For Architects and Designers
There’s always a first time for working with an acoustical design consultant, so it helps to know what to expect in the working relationship. If the room acoustics is absolutely critical to the use of the finished facility, it helps to get an acoustical consultant involved as early as possible. An hour or two spent talking with us during the initial concept design development can save dozens of hours later in the schematic and detail design because we can flag potential problems before you have invested a great deal of design time in the project. The earlier we are involved, the greater the likelihood that we can neatly integrate the acoustical requirements into the design.
At the schematic design stage we can provide acoustical guidelines to help you develop a schematic design that will fit the acoustical needs of the client, again reducing redundant design work, or false starts. We will also be able to provide important design coordination guidance at this early stage. Mechanical and electrical system noise and vibration concerns can also be brought to light at this time, making it easier for the other sub-consultants to locate these systems in areas that will not cause noise and vibration problems later.
We provide ongoing input as the design development proceeds, refining details as the overall design takes shape. Balancing the acoustical treatment and finish budgets can take place at this time. We will also be working on the initial analysis of mechanical system noise and vibration once the HVAC design is at least 50% complete. This reduces the redundant work for ourselves and the mechanical consultant (and in some cases the structural consultant).
We can begin development of detailed design and specification of acoustical systems when the Design Development phase of the project is substantially complete. Detailed coordination of technical systems will also take place through the final stages of the project design leading up to the tender phase.
Through the tender phase, we will respond to questions regarding changes and addenda, or requested alternates.
For the Facility Owner
There’s two common scenarios in which we find ourselves working with the building or facility owner; the first occurs when the acoustical design was not included in the original design, or design/build package for a new facility and the owner will hire us directly to handle these design issues. The second scenario is the retro-fit, or renovation situation, where the building is being upgraded, or acoustical problems become apparent when a new building is turned over to the owner.
Where we are hired by the owner to work with a project design team, we represent the owner’s best interests in discussions with the design team. We monitor the progress of the design, identifying issues that may degrade the finished acoustical environment for the owner, and we provide design information to the design team to help them provide a suitable acoustical environment.
In renovations, we will identify the extent and scope of acoustical deficiencies through measurement and/or calculation, and provide recommendations for alterations, additions or renovations to correct the deficiencies. In order to maintain the needed objectivity in our design decisions, it is absolutely imperative that the consultant have no affiliation with the vendor of acoustical products or hardware. This should be the primary deciding factor when considering which consultant to hire, followed by their track record and reputation.
The first step is to contact us, by phone, fax, e-mail or snail mail and describe the type of work required. This would apply to remedial work for existing problems, as well as new projects requiring acoustical or noise control design. Once we have an understanding of the scope of work required, we will prepare a proposal for you that will:
- outline our understanding of the scope of work involved.
- describe, in detail, the services we will provide.
- describe how the services will be provided.
- the payment terms and conditions
If the description of the work and fees are agreed upon, then the proposal is signed and returned to us. This signed acceptance copy of the proposal forms the contract for work between us and you, the client. For new clients, a retainer is generally required, and the amount would be indicated in the proposal. The contracts are all executed under the laws of British Columbia, Canada.