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Acoustic Measurement

Acoustical engineers discuss the basic principals of open office acoustics. How absorption, blocking, and covering affects cubicle farms and open offices.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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)? […]

Mixed use developments need to have the proper noise isolation partitions and the proper expectations for tenants. “I can hear their music and their phone ringing; I can even hear them repeat the order!” This comment came from a frustrated condo owner who lived above a sandwich shop in a mixed used condominium development. High […]

I recently attended concerts at two out-of-state prestigious university level music schools, and from a noise control point of view, the auditoria couldn’t have been more different. While the room acoustics of both halls were superb, the background noise level in one was quite distracting. At first, I thought the weather had taken a sudden […]

The other day at a popular chain restaurant, I dropped by the restroom before a long ride home. I’ve heard some loud toilet flushes in my day, and this one was right up there with the loudest of them. While it caught my attention, it didn’t make me jump too high out of surprise. However, […]

The new LEED for Healthcare system allows up to two points for acoustics under the IEQ Credit 2 Acoustic Environment. Its intent is to “provide building occupants with an indoor healing environment free of intrusive or disruptive levels of sound.” Points can be earned by meeting requirements for increased sound isolation between rooms, reduced room […]

In their November 2010 issue, Healthcare Design Magazine published an article entitled, “Too Noisy to Heal,” written by Dr. Erica Ryherd of the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Dr. Ryherd lays out a clear case for the importance of acoustical design in healthcare facilities. She uses the term “soundscape” because healthcare acoustical consulting is so much […]

I recently received a call from a pastor asking how to enhance their congregational singing. The church had recently inherited a new building, and the pastor was concerned that the congregational singing was just not “what it should be”. The band was great, and they rocked the place out. But the congregation was feeling a […]

Recently, I visited a healthcare facility to talk with them about oral privacy related to HIPAA privacy requirements. As we toured the facility they shared the following story: A patient came in and was shown to the exam room and told that Doctor X would be in soon. After about 5 minutes, the patient returned […]

I admit that I like working in a niche field. I especially like the reactions of people who ask me what I do for a living and have never heard of an acoustics engineer. They find it amazing that someone does this type of work, or they start asking questions or making comments about some […]

Most parents will tell you that they just wish they could understand why their baby is crying. As cute as babies are, the reality is they can be immensely distracting during church worship services. So what can you do about it? Acoustics By DesignAcoustics By Design consultants provide acoustical consulting services to architects, engineers, facility […]

I was recently interviewed by College Planning & Management magazine for their article on “How schools can create cafeterias and other social spaces to shout about, not over?” These spaces are where university students come to dine, to study, to relax, and to socialize, so why are they always so loud? And more importantly, what […]

Over the years we’ve used this blog to try and get the word out that acoustics can be very important when designing a restaurant and that the assistance of a qualified acoustical consultant during the design phase will save the proprietor both time and money while ensuring the ambience is top notch. So just how […]

The phrase “Equal Access” might not be very exciting, but it represents what many perceive to be a fundamental right of modern society. Every building built in the last 20 years has personified “Equal Access” by including doors wide enough for a wheelchair, elevator signage with braille lettering for blind persons, and auditoriums with hearing […]

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