Tuesday, June 27, 2023

President's Message

As the newly elected president of the Alberta Acoustics and Vibration Society (AANViS), I am honoured to write to you and express my thanks to our former president, Richard Patching, for his service and dedication to our society.  Richard remains an active part of the society as Past President. Please reach out to him directly to thank him if you get the chance.


One of the core goals of AANViS is to create and nurture an acoustics community that promotes collaboration and knowledge exchange in the industry. Collaboration is the catalyst for progress, and by fostering an inclusive environment, we can enhance the synergy within our society. I encourage all members to actively engage in discussions, share expertise, and collaborate on projects, thus enabling us to collectively advance the field of acoustics in Alberta and Canada as a whole. Perhaps we'll see you at one of our social events in the future.


Accreditation and recognition of practitioners play a vital role in establishing professional standards. AANViS are exploring the possibility of introducing accreditation for practitioners. Such initiatives will not only provide professionals with well-deserved recognition but also enhance public trust and confidence in the expertise of our members.


Furthermore, it is incumbent upon us, as members of AANViS and CAA, to educate the public, regulators, and the federal government about the importance of considering sound and vibration in decision-making processes. By raising awareness of the impact of acoustics, we can influence policy and decision-makers to prioritize acoustic considerations and mitigate potential adverse effects. Our expertise should be sought after, and we should actively engage with stakeholders to ensure that sound and vibration are adequately addressed in various domains. We will be looking to host learning and discussion sessions for the public and those that are interested in acoustics in the near future. If you have any ideas, please send them to us.


The assessment, management, and regulation of sound, regardless of its source or activity, including construction, is of paramount importance to our society. AANViS, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, will be looking to advocate for comprehensive and effective sound management practices. By providing guidance, expertise, and best practices, we can ensure that sound-related activities are conducted in a manner that minimizes adverse effects on individuals and communities while facilitating sustainable development.


AANViS will be looking to position itself as an advisory and consulted body, providing expert opinions and influencing good practices in policy and regulation. By engaging with governments and decision-makers at various levels, we can advocate for evidence-based approaches, promote the adoption of best practices, and contribute to the development of policies and regulations that align with the needs and aspirations of our acoustics community. We will be looking for help and input from our members in this matter and encourage any of those interested to reach out and let us know.


To secure the future of acoustics in Canada, it is imperative to establish more representation of undergraduate and higher education degree programs in acoustics. By collaborating with educational institutions, AANViS can encourage the development of comprehensive curricula that provide aspiring acousticians with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their careers. By supporting and promoting these educational programs, we can help shape the next generation of acoustics professionals.


Acoustics is integral in creating healthy and sustainable environments, it really matters. By aligning our efforts with a government policy, we can ensure that the importance of acoustics is acknowledged and incorporated into decision-making processes at the highest level and that it makes sense!


As we move forward, let us unite as a vibrant acoustics community, dedicated to collaboration, recognition, education, and advocacy. Together, we can shape the future of acoustics in Alberta and contribute to the well-being of individuals, communities, and the built environment.


Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you in the pursuit of our shared goals.

Dan Clayton, President AANVIS

MetaWrx Acoustic Floor at the South Health Campus

How MetaWrx Helped to Achieve 'Healthy' Noise Levels

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is part of Canada’s first and largest provincewide, fully integrated health system. Every year, more than 4.4 million people come to AHS in search of care.

Part of the AHS South Health Campus is designated as a weight room and fitness space, used by staff to exercise and unwind, with a second, and larger contingency comprised of patients taking part in the various available rehabilitation programs. While the exercise equipment offerings are ideal, the location of the workout room within the multi-story building was anything but—situated on the second floor, the YMCA fitness facility sits squarely between a patient area on the first floor, and physician offices on the third.

When COVID restrictions necessitated that the workout room be shut down, building occupants enjoyed a brief respite from noise created from foot traffic, dropped weights and more, common to regular use of the space. Management acknowledged that, prior to gym’s reopening, the noise issue had to be addressed.

With a desire to reduce both airborne and structure-borne noise, while also adding a running track and treadmills to the space, AHS enlisted the help of Merlin Noise Control to aid in the retrofit project.

Weighing in on the Situation 

To simulate a real-world scenario and noise problem, Merlin Noise Control performed drop tests from 16 test locations. Each entailed releasing a 40-pound dumbbell from chest height onto a 4’x4’ square of 2.25” plywood, built up from three .75” layer sheets. The variable was the floor underlayment. Floor types included: bare floor, 1” rubber flooring, an existing and ineffective three-inch thick dimpled gym mat and a 4’x4’ MetaWrx test assembly.

During the tests, nurses were stationed in multiple spots on multiple floors: two on the 1st floor, two on the 2nd floor near the facility, two on the 3rd floor, and one on the 4th floor. Each individual involved in the testing held a two-way radio and noise monitor and recorded the reading of each drop at their designated location. In addition, each nurse also recorded their own perception of the results to pair qualitative data with the quantitative.

Notably, all of the nurses believed that MetaWrx provided the most noticeable noise difference and was the best option—and the quantitative data supported this conclusion. Not only did MetaWrx show a considerable difference in the sound and vibratory levels experienced on the floors above and below the workout space, everyone stationed on the gym floor during testing noted that minimal vibrations were felt in their feet when weights were dropped on MetaWrx test assembly.

MetaWrx Works

MetaWrx is a new class of isolator designed by HyperDamping, Inc. and offered exclusively by Kinetics in a forward-thinking collaboration. Offering superior shock, vibration attenuation and repeatable performance, MetaWrx is a perfect addition to fitness facilities, dance studios, performing spaces, and other facilities using lightweight low-profile floor build-ups. It is easy to install and meets and exceeds building code criteria while maintaining desired floor and ceiling height.

With a successful installation at Alberta Health Services South Health Campus, Kinetics continues its tradition of innovation, to the delight of the many patients and staff members of AHS.

Update on Banff Train Whistle Cessation Plans


As was reported earlier, there has been a campaign by residents of the Town of Banff to have the CP trains cease using the locomotive’s whistles while passing the town.  There are a number of residences, including a seniors’ home, within 50-metres of the mainline tracks.  CP has reported that there are 20 trains per day, on average, using this primary rail-line.  This line is on of the primary rail shipping routes through Canada and has been so since the 1870’s.

CP has expressed serious concern about people crossing the tracks illegally on this section of track, despite numerous signs and other indications of the safety concerns.  There are warning bells at the at-grade road crossings 2.3 km apart, but these are a good distance away from the areas under consideration and it would be unlikely that those warnings would be heard in the middle of the section.  The train whistle is needed to warn people, and animals, crossing the tracks between the residential and industrial areas of the town.

CP’s preferred solation is for a pedestrian overpass, which would cost several millions of dollars.  There is a cheaper option of a signalized at-grade crossing in the area.  As of the meting of November 22 of last year, the Town Council is currently unwilling to commit this level of funding and has stated that they will hold off until further information, including a safety audit and clarity from CP and Parks Canada, are available.  At the March 27th meeting, the Council directed the Administration to ‘engage Parks Canada and CP Rail on potential improvements to existing alternative routes for pedestrians and cyclists to the Industrial Compound’, and to ‘return to the 2024 Service Review process with the costs and operational feasibility of increasing year-round Roam Public Transit service to the Industrial Compound starting in 2024’.  They had further closed meeting discussions which were not revealed at this time.

It may be noted that the Town of Canmore had a policy for many years restricting residential development within 90 metres of the CP rail-line, but this has been relaxed since the addition of continuous fencing along the tracks to prevent trespass.

In their document ‘Road and Rail Noise: Effects of Housing’, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed methods to protect the interior of houses from exterior noise from these sources.  For buildings this close to a major rail-line, these treatments can be expensive, and it would have been wiser to discourage such construction, given the track has been a pre-existing apart of this environment.  However, given the limited available space in Banff, it is perhaps understandable.

It appears that, at this time, there is no further update.

Richard Patching, P. Eng, M. Eng