• Embracing Indigenous architecture values in acoustical designs

    Acoustics ensures everyone in the community can be heard Land-based practices such as green architecture, use of natural materials, sustainability, and connection with the Earth are teachings Indigenous peoples have valued for centuries. As we all continue to reflect on the truth of the past on the path to reconciliation, more architects are embracing Indigenous values in their design, so everyone using a space can benefit. Aercoustics’ goal is to deliver effective acoustic performance for Indigenous design and Indigenous architecture in construction. Companies wanting to include Indigenous values in a design must consult with the community before construction begins. It is not enough to just have a ceremony when the building opens. Incorporating the right approach and Indigenous architecture principles from the beginning is crucial. Changing the design narrative means more Indigenous architects and consultants in the building process. It is a collaborative approach that brings more mindfulness to construction. […]

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  • Acoustical Considerations When Designing Long-Term Care Facilities

    Long-term care facilities are designated spaces offering a range of health and personal care services to individuals – usually seniors – with complex support needs. There are different levels of care, depending on a client’s needs, and can include extended care, chronic care, or complex continuing care. Above all, long-term care facilities are homes – places where people can live comfortably while having their care needs met. They should be designed to be places of healing. Long-term care facilities that are afforded the same design considerations as healing facilities such as healthcare spaces will offer the best opportunities to residents and workers alike. If overlooked, a long-term care facility without the right acoustic treatment may be uncomfortable for residents. Areas such as dining rooms or common group spaces can be excessively loud without the right internal finishes. In addition, research done by HART Healthcare Acoustics Research Team in the U.S. […]

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  • Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics Associate Eric Salt

    Q: What do you enjoy most about working in the area of acoustics engineering? A: I love that it’s a field where you get to use both your technical and creative skills. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that the work we do can have a real impact on people’s lives, whether it’s creating a better environment for students to learn in or improving the sound in a concert hall so that people can enjoy their favourite music to the fullest.   Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Aercoustics? A: Well, first of all, we have some of the smartest and most enthusiastic people in the business. I enjoy being part of a team that isn’t afraid to think outside the box and find approaches to tough acoustics engineering challenges. Plus, we have a lot of fun doing it! In addition to working with the Aercoustics team, I […]

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  • When Living and Learning Collide: Managing Noise and Acoustics at McMaster University’s Multipurpose Facility

    As rental rates soar across the country and demand for residence space increases, many post-secondary institutions are looking for innovative solutions to add student housing options. McMaster University’s Peter George Centre for Living and Learning (PGCLL) is the first new residence to be built on the Hamilton campus in 15 years. However, this facility isn’t just a space for students to sleep. It’s a multipurpose facility ready to host a wide variety of services and facilities under one roof including academic spaces, a student wellness centre and childcare facility. Multipurpose facilities offer a tremendous benefit to the community. Acoustically, but, they can pose significant challenges. A residence or classroom needs to be quiet even when other services and facilities are in the same space. Photo Credit Doublespace Photography Sound Isolation to Help Learning To promote communication and learning, we need to ensure high speech intelligibility in academic spaces as well […]

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  • Pitch Perspectives

    One Facility, Multiple Uses: How to Manage Competing Needs without Compromising Acoustics

    Over the last two decades, design requests have adapted to new needs. Before this, older building design projects centred on a primary function. A client would look to design an educational facility or a performing arts venue for a narrow range of uses. Today, demand for multipurpose venues is increasing. In fact, single-purpose venues are becoming rarer. The economics of running a venue almost always demands many sources of revenue, and a variety of groups using the space in different ways. Maybe the question we should ask ourselves is which performance spaces are NOT multipurpose. Multipurpose venues serve a wide range of programs to many people. Think of a community centre that offers everything from sports lessons to music classes to performances, meeting spaces and a library. Many of these facilities are booked solid, providing the steady revenue generation with the opportunity to expand. Often these spaces can have competing […]

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  • Going Rogue with Acoustic Design: How We Leveraged New Technology to Reimagine Stratford’s Tom Patterson Theatre

    Once a quarter, on a Thursday afternoon, the Aercoustics team shuts down operations for 24 hours. No checking email or voicemails allowed. Everyone in the office is encouraged to work on any project and it does not have to be company-related. Our Rogue Days are meant to be an opportunity to innovate. Many have led to new tools and software, technology and solutions now used by our consulting engineering practice. But even our Rogue Day expectations were exceeded with the creation of a tool that would help our team set precedence in acoustic design in a Canadian cultural landmark: The Tom Patterson Theatre (TPT). Set on the banks of the Avon River in Stratford, Ontario, the TPT hosts the annual Stratford Festival, which welcomes half a million theatregoers each year. The Aercoustics team had the honour of working on the Festival’s first new performance venue in two decades. The TPT […]

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  • Listen Up: Schools Need Good Acoustics and Consistent Standards to Promote Learning

    As children, we’re told by our teachers to pay attention. But what if the classroom acoustics were hindering our ability to hear? In traditional learning environments, there are many sources of sound: the voices of students, teachers, staff, and students in the hallways plus external sources like construction or traffic outside the school. How that sound travels and is received by staff and students depends on many factors from the layout of the room to the internal finishes. When that sound is not wanted and disruptive, it becomes noise. The issue is compounded as schools look to help collaborative learning which is one of the most effective ways to promote better learning outcomes in schools. However, with poor acoustics, collaborative learning environments have been shown to inhibit learning advancement.   Studies have shown that poor classroom acoustics can be harmful to a student’s academic success. Students may have difficulty hearing […]

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  • How to Manage Flanking Noise in Mass Timber Buildings

    Interest and adoption of mass timber construction has been swift since it made its debut in North America in 2012. And demand has only multiplied with growing interest in biophilic design which integrates natural elements such as plants, green walls, healing gardens and wood finishes into building interiors. It has become so popular, that a recent report projects that the number of mass timber buildings could double every two years.   Acoustical Challenges of Mass Timber The use of exposed wood walls and ceilings have become trendy as well as beautiful. And it has a lower carbon footprint than steel or concrete, is fire-resistant and can be economical since mass timber structures can be built as components offsite and then transported to the project site ready to be installed. But mass timber needs to be incorporated carefully into the design because using wood as a structural element can introduce significant […]

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  • How to Control Construction Noise and Vibration on Sensitive Projects

    Construction is synonymous with noise and vibration. There is no disputing it. However, in certain situations, noise and vibration can and must be controlled.  Not only can it cause damage to property, but it can interfere with sensitive equipment such as MRI or CT machines at a nearby hospital. While bylaws vary by city, Toronto requires you to complete a vibration control form before securing a building permit. Generally, the permit process in most municipalities, including Toronto, is focused on structural damage to nearby buildings or services. It does not take into account the impact on uniquely sensitive uses like patient bedrooms or equipment in healthcare settings, recording studios, or an art gallery housing delicate artifacts. This gap in the municipal requirements can be problematic. Excessive vibration close to a gas line could be disastrous. Near a broadcast studio, it can impact a live or taped event. Near a hospital, […]

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  • How Integrating Our Sales and Marketing Helps Boost the Bottom Line

    For many smaller speciality consultants in our industry, developing strategic company goals to pursue certain sectors and clientele is typical, but many do not capitalize on the natural partnership of sales and marketing. Aercoustics is an exception. We use sales targets to create our marketing plan. Aligning sales and marketing means they operate as a unified organization with a shared system of strategy, goals and communication. We have found by working together, we can concentrate limited resources on the best opportunities to grow our market share. When the overall company initiative is going in one direction, sales and marketing need to support. There are countless studies showing a collaborative effort between the two can increase customer acquisition and help boost the bottom line. In the U.S., it is estimated that $1 trillion is lost a year due to a lack of coordination. How to Foster Collaboration between Sales and Marketing […]

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