Featured Project: St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church

Featured Project: St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church

Wave Engineering recently had the pleasure of working with St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church near Denver, CO to enhance the acoustics of their sanctuary. We used EASE acoustical modeling software to investigate changes to the surface finishes and shape of the room in order to maintain speech intelligibility and improve projection from the choir loft. As part of our analysis we also had the opportunity to research optimum acoustics for Byzantine chant, which is a key component of Greek Orthodox services. As you can see in the photos, the sanctuary is a beautiful space with multiple arches and domes, which also made it tricky to model in the software. Fortunately, Tim Politis with 1ine Studio provided a detailed SketchUp model of the room as a starting point. The EASE model allowed us to look at many different acoustical metrics in addition to the traditional reverberation time, and we were able to map the effect of different options across the seating area. This better informed the changes to the choir loft. We also used EASE to create auralizations of the different options, and we presented these on headphones to the church representatives so that they could hear and evaluate the changes. One of the elements we modeled was how much the reverberation would change with occupancy since the pews are not padded. Listen to the speech and chant clips below to hear the difference between the empty room and fully occupied, for example. Audio files: Speech – Unoccupied Speech – Fully Occupied Speech – Chant Unoccupied Speech – Chant Occupied For a complex room, 3D acoustical modeling provides a wealth...
Shooting Range Acoustic Consulting & Noise Control

Shooting Range Acoustic Consulting & Noise Control

Shooting Range Noise Sound transmission from gun ranges has become a growing concern as shooting sports increase in popularity, and firing ranges are built in close proximity to retail areas and residential districts. We work with developers, architects, engineers, and city planners to evaluate potential noise concerns from shooting facilities. Wave Engineering, Inc. evaluates new and existing ranges with computer modeling and on site sound measurements, and can assist with exterior noise, permitting, and compliance with state and local noise codes and ordinances. We can also recommend acoustic treatments to control noise and reverberation inside the range, retail, and classroom areas. For more information, please watch our video profile on gun range noise and acoustics, below… HVAC systems shown in this video are by Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation. To Get Help With Your Shooting Range Project Contact Us...
STC Testing to Evaluate Privacy Concerns

STC Testing to Evaluate Privacy Concerns

What is Noise Intrusion? Noise is typically defined as any unwanted sound. Unwanted sound can distract us from our daily lives (sleep, work, and personal time). While poor sound isolation is often attributed to noises we don’t want to hear, it can also result in sounds we don’t want heard. This can occur in Medical Office Buildings (MOB) where HIPAA speech privacy requirements dictate patient-doctor conversations remain private. Federal and State governments also have confidentiality requirements for specific spaces in their facilities. In residential multi-family dwellings such as apartments, condominiums, and townhomes, privacy complaints can become a problem that Homeowners Associations (HOAs) must address. Building codes also have minimum sound isolation criteria for multi-family dwellings. Wave Engineering can perform field tests on existing wall and floor-ceiling assemblies (in offices, residential units, townhomes, etc.). We then use the test data to identify the problem and recommend solutions. Sound Transmission Class – STC Tests The Sound Transmission Class (STC) is a single-number rating used to quantify the sound isolation of a wall or floor-ceiling assembly. The higher the STC, the better the partition is at reducing sound transmission between spaces. STC tests are usually performed in an acoustic laboratory. In an existing building, Apparent Sound Transmission Class (ASTC) tests are performed. ASTC tests require us to generate loud pink noise on one side of the partition, and to measure the sound level on both sides.  We must also measure reverberation time on receiving side.  A typical test takes one to two hours to complete.   For more information on the ASTC test services Wave Engineering offers, please visit our ASTC Services...
The Impact of a Poorly Isolated Floor

The Impact of a Poorly Isolated Floor

Do you need an IIC test? Do your tenants complain of hearing their neighbors above?  Does your old building meet modern building codes for sound isolation?  Do you want to make sure that you have the sound isolation that you paid for?  Maybe you need an IIC test. What is an IIC rating? The IIC (Impact Insulation Class) is a rating of the impact sound on a floor that is audible in the room below.  A higher number means better impact sound insulation. What is an IIC test? An IIC test is done by an acoustic engineer using ASTM Standard E1007 – Standard Test Method for Field Measurement of Tapping Machine Impact Sound Transmission Through Floor-Ceiling Assemblies and Associated Support Structures.   The test can determine the IIC of the floor-ceiling that separates condominiums, apartments, or offices. How is an IIC test done? The test requires access to the both rooms – the one above the floor and the one below.  A standard tapping machine bangs on the floor to generate impact sound (see ours in action).  First, while the tapping machine is banging away, the sound level is measured in the room below.  This is repeated with the machine in four different positions on the floor. Then the reverberation time, or T60, is measured in the room below.   The T60 is used in IIC calculation to “normalize” the measurements to a standard condition.  This allows us to compare an IIC measured in a “dead” room to one measured in a “live” room. Next, the airborne sound isolation of the floor-ceiling is measured.  Usually a loudspeaker and amplifier generate pink...