Focus on Acoustics: Trees as Sound Barriers

When we work on a project to mitigate the impact of an environmental noise source (such as a nearby highway or outdoor cooling tower) on a residence or outside use space (such as a playground), someone always asks about putting in a line of trees or shrubs to lessen the offending noise. While there is… Read more »

Project Profile: California Science Center

Patrick Gallegos of Gallegos Lighting, now a Thorburn Associates Studio, unveiled his most recent project at the California Science Center on March 25. The museum’s new wing, called Ecosystems, surrounds guests with the sensations of each Ecosystem environment, eliciting an appreciation for different environments on Earth and how humans interact with them. Nearly ten years… Read more »

Focus on Acoustics: Keeping Bowling Alley Noise in the Gutter

Modern bowling alleys have transitioned from the stale, smoky lounges of decades past to family entertainment centers that offer a variety of activities. Frequently, bowling alleys are now part of larger buildings such as shopping malls and even mixed-use developments that include residences. This shift has brought with it a host of noise and vibration… Read more »

Project Profile: Research Triangle Institute

Thorburn Associates was pleased to work with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) on their Building 8 Auditorium. Approximately 200 seats, the project was built by Duke Construction. TA provided both audiovisual and acoustical consulting for this user-friendly meeting and briefing space. Like many large companies, RTI has knowledgeable staff to design and maintain audiovisual equipment throughout… Read more »

Focus on Technology: Overhead Microphone Systems

Your ears are really good acoustical measurement tools. Sit in a space alone sometime, clear your mind, and see how many different sounds you can identify. Very often, you will be able to pick out five or six sounds and then your ears will find the background noise level, which covers over the rest. Performing… Read more »

Focus on Acoustics: Containing Fan and Duct Noise

During a recent tour of an existing campus, we were shown a classroom that was in the process of having a complete, bells-and-whistles audiovisual package installed to support a distance learning program. However, our project meeting quickly took an unscheduled detour when we noticed an acoustical issue with the space. The issue was you needed… Read more »

Product Review: Fabric Duct

Fabric duct products, such as DuctSox, are often specified nowadays as a lower cost alternative to traditional metal ductwork for large spaces – such as gymnasiums, cafeterias, and convention halls – where large volumes of air need to be evenly distributed throughout. Manufacturers of fabric ductwork tout its many benefits: low installed cost, low maintenance,… Read more »

Focus on Acoustics: LEED Conflicts – The Impact Synergies Have on Good Design Practices and Acoustics

Sustainable design and LEED requirements are transforming the building industry. But like any shift in practice, there’s a domino effect. A number of sustainable design options that earn a building IEQ credits (indoor environmental quality) in some respects are at odds with achieving equally important acoustical goals. With creative engineering and an integrated design approach,… Read more »

Product Review: Pyrok

What does the abbreviation “NRC” mean to you? To acousticians it usually means Noise Reduction Coefficient, a single number rating for the absorptive characteristics of a specific material AND mounting condition at four frequencies within the range of speech. It is not, as its name implies, the difference in sound levels between two conditions or… Read more »

Project Profile: Quintiles

Quintiles Transnational, which helps pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies develop and market innovative therapies, recently celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. At 252,000 square feet, the new, 10- story, glass-and-concrete structure, with room for some 1,100 employees, towers above its neighbors and glows at night from the light… Read more »