Advanced Technology Facilities

Nanotechnology, semiconductor fabrication and imaging facilities require an ultra-low noise and ultra-low vibration environment, otherwise research accuracy or production yield suffers.  Some laboratories need even lower vibration environments to push commercial tools beyond their limits or develop a new instrument generation.  Noise and vibration can intrude from exterior vehicle or rail traffic, from internal occupants and research equipment, or from the large machinery and delivery systems required to support these facilities.  Given the high stakes, these are some of our most challenging projects, calling on the following skills:

  • Structural Dynamics: using state of the art finite element modeling and dynamic analysis for studying vibrations of critical structures.
  • Mechanical Systems: vibration and noise control design & specification
  • Tool Installation Support: instrument foundation/pedestal design and testing
  • Acoustical Design: for human, lab animal, and instrument performance
  • Retrofit Design: to support new processes and update toolsets
  • Test and Measurement: site surveys, performance validation, benchmarking
  • Wireless Monitoring: of construction impact on existing facilities & surrounding community
  • Environmental Impact: planning and mitigation strategies for noise and vibration
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Industrial & Manufacturing

Noise and vibration are concerns in most industrial settings, and controlling them requires attention to a multitude of sources and receivers.  Some high-tech manufacturing processes need extraordinary vibrational stability.  All facilities include human occupants who need safe and productive environments.  Workplace noise limits set by OSHA and other regulatory agencies are intended to protect workers against undue exposure to loud sounds.  Similarly, hand-arm vibration regulations are on the horizon in both the US and Europe.

Given the complexity and scale of large factories, designs can be refined to achieve lower project cost and minimize risk of disruptions to sensitive manufacturing processes or violations of noise and vibration regulations.

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University and National R&D Labs

Large-scale laboratory facilities integrate multiple uses, including scientific research labs, animal facilities, offices and meeting spaces.  Noise and vibration can intrude from exterior vehicle or rail traffic, from internal occupants and research equipment, or from the large machinery and delivery systems required to support these facilities.  These present a diverse and sometimes conflicting array of noise and vibration requirements, and the goal is to provide a productive design for instruments, animals and people.  Given the high stakes, these laboratories are some of our most challenging projects.

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Residential / Commercial / Office

Residential: Interior noise influences quality of life for occupants and can degrade property values for owners and developers. Intrusive noise from neighboring units can disturb residents and lead to legal confrontations that could be avoided with proper design. Our goal is to meet owner’s and tenants’ expectations with manageable risk and minimized construction cost. We can design to prevent intrusive noise in residential spaces, test existing residential units to check how they comply with their design and municipal codes, and model mitigation measures to ameliorate noise complaints. Our experience spans all market segments, from affordable to market rate to luxury.

Commercial / Office: Acoustical and vibration design of commercial buildings is usually driven by human sensitivities.  The goal is to deliver healthy and productive work environments, from outdoor gathering spaces to private offices to telepresence suites.  In addition to routine architectural acoustics and mechanical noise control design, we offer structural design for floor vibration control and can assist with construction mitigation and monitoring.

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Biotech and Pharmaceutical

Biotech and pharmaceutical goals range from the manufacture of pharmaceutical products to the frontiers of biological discovery, including functional genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and cell biology.  Facilities can include scientific research labs, animal facilities, offices and meeting spaces.  Noise and vibration can intrude from exterior sources, internal occupants and research equipment, or from large machinery and delivery systems supporting the facilities.  Tools can require demanding vibration, noise and EMI environments, due to the micro- and nanometer scale on which they operate.  provide a productive design for instruments, animals and people.  Given the high stakes, these laboratories are some of our most challenging projects.

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Healthcare & Hospitals

The acoustical and Vibration Design of Health-care & Hospitals are critical and integral part of the facility design. There are different sources of noise and vibrations in hospitals and Health-care spaces, including HVAC, Heliport and Emergency Transport Areas and other MEP sources. Besides patients rooms, healthcare facilities do have vibration-sensitive spaces such as CT and MRI imaging, and Operating Rooms (Ors) which need to be designed to specific vibration limits. We have vast experiences in noise and vibration design of healthcare facilities resulting in patient privacy and satisfaction, speech privacy, and also a comfortable environment for health-care employees.

Our services include but not limited to Environmental Noise Studies to address outdoor-indoor noise mitigation design, HVAC Noise and Vibration Control, Vibration Design of patient rooms, CT and MRI rooms, and OR spaces; Heliport and Emergency Transport Areas Noise & Vibration Control; Acoustical Design for Speech Privacy and acoustical comfort.

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Animals

Animals present interesting challenges in noise and vibration because their senses operate differently from humans.  Some animals’ hearing extends to frequencies 5-10 times higher than humans, and animals cannot tell us what may be annoying, painful or disruptive.  Animal issues can require specialized instrumentation as well as the ability to think beyond the limits and biases of our own senses.

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Environmental

Environmental noise and vibration issues arise in response to conflicting uses and goals in society. Transportation infrastructure, dense urban residential housing, and the mechanical systems needs of commercial and industrial facilities pose potential challenges. From human safety and comfort to extremely demanding high-tech laboratory and research needs, environmental noise and vibration can be viewed as pollutants that must be recognized and controlled. Our work also includes researching and writing EIR’s and creating legal documentation for CEQA / NEPA, to meet environmental and community requirements.

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Infrastructure & Transportation

Infrastructure projects can pose unique challenges, arising from the construction processes required to build and maintain them. Our infrastructure work addresses all aspects of noise, vibration, and EMI/RF impacts, from worker safety & comfort to legal documentation for CEQA/NEPA, to meet environmental and community requirements, to unique project mitigations for technically-demanding neighbors such as high-tech laboratory and research facilities.

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Construction

Many construction projects require careful monitoring of noise and/or vibration impacts on adjacent communities and structures, to avoid exceeding local regulations or damaging adjacent property.  We can monitor not only land-based projects, but also water-based projects such as the wildlife impact of pile-driving in bridge construction.  We own and maintain a full suite of noise and vibration monitoring instruments, capable of both attended and remote operation.  The remote systems can be programmed to monitor noise and vibration levels continuously in real-time and issue exceedance alerts via SMS message and email.  Our construction services can begin at the project planning stage: our engineering staff can develop mitigation strategies to minimize the chance of unacceptable impacts.

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Product Design & Testing

Many consumer products generate unwanted sound and vibration. Some products are too loud; some are too quiet; and others just “don’t sound right”. Sound quality is an important parameter that involves customer psychology and expectations, above and beyond basic quantitative measurements like noise level. From regulatory compliance to consumer expectations, careful noise and vibration design can make a product a commercial success, or keep it from being rejected because of how it sounds.

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