How Acoustic Consultants Implement Recommendations

After extensive evaluation of a proposed project, utilizing noise measurement methods, a team of acousticians will have specific recommendations and a finalized acoustic design. This design will take into account every potential noise and vibration source. All that remains is to turn these plans into results. But these recommendations and design components cannot simply be handed over to the project management team with the expectation that they will be carried out without further discussion. Noise assessments and analysis must be approved and integrated into each of the construction teams’ documentation.

The acousticians’ primary goal is to assist the building team with creating acoustically comfortable spaces. Acousticians do not design the building, nor do they construct it. They provide expert consultation and noise measurement services, which are meant to enhance the designers’ plan, and result in a completed project that is better acoustically and more functional that it would be otherwise. An acoustic designer’s recommendations also serve as an enhancement to the other building trades.

An acoustician will develop a set of data which identifies the predicted noise and vibration sources, the pathways the noise will take, and the proposed methods used to help mitigate the noise. These sources will include such items as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, occupant-generated noise, and noise from transportation. The acoustician’s recommendation process then becomes interactive. As acousticians, we do not dictate to the building trades what they are to do. Through the continually evolving process of project design and execution, all departments work to achieve the designer’s goal and vision. We do not state policy, we present solutions. For example, when noise testing services determine that a particular noise level will result in the main conference room, an acoustician might recommend that a particular type of gasket be used in the air handling system, because they know the use of several hundred of that gasket in the building’s ductwork will result in a certain amount of noise reduction in the conference room.

The gasket example is one which presents no conflict issues in the project’s aesthetic design. But what about wall and window treatment? What about room angles and ceiling height? These elements might not be open to discussion.

By using our acoustical analysis to achieve improvements within each building design component, we push the final result ever closer to ideal, through small steps. These small steps eventually add up to the best acoustical environment possible, given the constraints and requirements of the building’s designers. With enough advance warning, designs can be adjusted, and building methods can be optimized for better acoustical results. The acoustical team then reviews the final design documents with the new recommendations in place. And a team effort pays off in a well designed and well constructed building.

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