• Starting a New Job in a Pandemic

    Finding Creative Ways to Train and Integrate New Team Members While Working Apart. As the end of my Mechanical Engineering program came, I eagerly awaited the “Iron Ring” ceremony, a ritual which is the calling of the engineer. My big day came on March 7th and was followed by several big parties. But one week later, the province was locked down.

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  • Drilling it Down: Borehole Vibration Testing to Minimize Transit Noise and Vibration

    If you live in a large city like Toronto, you have no doubt heard or felt the subway system running underground. It probably doesn’t bother you if you’re just passing by—but for people who work or live in the area, transit vibration is a much bigger concern. As municipalities build more transit systems through denser neighbourhoods, there is significant pressure to ensure there is minimal impact on the surrounding community. In fact, the noise and vibration impacts are elements that must be considered in any transit project, and often govern the ultimate layout and design. Predicting Transit Noise with Surface Vibration Testing For transit running at grade, engineers perform surface vibration propagation testing. We use these measurements to develop an accurate prediction of how loud a proposed transit line might be in a quiet theatre or whether you will feel rumbles in the basement of your home. Surface propagation testing […]

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  • You’re Building a Condo, WHERE?

    Acoustical Considerations When Building on Less-than-Ideal Land As the density in cities increase, so does the demand for housing. But developers need a suitable piece of land to build. Suitable or good land means it is away from industrial areas and noisy transportation. For years, parking lots in the city’s core were ideal. But they have become increasingly scarce and developers are having to be creative to make do with the land available. These less than ideal sites are usually close to railway lines, established industry, airports or busy highways – major sources of noise and vibration, which makes it difficult to secure permits and poses significant construction challenges. For years, the solution was urban sprawl. But many buyers want to stay in urban areas for a shorter commute to work or to minimize their carbon footprint. To meet the growing demand for city homes, developers need to build on […]

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  • Can Your Company Culture Thrive During COVID-19?

    Trying to contain the spread of COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we live and work. It is affecting how teams work and communicate. Like others, at Aercoustics, we are respecting the government’s travel restrictions, moved to remote work, and increased physical sanitation in the office to minimize potential spread. Fortunately, we have had a flexible work culture for about four years. It has meant we could respond appropriately to the public health guidelines as team members are asked to work from home. The move to social distancing sped up our transition to go fully remote. We are completely production capable while being 100% remote. Hold onto Your Company Culture while Working Remotely But we have worked hard to build a community culture at our company and now we are trying to figure out how to keep our culture strong even if we are not physically together and interacting. We […]

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  • Top 3 Things the Building Industry Needs to Watch for in 2020

    A new year and a new decade have arrived bringing new hopes and expectations, both personally and professionally. It’s also a good time to reflect on the previous year. For our team, we experienced immense growth and development in 2019 and the same can be said about our industry. Looking Back: Last Year’s Key Changes to the Building Industry The past year was a big one for mass timber construction and we expect it will only get bigger in 2020 with the National Building Code changes allowing the construction of tall wood buildings up to 12-storeys from the current limit of six. The only exception is British Columbia which secured permission from the National Research Council (NRC) to adopt the rules right away. This industry has welcomed this new-ish construction capability as a more sustainable material. For us, it has created challenges, as there hasn’t been enough noise and vibration […]

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  • Top 5 Things You Should Know Before Building a Mass Timber Project

    National Building Code Changes Make Way for Wood Mass timber has been used widely for more than two decades in Europe but it wasn’t until 2012 when mass timber construction made its debut in North America. Since the first construction, interest and adoption has been swift. And now thanks to changes to the National Building Code (NBC), construction is likely to accelerate with the height restrictions set to double in the New Year. In 2020, the NBC will allow for the construction of tall wood buildings up to 12-storeys with the exception of British Columbia. The province secured permission from the National Research Council (NRC) to adopt the rules immediately in 2019. Growing Interest in Mass Timber Projects Mass timber buildings can be defined as one in which the primary load-bearing structure is made of either solid or engineered wood such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber (NLT) or glue-laminated […]

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  • Don’t Believe Everything That You Hear: Debunking Myths About Acoustics

    Acoustics is subjective. Whenever I explain the concept of acoustics, I tend to share this: Sound is me cutting my lawn. Noise is my neighbour cutting his lawn. Music is my neighbour cutting my lawn. It’s not always about how loud something is, but how it affects us, sometimes consciously and often unconsciously. 5 Common Myths About Acoustics While acoustical design can be artistic, it’s by no means art or even magic. Acoustics is firmly rooted in science. It is defined as the science that deals with the production, control, transmission, reception, and effects of sound. It is often a misunderstood field which can lead to investing in solutions that won’t create your desired acoustical environment. In my 20 years as an acoustical engineer, I have heard just about everything. Here are some of the most common misconceptions: 1) Myth: Acoustic design is strictly about room finishes Truth: Acoustics is […]

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  • Why Volunteering Makes Good Business Sense

    This past year marks the 20th anniversary of Canstruction Toronto, a design and build competition that challenges teams to create structures made entirely from canned foods that are donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank. The result is a series of creative and whimsical designs that showcase the incredible design skills of local architectural and engineering firms while restocking a food bank that many Torontonians depend on. Our team at Aercoustics is proud to have been involved as volunteers and participate in Canstruction. It’s something we look forward to every year. All for a Good Cause Canstruction is just one of many causes we support at Aercoustics. When I first came to know about Canstruction, I wanted to participate as a team, but given our smaller company size at the time it was not possible. So instead, I got involved volunteering as one of the co-chairs of the event and […]

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  • Setting the Standards for Wind Turbine Noise Worldwide

    Aercoustics Hosting International Wind Turbine Experts in Toronto It’s clean, affordable, and endlessly renewable. It’s no surprise that wind power is one of the fastest growing methods of electrical generation in the world. But whether it’s here in Canada or abroad, the topic of wind energy can be divisive. But it may not be the turbine’s fault. If a wind project is not designed or tuned properly, turbines can be a noisy neighbour. Accurately Measuring Wind Turbine Noise Wind farms are unique installations and present different challenges when it comes to noise. Because the noise is dependent on the wind conditions, measurement of wind turbine noise at neighboring residents can be a complicated affair. Over the years, many different measurement techniques have been applied with the goal of quantifying wind turbine noise far away from the turbines. Many have been unsuccessful, but a few have honed the craft of measuring […]

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  • Audio Simulation Studio: Experience the Sound. Feel the Silence.

    Aercoustics brings Canada’s only acoustic and visual simulation room online Our engineers have had the great honour of working on some amazing projects including the Aga Khan Museum, Orpheum and Queen Elizabeth Theatre to name just a few. But we are particularly proud of one of our most recent projects because it is our own. Earlier this year we finished a state-of-the-art room to be part of our new Aercoustics environment. We call it The Bridge and it is the first of its kind in Canada. So what is The Bridge? This remarkable room allows our clients to experience audio and visual simulation of their spaces before they ever break ground. Now owners, architects, engineers and contractors can test their acoustical design and make sure it achieves its goal. Acoustic simulation techniques Depending on the facility, sound quality might be a critical component. If it is a performance venue or […]

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