Case Study: Aberdeen Residence

About This Project

Located directly beneath the flight path of aircraft using YVR’s south runway, the 120-unit Aberdeen Residence lies in the City of Richmond’s Aircraft Noise Sensitive Development Policy Area, a zone that normally prohibits the construction of residential buildings.


However, after consulting on a hotel immediately adjacent to the site, and successfully incorporating many special design features to attenuate aircraft noise, BKL helped the architects, Bing Thom, and developers, Fairchild Developments, convince City of Richmond planners to approve the project and make an exception to the aircraft noise policy in effect at the time.


To support their case to the city, BKL conducted noise measurements inside a guest room at the hotel while aircraft departed overhead. The results of these measurements—and the fact that the hotel had not received any aircraft noise–related complaints from guests—proved that, with thoughtful acoustical design, the proposed Aberdeen Residence could meet or exceed interior noise level requirements.


Acoustical challenges

BKL’s noise control measures included custom windows that the firm had previously recommended for another hotel, the YVR Fairmont, where the windows had been highly successful in preventing intrusion of aircraft noise.


Since aircraft noise at the Aberdeen site can be either very loud or non-existent depending upon runway usage, the plans could include balconies for the residences. This presented an additional challenge in the acoustical design because the acoustical performance of most sliding patio doors is limited. BKL worked with VisionWall, a Canadian window manufacturer, to develop a semi-custom patio door with non-conventional seals and operating mechanism to achieve sound attenuation equal to that offered by the windows.


Scope of services

BKL’s services on this project included design advice on attenuating aircraft noise, isolating interior sound between residential units, and controlling noise from building services. During construction, BKL reviewed shop drawings, conducted sound transmission loss tests between mock-up units, and carried out periodic inspections of acoustically critical installations.


Project benefits

Upon completion of the project, prior to occupancy, BKL measured interior noise levels within the residential units as commercial jets departed over the building. These measurements confirmed BKL’s earlier predictions and demonstrated that, with the right acoustical design features, overall noise exposure from aircraft could be controlled to satisfy the city’s noise criteria and maximum levels during flyovers could be limited to 45 dBA, the World Health Organization’s criterion for sleep disturbance.


aberdeen residence


aberdeen residence

Project Name:

Aberdeen Residence

Year Completed:


Capital Cost:

$30 million

Total Area:

154,000 square feet

Case Studies, Residential & Mixed-Use
Building Services Noise & Vibration, Noise Mitigation Design, Room Acoustics, Sound Isolation