Case Study: BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus

About This Project

The BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus brings together spaces for study, research, lectures, and practical hands-on learning with the latest aviation technology, including air traffic control and on-route simulators.


Within its 40,000 square foot glass hangar, one of Canada’s largest, students get their hands dirty working on BCIT’s fleet, which includes light propeller planes, transport aircraft, business jets, and helicopters. In addition, the campus comprises over 40 classrooms and labs, 36 faculty offices, 22 workshops, a lecture theatre, and library, as well as areas for students to eat, study, and socialize.


Acoustical challenges

Bringing together disparate spaces in close proximity—and beneath a busy flightpath, no less—was key in creating the school’s unique learning atmosphere. Yet for students learning technical information, a soundtrack of jet engines isn’t necessarily ideal for soaking up details.


Anticipating the confluence of noise from workshops, the hangar, and YVR flyovers, designers established noise zones throughout the campus, designating loud zones, such as the hangar and workshops, and quiet zones, for example, a study area along the Fraser River, and connecting them with a central hub.


Scope of services

BKL worked with the project’s architect, Kasian, and BCIT to ensure the goal of creating quiet and loud zones would become a reality. Increased background noise can affect the quality of any learning atmosphere, and the proximity of a major YVR flightpath meant that aircraft noise would be a dominant noise source across the campus.


BKL provided acoustical design advice for interior spaces including classrooms, office spaces, and atriums. Informed by decades of research, the most recent international standards for classroom acoustics formed the foundation for BKL’s recommendations. The firm suggested adding mass to strategic areas of the roof and installing custom laminated double-pane windows to help reduce aircraft noise in classrooms and limit its effect on teachers and students.


Project benefits

Decked out with the latest training technology, BCIT’s aerospace campus features a combination of quiet classrooms and noisy hands-on workspaces. BKL optimized classroom acoustics and speech intelligibility by making design recommendations that accord to the latest international standards, successfully limiting background noise from aircraft—both overhead and down the hall.


BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus

Project Name:

BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus

Year Completed:


Capital Cost:

$65 million

Central Hangar:

40,000 square feet

Total Area:

305,000 square feet

Case Studies, Education & Research
Aircraft Noise, Building Services Noise & Vibration, Classroom Acoustics, Sound Isolation