Restoration of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

In response to the needs of the expanding Catholic Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee, Williamson Pounders Architects (WPA) also of Memphis, selected Thorburn Associates to assist with the acoustical and audio system design for the restoration of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The restoration brought the cathedral into full conformance with contemporary Catholic liturgical standards…. Read more »

Resilient Channels

Acoustical Consultants often specify resilient channels to improve the sound isolation of a construction assembly. Sound isolation is the amount of noise the wall or floor/ceiling reduces. Resilient channels are installed perpendicular to the stud or joist. This reduces the number of points were the gypsum board system is actually in direct contact with the… Read more »

Blast Berms for the Space Shuttle Launch Pad

We are often asked what type of acoustics we specialize in. Our response: “Everything – The field of acoustics is so specialized we cannot afford to focus on one type of building. The only type of structures we have not been part of in some form are a Nuclear Power Plant or a Concert Hall.”… Read more »

“I Didn’t Know You Did That”

If we just had a nickel for every time we hear “I didn’t know you did that!”… Most recently, a very good client was sharing an elevator ride with us and mentioned he needed someone to do an audiovisual system design. He has used us frequently for acoustics, but never realized we also did AV!… Read more »

Quiet Floors

Floor systems in multifamily housing are getting thinner and lighter in weight. Both of these work against a successful acoustical design. To overcome this we are constantly looking at and reviewing new products. Something that has caught our eye is a product from Pennsylvania based Dodge-Regupol. Dodge-Regupol, Inc. (DRI) was founded in 1989 through a… Read more »

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 »