• How Volunteering Your Expertise Benefits You, Your Company and the Industry

    For the past few years, I have been volunteering several hours a month working with other acoustic engineers at our professional engineering body, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO). The work was of tremendous value not just to me but the entire industry. As the regulator of the practice of professional engineering in Ontario, PEO has the ability to publish practice standards and guidelines to instruct engineers on expected work. But PEO does not always have in-house expertise in the specific areas and as such, they will ask experts in the field to join a subcommittee to assist in the development of a practice standard or guideline. Acoustic Engineers Volunteering at PEO I was invited to join a subcommittee of acoustic engineers experienced in preparing Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) Reports and the Noise reports. We wrote about EASR and the implications for the industry when it […]

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  • Ontario’s New Building Code has arrived with big changes for Sound Transmission

    In 2015, I wrote my first article here discussing the proposed changes to the National Building Code and what the impact on acoustics. In 2020, the Ontario Building Code (OBC) followed suit with amendments to the Sound Transmission sections but the changes flew under the radar because everyone was focused on the pandemic. The changes are significant and have a tremendous impact on acoustics. This is the first major update to the Sound Transmission section in 30 years. Revisions to Sound Transmission Class The challenge with the old building code is that it only considered the wall separating two spaces (left image), yet we know sound does not only travel through the air from one room to another. Sound travels through indirect paths such as ducts, duct walls, floors, ceilings, windows or even gaps and cracks. This is known as “flanking” noise (right image).  This additional sound wasn’t taken into account before […]

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  • The Power of Silence: Managing On-Site Power Generator Noise

    In 2005, Hurricane Wilma wiped out power across Florida causing businesses to close and grocery stores to lose inventory due to spoilage. Residents were left frustrated by long lines and limited food selections when dozens of grocery stores finally reopened after being out of power for days. An issue that may have been avoided with on-site power generation.   Power losses are common in areas prone to violent storms and hurricanes but even here in Canada, B.C. Hydro estimates the average Canadian will experience roughly 2.5 power outages a year. This can range from a few seconds or minutes to hours and sometimes even days. As seen during Hurricane Wilma, this can have a devastating impact on businesses so, it’s not surprising that there is great interest in on-site power generation for commercial, institutional and industrial sites. Following Hurricane Wilma, several major grocery chains invested in on-site power generators to […]

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  • LEEDing WELL: Secure Sustainability Certification with Acoustics in Mind

    Designing for sustainability and wellness in the built environment has become increasingly popular, which has given rise to multiple certification programs. While many projects have remained focused on achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, there are several other sustainability certifications that have grown in popularity. Two examples being Zero Carbon Building Standard and Built Green. Over the years, the scope of sustainability has begun to shift to include occupant health and well-being, which formed the way for new sustainability certification programs, such as the WELL Building Certification program. The WELL program is unique in that it exclusively focuses on designing for wellness. Acoustics has been adapted as a primary concept with a range of credits available, making acoustics an important consideration in achieving any level of certification (bronze to platinum status).   Acoustical Considerations to Secure Sustainability Certification While each certification program has their own requirements, earning […]

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  • Balancing Aesthetics and Acoustics at Osler Bluff Ski Club

    How to Ensure Your Acoustics Don’t Go Downhill Nestled on the shores of Georgian Bay in the Blue Mountains, Osler Bluff is a private ski club that prides itself on its beautiful scenery and great skiing. Since 1949, members have enjoyed the slopes then retreated to the cozy main clubhouse. However, there was an issue with the lounge’s acoustics. Members had raised concerns about the lounge being too loud, making it difficult to have conversations during après-ski activities and events. When the Osler’s clubhouse underwent an extensive expansion and renovation in 2016, the club’s architect consulted with Aercoustics to help create a better experience in the lounge. The club wanted to reduce lunchtime and après-ski noise levels, provide a better user experience during presentations and improve speech intelligibility. A key objective was addressing the acoustic impact of a new open concept plan for the formerly enclosed Founders Lounge. There was […]

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  • Been there, done that: Key Learnings from Ontario as New York Fast Tracks Renewable Energy Projects

    Since the mid-2000s, electricity generation in the U.S. has slowly shifted from coal to natural gas and renewables. Renewable energy growth may accelerate in 2021 since the new administration campaigned on a promise to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and invest $2 trillion in clean energy. New York State is already taking a big step forward on this front with an ambitious goal of obtaining 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 as part of a shift away from fossil fuels and carbon emitting power production. This is ambitious because over the past few years, renewable energy development has been sluggish because of a long, drawn out regulatory permitting process called Article 10. First enacted in 2011, the siting law takes years to navigate and very few renewable energy projects have received final approval as a result. But in the fall of 2020, the State came out […]

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  • wind farm noise

    Don’t Let Concerns Fall on Deaf Ears: How to Manage Wind Farm Noise Complaints

    Home to the world’s ninth largest wind generating fleet, Canada is a global leader in wind energy with strong and stable growth year after year. According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) (now known as the Canadian Renewables Association), Canada finished 2019 with 13,413 MW of wind energy capacity, enough to power approximately 3.4 million homes...

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  • Opening the Curtain: Reimagining Performing Arts Centres After the Pandemic

    The pandemic has impacted just about every part of the economy in Canada. The entertainment industry, including Performing Arts Centres is no exception. By all accounts, the industry has suffered severely, with some reports showing that 95 per cent of live events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 and 77 per cent of people who have been working in the entertainment industry have lost 100 per cent of their income. Unfortunately, social distancing is the opposite of what we have come to expect from performing arts centres. Performance spaces are designed to operate at high occupancy and have people gather in close quarters to share an incredible experience and foster connection. The buildings were not designed to be able to operate under pandemic scenarios, and so most have been rendered useless. Most buildings have sat empty for months, wreaking havoc to arts organizations. Designing Pandemic Ready Venues Over the past […]

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  • Advance Your Career

    Career Growth: Advance Your Career Within a Company

    If you talk to people at Aercoustics, you will find many who started their career as an intern and experienced tremendous career growth as he or she climbed the ranks. We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of one of our colleagues who started his career here as an intern...

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  • Acoustic Sciences: A Sound Career for Musicians

    If you work in the acoustical sciences field, you usually have colleagues passionate about music. Whether you play an instrument, sing or produce music, acoustics is a great career choice for anyone naturally inclined or enthusiastic about music.

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