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Acoustic Consultant

Acoustical Engineers discuss the basic principals of electronic sound masking systems for hospitals and offices. How does electronic sound masking work?




Professional acousticians discuss the secrets of blocking noise and sound between closed offices. Fundamentals of office noise isolation and acoustics.




The 3 acoustical criteria for design and construction of K-12 Education, for better learning environments, and LEED.




If you’ve been to your doctor’s office lately, you might have been allowed to listen to a conversation between a doctor and another patient. You didn’t even need to be in the room with them. The sound isolation between many exam rooms can be so poor that you can hear virtually everything that is said […]




Acoustics By Design gets requests, every week, to help corporate office environments with their speech privacy. Whether it’s a conference room, single private office, or one with legal privacy concerns (like a doctor’s or lawyer’s office), it’s important to keep certain conversations protected and private. In other words, the type of work performed in a […]

Mobile devices have become an ever-present part of our connected culture. With smartphones, tablets, and cell phones expected to outnumber people, in the US, by the end of the year, what can a hospital do to maintain some level of quiet? Allowing cell phone use, while adhering to HIPAA guidelines can also be problematic because […]




Back when I was in grade school, I loved the animated Charlie Brown shows. I have particular memories of the scenes in class where the kids’ teacher would address them: “Wa Wa Wa, Wa, Wa Wa Wa, Wa.” Thinking about it still makes me smile. What a simple scene that helps visualize the point of […]




When we are testing a noise issue between units in a multi-unit housing complex or between closed office spaces, I often get the question “Can we just turn on some loud music in one room, and listen in the next room?” Good question. Although this can help confirm that there is an issue with inadequate […]




We frequently get calls to come and assess noise levels in industrial facilities. The concern is usually whether the employee’s exposure to noise is meeting OSHA requirements. So what are standard OSHA requirements for employee noise exposure? There are three main points to the OSHA noise exposure requirements. The exposure limit is based on a […]




Standing atop my soapbox and surveying the healthcare land as we know it, I can declare at the top of my lungs, “I have a right to be heard… er, NOT HEARD… wait, wait… I have a right that a reasonable effort has been made to ensure that I won’t be heard!” I apologize for […]




In this TED Conference video, David Byrne, lead singer of Talking Heads, gives us a brief a history of music and how it evolved in relation to architectural acoustics and reverberation. Worth the watch. One issue this video doesn’t address is that architectural acoustics can be designed and optimized in any building. Sure, Carnegie Hall […]




We were recently called in to help with controlling the noise levels at an engine test facility. I went to the site to take noise measurements in various areas of the facility. The problem was not within the test cells, but from all the external equipment needed to run the cells from air compressors, to […]




How important is acoustics in hospitals? Just ask Medicare. A recent Washington Post article highlights how Medicare reimbursement payments for hospitals will be linked to patient satisfaction scores (such as Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Surveys). What does this have to do with acoustics? As it turns out, acoustics is the worse scoring section of patient […]




Acoustics really is a complicated subject. Many of our recommendations need to be formed on a case-by-case basis, and some of that advice is based on principles that are not very intuitive. So here is a short list of common acoustical misconceptions: Acoustical Misconception # 1. Acoustical design is only relevant for specialized projects! Acoustical […]




Every year my nieces’ elementary school has a winter concert in their gym. Excited kids from all grade levels file into one side of the gym while the parents and friends squeeze into every remaining space. It’s wonderful to see all the kids singing so proudly, but it gets very difficult to hear the music […]




Good News… after long delays, LEED for Health Care was finally released for public consumption! This blog provides a basic overview of how to meet the new acoustical requirements in LEED HC. In fact, your next LEED for Healthcare project can gain two points just by following good acoustical design practices that protect patient medical […]




For the first time in its history, the National Association for Business Resources has named the Best and Brightest Companies To Work For™ in the country. Acoustics By Design made the list, alongside companies like Verizon Wireless, Henry Ford Health System, Amway, and American Academy of Pediatrics. The 2011 winning companies were assessed by an […]




Walk outside on a cold winter day just after the first big snowfall and you can hear the hush in the air. Everything sounds different because that hush in the air is the snow absorbing sound. Now, compare that to walking into a gym where the sound bounces around and lingers in the room. Also, […]




Many high school students have never heard of the “acoustical engineering” field so when local student Jordan Van Buskirk  (a Senior at Western Michigan Christian High School) asked his teacher about jobs that have to do with acoustics, it was a first for the school. After being contacted by Joyce Workman, Director of Advancement at […]




Multi-use school facilities (such as “cafetoriums” – cafeterias that double as auditoriums) are popping up all over Michigan because they save space and save money. But many schools are finding that they are not well-suited to serve multiple purposes. So how can multi-use facilities be optimized for both utility (think cafeteria) and performance (think auditorium)? […]




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