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 »

Loudspeaker Technology

Over the past few years, thanks to digital signal processing, audio designers have been able to develop arrays of loudspeakers. By grouping loudspeaker boxes with special signal processing the coverage area can be changed and controlled. This type of design can help minimize reflections off of walls at a concert or to direct sound to… Read more »

UNCA Highsmith Student Center

University of North Carolina – Asheville, Highsmith Student Center, Asheville, NC Architect: Lee Nichols Clark Patterson Located in Asheville, NC is the new 73,920 square foot Student Center for the University of North Carolina – Asheville. The project is a renovation and expansion of the old student center originally built in the early 1980s. The… Read more »

Presenting the Perfect Picture

Think about the last time you were at a presentation where it was difficult to see the images being displayed. While there was nothing wrong with the presentation equipment or the quality of the installation, something was still not quite right. That something detracted from the presenter’s ability to communicate their message. When we are… 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 »

ADA and Audiovisual Systems

Every time a sound or speech reinforcement system is designed and installed a hearing assistance system must also be included. ADA Section III-7.5180 Assembly Areas requires: Fixed seating assembly areas that accommodate 50 or more people OR have audio-amplification systems must have a permanently installed assistive learning system. Other assembly areas (not covered in above)… 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 »

New Advances in Video Conferencing Technology H.264

A new video conferencing standard, H.264, delivers twice the video quality currently experienced in video conferencing meetings. H.264 provides a far more efficient mechanism for compressing and decompressing motion video. This mechanism or algorithm requires significantly less bandwidth to transmit a motion image than has previously been possible. For videoconferencing, H.264 requires only 50% of… 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 »