
Parliament of Canada
Recommendations for limiting noise and vibrations generated by nearby temporary transportation sources.
Kruger Pulp and Paper Mills
Noise impact assessments and management plans, noise propagation modelling, advanced engineering studies.
Agnico Eagle Mines
Continuous noise and vibration monitoring and consulting services for environmental conformity assessments.
Suncor Energy’s Refineries
Noise compliance assessments, noise propagation modelling, advanced noise control engineering, and soundproofing.
Eurovia Roadwork and Highways
Complete noise management and mitigation plans during major road and bridge construction projects.
American Iron Metal Recycling Sites
Environmental noise impact assessment for a proposed auto-parts and automobile recycling site in Kingston.
GWLRA’s Multi-Residential Towers
Full acoustical study for a 41-storey building project: Exterior enveloppe calculation, and interiors acoustic design.
Queen’s University Law Clinics
Interior acoustic performance evaluation and recommendations to improve confidentiality and speech privacy between rooms.
Hydro Ottawa’s Electrical Substation
Compliance evaluation and noise level simulations with respect to the noise regulations of the City of Ottawa.
Our Experts Can Help You Achieve Compliance With Ontario’s Environmental Noise Guidelines
In 2013, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) of the province of Ontario published NPC-300, a guideline on the proper control of sources of noise emissions to the environment. NPC-300 clarifies and consolidates various sound level limits and noise assessment criteria, previously scattered across LU-131, NPC-205 and NPC-232 publications, into one single, more easily referenced document.
NPC-300 also brings consistency to the three main areas where noise impact assessments should be conducted: environmental compliance approvals, land use planning, and measures taken against excessive noise levels, whether through complaints made to the MOECC or through municipal noise bylaws. Following NPC-300 guideline helps you ensure that your sources of emissions to the environment are effectively controlled to prevent potential negative effects. The full NPC-300 Environmental Noise Guideline can be found here.
Acoustic Assessment Report
Ontario’s Environmental Noise Guideline specifies maximum noise limits for places considered to be sensitive receptors. Are your facilities or operations located in close proximity to noise-sensitive locations such as houses, apartments, schools, hospitals, day cares, or places or worship? If yes, your Environmental Compliance Approval application will need to include an Acoustic Assessment Report (AAR) which is meant to accurately predict your noise impact on surrounding communities.
Noise Abatement Action Plan
If your predicted noise levels are above those specified in NPC-300 and compliance can’t be demonstrated, a Noise Abatement Action Plan (NAAP) will have to be submitted to the MOECC along with your Acoustic Assessment Report. The NAAP defines the corrective measures and implementation timeframe needed to achieve adequate mitigation of excessive noise levels, which can include the installation of silencers, vibration dampeners, soundproof blankets, noise barriers, berms, etc.
Real-Time Monitoring Solution for Environmental Noise
Our remote noise monitoring solutions help you implement effective measures to mitigate your activity’s various impacts on the environment and local communities. We’ve designed rugged and compact measurement stations that record in real-time (24/7) any type of environmental data: noise, vibration levels and many more. Our state-of-the-art monitoring technology lets you focus on your core business because you will always know the place and time to take corrective measures in order to remain compliant with Ontario’s environmental regulations and noise guidelines.
Get instantly notified by email or text message whenever your site’s measured levels (noise, vibration, dust concentration etc.) exceed the regulatory limits specified by the Ontario government and your community bylaws.
Automatically receive daily reports providing an overview of your site’s noise and vibration levels. Get access to key insights over time in order to better plan your operations and achieve continuous compliance.
Your collected data is securely stored in the cloud and accessible through a simple web application. Wherever you are, see at a glance your noise and vibration levels in real-time for each monitoring station deployed in the field.
Our Acoustical Consulting Services At a Glance
- Noise and vibration impact assessments: measurements, analysis and noise abatement action plans
- Regulatory compliance assessments and approvals (Environmental Noise Guideline NPC-300 and Occupational Health and Safety Act O. Reg. 381/15)
- Remote measurement and real-time monitoring of environmental noise emissions
- Acoustical imagery and noise mapping
- Advanced acoustic and vibration computer modeling
- Design control plans to reduce noise and vibration levels
- Soundproofing solutions for machinery and equipment
- Speech privacy and sound masking in office environments
Our Sound Masking System Reduces Office Distractions and Improves Employee Privacy While Helping You Save Money on Soundproof Partitions and Acoustic Panels
If one of your goals is to provide a distraction-free workspace atmosphere that optimizes focus and promotes productivity while ensuring employee privacy and comfort, sound masking is one of the most cost-effective solutions. In North America alone, sound masking systems are installed in nearly 100,000,000 square feet of new corporate and government office space each year. Chances are you’ve visited a space covered by sound masking before without even knowing it. The right sound masking system provides your workplace with a higher level of privacy by producing a soothing sound that muffles conversations and other distractions while seamlessly blending into the office background virtually unnoticed.
Sound masking greatly reduces the radius of distraction in open offices. Employees get a lot less distracted by conversations within 15 to 40 feet from where a sound masking speaker is located. Concentration is improved and productivity increases measurably.
Lower Construction Costs
Sound masking reduces the need for plenum barriers, soundproof doors and extra drywall layers. It improves the acoustic performance of movable partitions without sacrificing their flexibility. Construction costs can be reduced by up to $3 per square foot.
Lack of privacy is the biggest frustration in today’s workplace. Sound masking improves speech privacy between neighbouring workstations and offices separated only by partitions by adding background noise to make conversations less intelligible.
Advanced Vibro-Acoustical Modeling and Simulations
In a lot of cases, finding the most cost-effective and robust solutions to reduce noise or vibration levels requires the use of advanced computational modeling and simulation techniques, such as noise mapping, aeroacoustics modeling and finite element analysis. Our acoustical consultants have extensive experience in building computational models for noise and vibration propagation:
Finite Element Method
Our vibration experts leverage finite element analysis to effectively reduce high vibration levels negatively affecting your operations and anticipate vibrational behaviors of your mechanical designs.
Using advanced environmental acoustics mapping softwares such as CadnaA and SoundPlan, we create highly accurate noise maps for cities, road networks, construction sites, open-pit mines etc..
Computational aeroacoustics simulations provide a detailed assessment of flow-induced noise sources while highlighting workable solutions that could hardly be explored through prototyping.
Need Help With Noise or Vibration Problems?
Our acoustical consultants are listening. Taking control of your noise and vibration levels starts with our unique field expertise. No acoustic problem is too small or too complex for our world-class team of experts.