Addressing Sound Transmission in Residence (HSW)

Ever since the beginning of multi-family dwellings, sound isolation between residential units has generated significant tension. Residents want privacy from the people living next to them, even though they may be less than a few feet away from one another. According to the International Building Code, partitions and constructions between residences should have a minimum Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 50 and a minimum Impact Insulation Class (IIC) of 50 (45 if field measured). This language has been adopted by many state building codes including New Hampshire and Massachusetts.


Acoustics for Large Spaces

This presentation will discuss the new acoustic challenges facing project teams regarding multi-functional needs of large spaces. We will focus on atria, where the use of these spaces has been redefined from a traditional pass-through space to include musical performances and lectures, creating new challenges for appropriate background sound levels and speech intelligibility. We will also discuss how these challenges are currently handled in other large spaces where the acoustic design may need to be modified to accommodate broader programming uses. Learn about general design practices via case studies of several performance atria.


How to be a Good Neighbor: What You Need to Know about Emergency Generator Noise (HSW)

Emergency generators are a component of a wide range of buildings from private residences to public hospitals. Regardless of the emergency generator’s size, noise emission is a common community concern. We will examine noise regulations concerning emergency generators and share noise mitigation solutions to be a good neighbor.


Help! There is a Sound Problem! (HSW)

Recent trends show developers and end-users modifying existing spaces to serve a shifting array of needs; often these decisions are driven by cost. Spaces suited for one purpose could be acoustically unsuitable for another. Achieving a suitably acceptable compromise can be very challenging in an existing building where structural limitations or other feasibility issues are apparent. This program reviews a number of case studies and will teach you how to calibrate, anticipate, and address expectations or potential issues to avert an ‘acoustical disaster’.


Auralizations: A Useful Tool in the Decision-Making Process (HSW)

Learn how an auralization, or 3DListening®, illustrates the sound quality of a room and demonstrates the acoustical difference among treatment options. See and hear examples where auralizations helped the client decide which treatments were appropriate for their budget and needs. Case studies will include the Museum of Fine Arts, a renovated natatorium at Brandeis University, and the Xielo Restaurant.


Where Musicians Hone Their Craft: Acoustical Designs of Practice and Rehearsal Rooms (HSW)

For every performance, musicians spend countless hours in rehearsal and individual practice. Because these rooms are teaching and learning spaces, they play as important a role in the musical discipline as the performance hall. Practice and rehearsal room acoustical design must provide clarity and intelligibility, comfort, hearing safety, and freedom from intrusive sounds. Learn about key design factors including room size and dimensions, arrangement of surface finishes, low background noise, and sound isolation to and from neighboring spaces.


Avoiding the Pitfalls of Workplace Acoustics (HSW)

This session addresses the fundamentals of good acoustical design for the workplace, with an emphasis on open plan offices. Acoustical design criteria and techniques are discussed in practical terms that users can apply to their own projects, with the goal of minimizing audible distractions and optimizing user satisfaction. Examples from specific projects are used to illustrate various design solutions – both good and bad – related to speech privacy. Topics include the selection of finishes, workstation layouts, and the use of electronic sound masking.


Sound Isolation in Mixed Use Buildings (HSW)

The growth in developing communities where people live and work in one integrated environment brings with it the challenge of ensuring adequate sound isolation between varying interior occupancies, exterior activities and traffic noise. Achieving the desired, or in some cases, required, sound isolation can be difficult in new construction and even more challenging in renovation projects where structural limitations or historical elements are present. This program reviews practical aspects of sound isolation techniques that can be applied to new and renovated mixed use buildings.


Acoustic Challenges in Historic Theaters (HSW)

The presentation will focus on the practical lessons learned from two major historic renovation projects: Paramount Theater Center in Boston, and the New College Theater in Cambridge. Learn about challenges in designing for acoustic isolation between studios, performance spaces, a restaurant, and dormitories all packed into a dense, urban, and historic site at the Paramount Center, and strategies we used to overcome those challenges. We will also present lessons learned from the transformation of Harvard’s historic Hasty Pudding Theater into the New College Theater, where the design team totally reconstructed the theater and support spaces while retaining the building’s historic integrity.


Controlling the Acoustics of Large Atriums (HSW)

This presentation will start by explaining how the programmed uses of an atrium space affect decisions about the acoustical design. For atriums where speech intelligibility is important, the design variables of interior volume (in cubic feet), selection of sound absorbing finish materials, and appropriate sound system technology will be discussed. (Note: this auralization is available by attending this seminar in Acentech’s Cambridge Office. There may be special circumstances that can allow this auralization to be conducted at alternate facilities; however, this needs to be discussed prior to confirming such an event.)