While most acoustical design components integrated into the overall design of a building are not easily seen, poor acoustics rarely go unnoticed.
“Acoustic design is important for occupant comfort, and for a space to perform as intended,” said Andrew Parise, Eastern Region acoustics lead for WSP USA. “During the design of a project, WSP anticipates potential acoustical issues and develops appropriate solutions based on the project needs.”
“Every project is different—construction, location, limitations, budget—and what worked well for one project may not be a viable solution for another,” added Kristina Sells, Western Region acoustics lead for WSP USA. “Our team works hard to provide detailed recommendations and to develop creative solutions that are specific to each project.”
Four key factors affect the overall acoustic design of a building:
- Interior Sound Isolation – reducing noise transmission between interior spaces to provide appropriate degrees of noise control and/or privacy.
- Exterior Sound Isolation – reducing noise ingress from exterior noise sources into the building.
- Interior Room Acoustics – designing a space to have appropriate levels of sound absorption (soaking up sound), sound reflection (sound reflecting off hard surfaces back into the room), and/or diffusion (scattering of reflected sound).
- Background Noise – controlling airborne and structure-borne noise from mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP) systems inside the building, as well as noise projected out to the surrounding property and property lines.
With 150 acousticians around the world and numerous disciplines under one roof, WSP can identify project requirements and provide input to the design team that factor in the specific needs of a project from an architectural; interior design; mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP); structural engineering, audiovisual and technology systems, and building enclosures perspective.
“We can communicate efficiently as a team, get our acoustic concepts and recommendations into the design of those systems earlier for budgeting purposes and avoid a lot of rework in the design of those systems that sometimes happens with a separate acoustic consultant,” Parise said. “The end result is not only a more efficient design process, but also a fully coordinated design that, once built, works for the end users not only in terms of the acoustics of the space, but in all aspects of how they operate.”