• Why Fridays are Sacred for Wellness at Aercoustics

    What does Friday look like in your office? For many, there is the after-work drinks or social lunches, some have moved to reduced summer hours and for others they are still mired with meetings all day or have that one colleague who insists on scheduling a 4pm meeting. At Aercoustics, we have made Fridays sacred, leveraged what we learned from the pandemic and made our focus on wellness and balance. This means, every Friday, there are no internal meetings so that people can focus and gain back time they have lost to meetings during the week.  We call this Focus Friday.  We all know how productive our days can be when we can just sit and get work done rather than being dragged into the never-ending need for meetings. What We Do for our Team’s Wellness Every second Friday of the month, we look forward to telling our team members […]

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  • Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics Associate Michael Medal

    How did acoustics, noise, and vibration become your specialization? My first exposure to acoustics came from growing up learning and playing instruments; in my case, the piano and trombone. This musical background led me to apply for an internship at Aercoustics after my third year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto.  It was during the 16-month internship that my interest and curiosity in acoustics, noise, and vibration developed into knowledge and passion for the subject. When my internship was completed, I partnered with Aercoustics to conduct my fourth year thesis on the design of an adaptive vibration absorber, and after graduation I returned full-time where I continue to grow my knowledge and skills in the field to this day.   What project are you most proud to have worked on? I focus on how to predict and measure noise and vibration from anything that people want to control or reduce, which has taken me […]

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  • Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics Associate Tim Wiens

    How did acoustics, noise, and vibration become your specialization? In April 2002, I was hired out of university to be an “air-head”, so to speak, for a medium-sized engineering consulting firm. Air-head because the typical project work included air emissions inventories and annual reporting for industrial clients.  As a junior and a new consultant, I said yes to every learning opportunity – which afforded me the best site visits to Ontario’s finest landfills, active and shuttered industrial sites and views from the top of industrial stacks. Saying yes eventually provided me with an opportunity to be on an automotive parts plant rooftop in Ontario working alongside a colleague who was doing noise measurements of industrial stacks and dust collectors that were generating noise complaints from the neighbouring residential area. I was drawn in by the work and the equipment. Noise was tangible to me. It could be measured to verify a complaint, thoughtfully evaluated, controlled and the […]

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  • 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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