Riverside County Boardroom Replacement Project

Due to the explosive growth of the county of Riverside a larger County Building was required to support the needs of the county taxpayers. Part of the new County Building included a new County Boardroom. The new Boardroom functions were, in part, dictated by the existing 7 Member Board Dais, which needed to be translated… Read more »

Noise Criteria (NC) vs. Room Criteria (RC)

Quite often we are asked why does Thorburn Associates Inc. use Noise Criteria (NC) as opposed to Room Criteria (RC) during our mechanical system noise calculations. Both NC and RC are measures of mechanical system noise in a room. Noise Criteria curves were defined in 1957, by Leo Beranek of the Boston based Acoustical Consulting… Read more »

Speech Privacy Within Hospitals Meeting the New HIPAA Standards

Confidentiality between a patient and the health provider is one of the basic principles of modern health care. Without confidentiality, the effectiveness of the health care system decreases, due to patient fear of having their medical records revealed and possibly used against them. In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)… Read more »

Acoustics and LEED / Sustainable Building

As many of you know, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. It emphasizes state of the art strategies for five broad categories: sustainable site planning; safeguarding water and water efficiency; energy efficiency and renewable energy; conservation of materials… Read more »

Classroom Acoustics

More than three-quarters of the teachers in a recent poll gave the acoustics in their classrooms a failing grade. The problem is most commonly a “signal to noise” ratio issue, which results in poor speech intelligibility. In general terms – the room is too noisy and it takes a long time for sound to decay… Read more »

Retail Design

Themed Retail is a balance between saturation of exposure to audio and video stimuli in “teen” departments versus the peace and serenity of high-end jewelry/perfume departments. Far too often, the energetic, loud, vibrant, environment in a young teenager/juniors environment is immediately adjacent to the sensual atmosphere found in the perfume/jewelry zones of a store. The… Read more »

Acoustics for Live Theatre

The lights begin to dim, the audience takes their seats, voices lower, and all you can hear is the quiet rustle of theatre programs and an occasional cough as the audience waits in anticipation for the curtain to rise on the latest, long-awaited Broadway play. The excitement builds as the curtain slowly parts, revealing an… Read more »

The Code of Silence

Maxwell Smart’s Cone of Silence was a nice idea. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to use such a device in today’s busy and energetic society? Well, for some types of noise it has been possible for a person to have their own personal Cone of Silence. Active noise control is the solution. This… Read more »

Environmental Acoustics: Is It Noise Or Is It Sound?

How loud is too loud? If you have ever dealt with this question, personally or professionally, you know that the answer is difficult to determine. All kinds of factors, from the time of day to personal sensitivity, influence the subjective cry “Too much noise!” In fact, the term noise is used to indicate any sound… Read more »

I Can Hear a Pin Drop

When an acoustical consultant walks into a room, the first thing they tend to notice is the acoustics. It can’t be helped, it’s second nature in much the same way a decorator would look at the furnishings. Occasionally someone else will make a comment such as, “The acoustics in that room were so good, I… Read more »