The Walter Fedy Partnership (TWFP) is a multi-disciplinary architectural, engineering, and construction management firm that has been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo region for over 60 years. The Building Engineering department, managed by Mr. Ed Fowler, designs the internal mechanical systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing within new and renovated buildings. During the design stage for these systems, the company uses the standards developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to assess sound levels within various types of building occupancies. In 2009, the company was under contract to design a heat pump to be installed directly above an office area located within Company A's retail space in Waterloo, Ontario. However, there was concern that the heat pump would generate excessive background noise along its path as shown in Figure 1, which would interfere with the business activities of employees working within the space below.
James Dyck, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was asked to perform an acoustical analysis of a proposed Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system for the retail space within Company A and recommend solutions for maintaining HVAC-generated sound within acceptable levels as per ASHRAE standards.
This case study is intended for use in Civil Engineering courses covering topics in noise pollution. The case covers topics in acoustical consideration for new construction and renovation. Student will learn to generate a design requirement for acoustical analysis, and design constraints and criteria for noise analysis. The case could be used to illustrate effective calculation of sound level.