Architectural Acoustics and Noise Control

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Our Expertise

Achieving a good acoustics in architecture is a task requiring meticulous care. ​Soft dB’s team of architectural acoustics experts can help you at any step of your process. Whether it’ before the start of a project has, during the design process, or to verify if you’ve achieved your design targets, we have the tools and expertise you need. For any acoustic service or advice concerning building acoustics, Soft dB provides you with a vast array of options to best suit your needs.

Auditoria

When attending a conference or a show in an auditorium, it’s important that the room acoustics (ex: for a theater or a concert hall) be perfect. Otherwise, the echo is going to make the experience unpleasant or even impossible. This is why Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division may be helpful to work on such rooms.

Among the possible tasks, there is:

  • The creation of the complete acoustic design of the room using an advanced modelling software (RAP-ONE, CATT);
  • Auralisation: at the planning stage, provides examples of what a space will sound like post-construction;
  • Making facade and partition acoustic designs and testing (OITC, FSTC, FIIC, etc.);
  • Modifying the existing installations to gain control over building services noise and vibration;
  • Sound reproduction or reinforcement design of the room;
  • Suggesting improvements and advice to better control the reverberation time throughout the building. For example, recommending acoustic materials with a higher attenuation coefficient might be a solution that would allow for the acoustic correction of the targeted room.
  • Writing concise and comprehensible reports for our clients.

HVAC Noise

Everyone has, at least once in their life, been disturbed by ventilation noise. Indeed, since most buildings come with their own HVAC system and since their design sometimes neglects the existence of noise and vibration pollution that may arise from it, encountering such irritating systems is not impossible. In an office or a classroom setting, concentration and production may become difficult. In order to contribute to a quieter working environment, Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division may be brought over to:

  • Take HVAC unit sound measurement (AHRI 350, AHRI 575, AHRI 230);
  • Predict HVAC noise generated in buildings (ASHRAE, AHRI 885);
  • Identify the sources of HVAC, machinery, and plant noise and vibration;
  • Assess ASHRAE Guidelines compliance;
  • Create the design and specification of measures to control noise and vibrations;
  • Create the design or design review of appropriate wall and floor partitions to prevent structure-borne sound transmission and thus, contribute to the soundproofing of the room;
  • Test the Sound Power Level (to get equipment AHRI certified);
  • Be an Expert witness for HVAC noise disputes.
  • Office & Retail Spaces
  • Imagine working near the engine room of your company or working while constantly feeling a vibration. At the end of the day, you will feel more irritable and tired than you would working in a serene environment. In order to contribute to such a pleasing work environment, Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division may be brought over to:
  • Make acoustic designs and test floors, walls and facades (ASTC, OITC, AIIC, etc.) to verify acoustic insulation;
  • Identify the sources of building service (HVAC, machinery, and plant) noise or vibration;
  • Design suitable control measures for the identified sources;
  • Predict the sound levels throughout the building using an advanced architectural acoustic modelling software (RAP ONE or CATT);
  • Assess speech privacy (PI, SPC) and intelligibility (SII);
  • Measure the reverberation (echoes) time throughout the building to be able to control it;
  • Carry out the alarm and PA audibility testing
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Noise Control Of Offices and Commercial Spaces

Imagine that you are working near a machine room and you constantly feel vibrations. At the end of the day, you will be more exhausted than if you worked in an environment exempt of vibrations and noise pollution. The specialists at Soft dB contribute to improving the work environment in many ways.
Our services include:

  • Identifying noise and vibration sources, of acoustic and structural origin, of building equipment (HVAC systems, machinery, etc.);
  • Assessing the acoustic privacy (PI) and the acoustic intelligibility (AI) of conversations between individuals;
  • Conducting audibility tests of alarms and public address systems;
  • Measuring the reverberation time in buildings in order to better control it afterwards;
  • Predicting a building’s sound levels using a state of the art architectural acoustic modeling program (RAP-ONE or CATT);
  • Designing noise control measures suitable for the identified noise and vibration sources;
  • Acoustic design from soundproofing tests of floors, walls and facades (ASTC, OITC, AIIC, etc.) produced in order to assess the soundproofing level of these surfaces.

Residential & Hotels

Inside residences and hotels, it’s normal to desire a room where neighbors, passers-by and mechanical noises (elevator, HVAC system, washing machine, etc.) are barely audible to inaudible. Anything to the contrary may affect residents’ quality of life. That’s why the owner of such buildings might call upon Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division to help improve the building’s acoustics. Thus, Soft dB’s team:

  • Reviews, designs and tests facade and partition acoustics (OITC, ASTC, AIIC, etc.);
  • Identifies the sources of building services (HVAC, machinery, and plant) noise or vibration;
  • Designs suitable control measures for the identified sources;
  • Measures the reverberation (echoes) time throughout the building to be able to control it;
  • Carries out alarm and PA audibility testing;
  • Trains architects, engineers, subcontractors and property developers in acoustic design and in the correct installation of products;
  • Becomes an Expert witness for HVAC noise disputes.
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Hospitals and Healthcare

When going to the hospital, patients generally expect to receive proper care and return home in better shape. For this to happen, the medical staff takes care of many people during the same day and thus, several diagnostics are presented. Since confidentiality is as important as the sick getting rest and the well-being of the staff, the hospital and examination rooms must be sufficiently insulated. If such a problem arises, Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division can in turn present an acoustic diagnostic with the:

  • Measurement of architectural acoustic noise and the modelling of sound behavior using advanced mathematical software (RAP-ONE, CATT);
  • Measurement of the reverberation (echoes) throughout various environments (wards, halls, consultation rooms, etc.) to be able to determine the optimal reverberation time;
  • Suggesting design modifications to be able to control the noise and vibrations (acoustical and structural) coming from building services;
  • Creation of facade and partition acoustic designs and testing (OITC, FSTC, FIIC, etc.) to be able to evaluate the wall insulation (inside and/or outside walls) of the building;
  • Assessment of speech privacy (PI, SPC) and intelligibility (SII);
  • Testing of alarm and PA audibility;
  • Acoustical designing of HVAC systems as well as noise and vibration predicting (ASHRAE 170, HTM3).

Restaurants, Pubs & Clubs

When people leave home to go to restaurants or pubs on a Friday evening, they intend to have fun. Enduring ventilation noise or being in a room where the echo is deafening is usually not the desired experience. In order to help the owners of such establishments maintain their clientele, Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division may be appointed to:

  • Create the complete acoustic design of the entertainment and performance spaces;
  • Measurement and acoustic modelling of sound behaviour using an advanced mathematical software (RAP-ONE, CATT);
  • Auralisation: at the planning stage provides examples of what a space will sound like post-construction;
  • Make facade and partition acoustic designs and tests (OITC, FSTC, FIIC, etc.);
  • Measure the reverberation (echoes) throughout the building to be able to control it;
  • Create a design to insure the acoustic insulation of the building services;
  • Carry out alarm and PA audibility testing.
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Educational

Having an environment suitable for learning is a highly important objective for every educational institution in order to maximize students’ chances of success. Sometimes, however, poor classroom acoustics or music class acoustic insulation is all that is needed for students to lose interest and compromise their academic performance. Increasingly aware of this reality, school principals can decide to call upon Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division to assist with the project. In this way, the team may be brought over to:

  • Apply best practice acoustical principles: ANSI S12.60 for Classroom Acoustics (complimented by recommendations the of UK BB93);
  • Create the complete acoustic design of educational spaces, including auditoria, sports halls, music rooms, classrooms, and communal spaces using advanced predictive software (RAP-ONE, CATT);
  • Measure the reverberation (echoes) time in the room to be able to control it;
  • Make facade and partition acoustic designs and testing (OITC, FSTC, FIIC, etc.) to ensure the sound insulation of the walls and floors;
  • Create a design to insure the acoustic insulation of the building services;
  • Measure and control of impact noise from rainfall;
  • Carry out alarm and PA audibility testing;
  • Assess speech privacy (PI, SPC) and intelligibility (SII).

Government, public and military Projects

Where sensitive subjects are being discussed, lawyers, financial advisors or military offices must be sufficiently far away from undesirables so as to not be overheard, yet within hearing distance of the people they are talking to. It’s with that goal in mind that Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division may be appointed to:

  • Create the complete acoustic design of the room using an advanced modelling software (RAP-ONE, CATT);
  • Identify the sources of building services (HVAC, machinery, and plant) noise or vibration;
  • Make the design of suitable control measures for the identified sources;
  • Assess speech privacy (PI, SPC) and intelligibility (SII);
  • Carry out alarm and PA audibility testing;
  • Measure the reverberation (echoes) time throughout the building to be able to control it;
  • Make facade and partition acoustic designs and testing (OITC, FSTC, FIIC, etc.) to make sure the sound insulation of the walls and floors are appropriate.
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Studios & Cinemas

When movie fans head to cinemas to watch a new release, they don’t want to endure building service noises or the sound of the movie next door. They most likely would choose to go elsewhere. To ensure their clients make the most out of the experience, cinema owners target good quality room acoustics and so, may call upon Soft dB’s architectural acoustic services. The same goes for studio soundproofing. As a matter of fact, the sound insulation of studios is very important when recording soundtracks. Thus, Soft dB’s team may be brought over to:

  • Create the complete acoustic design and reverberation control within screen rooms, connecting hallways, projection rooms, and foyers using the latest architectural acoustic modelling software (RAP-ONE, CATT.);
  • Suggest design modifications to better control the reverberation time in the targeted rooms;
  • Auralisation: at the planning stage, provides examples of what a space will sound like post-construction;
  • Create an acoustic design to meet certification standards, including sound reproduction and/or reinforcement design;
  • Make facade and partition acoustic designs and testing (OITC, FSTC, FIIC, etc.);
  • Create a design to ensure the acoustic insulation of building services;
  • Carry out alarm and PA audibility testing.

Vibration

Over an extended period of time, vibrations may become unpleasant and disrupting. If a vibratory problem occurs in a hotel or office for example, Soft dB’s Acoustic and Vibration division can take action in:

  • Measuring and analyzing the building integrity (DIN4150-3);
  • Measuring and analyzing the Field impact insulation class (FIIC);
  • Assessing human comfort (ISO 2631-2, ANSI S2.71, DIN 4150-2);
  • Assessing the impact of railway vibrations by, among others, measuring and modelling;
  • Improving the installations to control HVAC systems and mechanical equipment vibrations;
  • Assessing floor vibrations due to walking;
  • Mapping the vibrations of building floors and structures according to human comfort and structural integrity;
  • Assessing vibration and design of vibration control measures for gymnasiums;
  • Measuring and modelling traffic induced vibrations;
  • Measuring floor vibrations in order to do the modal analysis, calculate the transmission paths, create the design and validate the control measures.

Have any questions concerning our building acoustic services?

Our approach to architectural acoustics is unique. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discover how our acoustic consultants can change your life.

Have any questions concerning our building acoustic services?

Our approach to architectural acoustics is unique. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discover how our acoustic consultants can change your life.

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