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Acoustics, Noise and Vibration Issues in Building Design

10 May 2012

3 OAA ConEd learning hours

This session is being offered again Friday, May 10 from 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Course Outline

Excessive noise and vibration can compromise the performance of a building and can lead to occupant complaints and costly retrofits. The assessment of noise is often required by municipal authorities for zoning and site plan applications, and must meet applicable building codes and environmental regulations.  There are also design criteria with respect to a building’s interior acoustics and vibration that need to be met to guarantee that the building performs to particular level and meets its intended usages.

This course will provide a detailed review of the major areas of acoustical design for buildings including building space planning and orientation, exterior wall design, room acoustics, sound isolation, and building services noise control.  We will also discuss specialized design for phenomena such as aeroacoustics (wind-induced noise on exterior architectural features).

Vibration effects on buildings, including lab design for the healthcare and educational sectors, are becoming of greater concern, whether from environmental sources (road, rail, industry) or internally generated by building services and footfalls.  Requirements for stringent vibration controls are prevalent in today's hi-tech industries (micro-electronics, bio-technology, research), university research and medical imaging.  Excessive vibration from improperly isolated mechanical equipment can also cause occupant discomfort or annoyance in buildings of all types. Assessment and control of vibration from all major sources will be discussed.  

The above will be exemplified by examining selected projects that RWDI has recently completed and by way of visual and audio demonstrations.

Learning Objectives:

Through this course, we will teach the participants:

  • fundamentals of acoustic, noise and vibration 
  • noise and vibration criteria
  • typical noise and vibration control features and their effectiveness
  • understanding of available analytical techniques appropriate to their design issues including measurements and computer simulations

Michael J. Wesolowsky, Ph.D., P.Eng.Associate / Senior Acoustics, Noise & Vibration Specialist

Michael is a Senior Specialist in the Acoustics, Noise and Vibration (ANV) Group at RWDI Inc.  Before joining RWDI he completed his Doctorate and Masters in the field of Structural Dynamics, with emphasis on hysteretic modelling of seismic isolation and damping devices for buildings and cable-stayed bridges.  He has published and presented several research papers in journals and international conferences.  He is also involved in supplementary damping system design with RWDI’s Structural Dynamics + Motion Control Division (Motioneering), who are specialists in the control of structural vibration.  He is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) registered with the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Ben Coulson, P.Eng., M.A.Sc. /Project Director, Air Quality/Noise Specialist

Ben is a project director at RWDI providing technical expertise and leadership in environmental noise and acoustics issues.  Since joining RWDI in 1998, he has conducted dozens of acoustics and vibration, environmental impact studies and regulatory compliance projects for a variety of sectors, including: education and research; health care; transportation; entertainment; heavy industry and manufacturing.  He has provided acoustic and vibration expertise through the complete project life cycle, from the preliminary design stage through to final drawing reviews, construction monitoring, and post-construction audits.  Ben is a practising professional engineer (P.Eng.) in Ontario, a member of the Canadian Acoustical Association, and a past member of the Audio Engineering Society.