From our geographically central location, Soundscape Engineering LLC's acoustical consultants and noise and vibration control engineers serve clients located throughout North America - in Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Petoskey, Michigan; Milwaukee and Madison Wisconsin; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Northwest Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio, Winnipeg Manitoba; Saskatoon and Regina Saskatchewan; and elsewhere. Our engineers consult on issues of room acoustics, sound isolation, speech privacy, HVAC noise control, building vibration, and exterior noise impact. They also provide acoustic and vibration measurement services.

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Soundscape Engineering's latest news,tips, and trends in the acoustic engineering and consulting trade.

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Recent blog posts

Because of the inclusion of extensive noise control criteria in the 2010 Guidelines For The Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities and with acoustical points available in LEED for Healthcare (released last year), I have found healthcare facilities designers increasingly interested in ensuring that their designs address the acoustical environment. However, achieving the acoustical criteria in these documents is not always easy. It sometimes requires changing customary design practices.

Here at Soundscape Engineering, we are always on the lookout for new products that make projects more successful. A new sound blocking window mullion trim cap is one such promising product. The product is called Mull-It-Over from Mull-It-Over Products and its sound blocking capabilities and simplicity have the acoustics community abuzz.

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Resilient channel has been used for many years to reduce the sound transmission through partitions. This strip of metal is installed between wall studs and gypsum wallboard, and is notorious for being difficult to install properly. A less than perfect installation results in the channel not increasing the wall performance. As an example,

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For architects who don’t want to specify the ubiquitous fabric faced acoustical panels, we often recommend acoustically transparent materials in front of fiberglass. These systems can work as well as the classic fabric wrapped panel, but have an entirely different look. The facings are perforated or porous and allow sound to pass through them to the acoustical surface behind.

One porous product that may not come to mind at first is open cell stabilized aluminum foam panels, and therefore they hold unique design potential for a showcase space.

Since the early 90’s, I’ve been helping architects create large spaces with good acoustical environments. What is a good acoustical environment… and why has NFPA 72-2010 changed things?

Recently I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. To be honest, I don't regularly listen to her show, but this one caught my attention because it was about hospital intensive care units and the subject matter had direct implications for the design of ICU's.

Until recently, I had not heard of Ortech Industries or Durra Panel. It was brought to my attention by an architect interested in using one of the Durra Panel systems as a sound absorber for his project. While Ortech Industries has apparently been in business for a couple of decades, it is an Australian company which I had never come across.

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Last year, I was asked by a client if they could improve the deficient sound isolation between their hotel rooms by installing an acoustic wall paper.

When answering Press Ganey, HCAP, and other surveys, patients regularly grade hospitals poorly on the question of noise in and near patient rooms. Analysis of historical data has shown noise levels in and near patient rooms steadily increasing over the past decades. Many hospitals have taken notice and are attempting to reduce noise levels, both in their existing facilities and when designing new facilities. In this blog post, I review some of the floor planning concepts that can be implemented during the early design phase to reduce noise in new facilities.

I have never been in a restaurant where it was too loud to eat. If I’m hungry enough, I can eat most anything, most anywhere – except plain cooked spinach. A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to try a restaurant that had recently opened in our neighborhood. It was a themed restaurant, with a large scale train chugging along on tracks above diners, stopping at intervals to sound its incredibly loud whistle. The restaurant was busy. Noise from diners was very high. Music was loud in order to be heard over the other noises. Was it all too loud? I expect that most elderly people would take their money elsewhere. We all start to slowly loose our hearing early in our adult life.

Noise levels in the Neonatal or Newborn Intensive Care Units of many hospitals are considered to be excessive. In some facilities, the sound levels are greatly in excess of the recommended levels. The highest nursery sound levels are typically found in crowded, multi-bed, Level III NICU’s.

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For the past 15 minutes, you and your spouse have been sitting comfortably in your psychiatrist’s office, uncomfortably discussing the details of your marriage. You’ve been aware of someone talking in the adjacent psychiatric office, but only as a background mumbling. Until now, it wasn’t distracting. Now the person is loud and emotional. His words have become easily audible and it is very distracting; not just because you can understand what he is saying, but because you recognize that it is the voice of a work colleague! Speech privacy is an important design parameter for psychiatric offices.

Welcome to the Soundscape Engineering blog. This first post is simply an introduction and a means for us to test our blogging software.