From our geographically central location, Soundscape Engineering LLC's acoustical consultants and noise and vibration control engineers serve clients located throughout North America - in Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Petoskey, Michigan; Milwaukee and Madison Wisconsin; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Northwest Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio, Winnipeg Manitoba; Saskatoon and Regina Saskatchewan; and elsewhere. Our engineers consult on issues of room acoustics, sound isolation, speech privacy, HVAC noise control, building vibration, and exterior noise impact. They also provide acoustic and vibration measurement services.

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Nathan Sevener

Nathan Sevener

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Soundscape Engineering begins funded research study to assess outcomes of acoustical design for residential nursing facilities and inform the next edition of FGI’s Guidelines for Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities.

Nathan Sevener, Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal Acoustical Consultant, presented at Noise-Con 2014 in Fort Lauderdale. His presentation, entitled “Comparison of vibration levels and characteristics of cut, floated, and non-isolated floor slabs exposed to ground-borne vibration,” described...

Nathan Sevener, Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal Acoustical Consultant, presented to the Northern Indiana chapter of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers on October 17th.  The presentation, entitled Sustainable Design’s Impact on Building Acoustics, focused on...

Nathan Sevener, Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal Acoustical Consultant, presented at Noise-con 2013 in Denver. His presentation, entitled “Acoustical design of the perception based engineering laboratory at Ray W. Herrick Laboratories Center for High Performance Buildings,” described...

Mandy Kachur, Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal consultant, recently returned from Washing D.C., where she was participating in the working group, led by the Center for Health Design, that has been tasked with the development, dissemination, and validation of a 'Patient and Worker Safety Risk Assessment' online toolkit that can be used by health care facility planners, owners, and design teams to improve facilities through Evidence Based Design. Noise control is...

Mandy Kachur, Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal Acoustical Consultant, was recently appointed as the Vice President of Public Relations for the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE) for a term lasting through 2014. She is also currently serving as an elected member of the Board of Directors and is Board Certified by the Institute, which is the highest level of industry certification for noise engineers.

Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal Consultant, Nathan Sevener, presented “Acoustics In Healthcare Environments: What’s New and Why It’s Important” to the AIA Chicago Healthcare Knowledge Community. The well attended presentation, sponsored by the trade organization CISCA (Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association) was given on February 22, 2012 at the AIA office in Chicago. A brief description of the presentation and several links to useful healthcare acoustics resources can be found on the AIA website.

Soundscape Engineering LLC partner and Principal Acoustical Consultant, Nathan Sevener, was interviewed earlier this year for a Building Design+Construction Magazine article. The article, entitled "Enhanced Acoustical Design," appeared in the August edition. The article covers a broad range of topics, including designing walls for sound isolation, use of acoustical ceilings, electronic sound masking, selecting acoustical ceilings, and the role of acoustics in sustainable design and the LEED rating systems.

Because of the inclusion of extensive noise control criteria in the 2010 Guidelines For The Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities and with acoustical points available in LEED for Healthcare (released last year), I have found healthcare facilities designers increasingly interested in ensuring that their designs address the acoustical environment. However, achieving the acoustical criteria in these documents is not always easy. It sometimes requires changing customary design practices.

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Resilient channel has been used for many years to reduce the sound transmission through partitions. This strip of metal is installed between wall studs and gypsum wallboard, and is notorious for being difficult to install properly. A less than perfect installation results in the channel not increasing the wall performance. As an example,

Since the early 90’s, I’ve been helping architects create large spaces with good acoustical environments. What is a good acoustical environment… and why has NFPA 72-2010 changed things?

Recently I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. To be honest, I don't regularly listen to her show, but this one caught my attention because it was about hospital intensive care units and the subject matter had direct implications for the design of ICU's.

Until recently, I had not heard of Ortech Industries or Durra Panel. It was brought to my attention by an architect interested in using one of the Durra Panel systems as a sound absorber for his project. While Ortech Industries has apparently been in business for a couple of decades, it is an Australian company which I had never come across.

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Last year, I was asked by a client if they could improve the deficient sound isolation between their hotel rooms by installing an acoustic wall paper.

When answering Press Ganey, HCAP, and other surveys, patients regularly grade hospitals poorly on the question of noise in and near patient rooms. Analysis of historical data has shown noise levels in and near patient rooms steadily increasing over the past decades. Many hospitals have taken notice and are attempting to reduce noise levels, both in their existing facilities and when designing new facilities. In this blog post, I review some of the floor planning concepts that can be implemented during the early design phase to reduce noise in new facilities.

I have never been in a restaurant where it was too loud to eat. If I’m hungry enough, I can eat most anything, most anywhere – except plain cooked spinach. A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to try a restaurant that had recently opened in our neighborhood. It was a themed restaurant, with a large scale train chugging along on tracks above diners, stopping at intervals to sound its incredibly loud whistle. The restaurant was busy. Noise from diners was very high. Music was loud in order to be heard over the other noises. Was it all too loud? I expect that most elderly people would take their money elsewhere. We all start to slowly loose our hearing early in our adult life.

Noise levels in the Neonatal or Newborn Intensive Care Units of many hospitals are considered to be excessive. In some facilities, the sound levels are greatly in excess of the recommended levels. The highest nursery sound levels are typically found in crowded, multi-bed, Level III NICU’s.

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For the past 15 minutes, you and your spouse have been sitting comfortably in your psychiatrist’s office, uncomfortably discussing the details of your marriage. You’ve been aware of someone talking in the adjacent psychiatric office, but only as a background mumbling. Until now, it wasn’t distracting. Now the person is loud and emotional. His words have become easily audible and it is very distracting; not just because you can understand what he is saying, but because you recognize that it is the voice of a work colleague! Speech privacy is an important design parameter for psychiatric offices.

Welcome to the Soundscape Engineering blog. This first post is simply an introduction and a means for us to test our blogging software.