Be Quiet! LEED v4 is here.

Be Quiet! LEED v4 is here.

The option to register projects under LEED for Schools 2009 will end in October 2016.  After that, LEED v4 will have to be used.  We already have a couple of v4 projects on the books so we wanted to highlight some of the changes to acoustic requirements. HVAC Noise Levels Prerequisite – HVAC Background Noise levels have been reduced from 45 to 40 dBA. Credit – HVAC Background Noise levels for the Credit have been reduced from 40 dBA to 35 dBA. What does this mean to the design team? In many cases this will require more money be spent to mitigate mechanical noise.  This could mean additional use of duct silencers, moving equipment further from core learning spaces, or additional lengths of duct liner.   Outdoor Noise from highways and Aircraft Isolating Exterior Noise has moved from the Credit to the Prerequisite. What does this mean to the design team? School sites will need to be analyzed for exterior noise if they are within ½ mile of a significant noise source.  This most likely will include on-site noise measurements.  Projects found to be on high-noise sites will require measures to minimize noise intrusion from the exterior.  For the prerequisite, the design team will have to take reasonable measures to reduce exterior noise intruding into the building.  To achieve the Credit, significant improvements to the sound isolation of windows and daylighting systems may be necessary.   Reverberation in Classrooms Reverberation times for large core learning spaces (over 20,000 cu ft.) must now meet a different standard. What does this mean to the design team? Acceptable reverberation times have been cut in...
Great University Classroom Acoustics!

Great University Classroom Acoustics!

Congratulations to Davis Wince Architecture of Denver and The University of Colorado Boulder on completion of the Duane Physics Building G-140 renovation!  I had a chance to stop in and take a few photos before it opened for classes this week.  The new tiered classroom, student lounge and study area, TA open offices, and large conference room all look great.  Davis Wince did an excellent job integrating creative acoustic treatments into the finishes.  One unique sound absorbing ceiling cloud treatment is the “Moon” panel by Johanson Design  The spaces look great and sound even better.  Wave Engineering established design criteria for acoustics and reverberation (T60), sound isolation and STC ratings, and NC mechanical noise levels to optimize speech intelligibility, enhance classroom learning, and provide a comfortable acoustic environment. We have great ideas for your projects too!  Acoustics don’t have to be boring.  Give us a call today about your...
Wave Engineering – New Year – New Office!

Wave Engineering – New Year – New Office!

Wave Engineering wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year! We open 2015 in our recently completed Denver area office space. The space features mid-modern touches, improved energy efficiency, and recycled and repurposed materials (you’ll have to guess which ones). The new space allows us room to grow our staff and expand our acoustical consulting services. We would love to see you and show off our space – drop by for a free tour. By the way, consultants interested in joining our staff please see http://waveengineering.co/careers...
Wave Engineering sets a world record!

Wave Engineering sets a world record!

Okay, so maybe we’re just assuming it’s a world record! Nonetheless, Wave Engineering just completed a FERC pipeline environmental noise assessment in one week….from start to finish in seven days.  That’s right, a complete assessment of construction noise on over ten miles of new natural gas pipeline meeting the requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  We determined the daytime and nighttime ambient sound levels for Noise Sensitive Areas (NSAs) and predicted the noise impact on each NSA.  A written report was submitted in accordance with FERC guidelines. A noise assessment like this will normally take about three weeks.  We don’t recommend that you wait until the last minute, but we understand that sometimes you find yourself with a very tight schedule.  Give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to help.  If it can be done, we’ll get it done....
Why doesn’t my wall stop the noise?

Why doesn’t my wall stop the noise?

Did you know that sound leaks can destroy the soundproofing of a wall?  If the wall leaks, it won’t work. What is a sound leak?  A sound leak is any gap or hole in a wall where air can pass through.  If air can get through, noise will get through.  So what? A gap that is equal to 1% of the wall area can lower the Sound Transmission Class of a partition from STC 50 to STC 40.  A reduction of 10 STC points means the sound coming through the wall seems about twice as loud.  A 1% gap is less than 1/8” wide across the bottom of a typical apartment wall. So what should you do about it? Any hole, gap, or joint must be sealed airtight.  Gaps often occur where the wall meets the floor and the ceiling, around pipes, ducts, and conduits, and around joists or beams that cross the wall.  Acoustical engineers usually recommend non-hardening sealants because other sealants will crack over time. Make sure that you get the sound isolation that you expect and pay for.  Specify that the wall be sealed well on both sides.  ASTM C919 Standard Practice for Use of Sealants in Acoustical Applications contains additional information....