Brookfield Place’s claim to fame might be being Calgary, Canada’s tallest building. However, it’s also a showcase of advanced sound masking technology. Businesses on 40 of the 56 floors are now outfitted with hundreds of white and pink noise-generators, speakers and controllers, all of them from AtlasIED.
One of the company’s dealers, Vibra-Sonic Control, is the property management firm’s chosen sound-masking contractor. The firm custom-designed, engineered and calibrated speech-privacy solutions for a variety of offices, boardrooms and meeting spaces for five different client tenants.
Ensuring Privacy and Comfort Throughout Each Space
The focus of each customer’s businesses, ranging from banking to oil production. However, they all had one thing in common: a need for speech confidentiality and acoustical comfort while working onsite.
“AtlasIED’s M1000 sound-masking speakers, paired with ASP-MG2240 amplified sound-masking controllers, were the obvious choice,” Vibra-Sonic regional manager Paul Kamoh says. Together, they create a system that scales and configures for each client’s specific needs. That makes AtlasIED the single sound-masking source for Brookfield Place’s first tenants.
“Plus, we knew through our 20-plus years carrying AtlasIED equipment that the M1000s and ASP-MG2240s would satisfy the strict confidentiality requirements of Brookfield businesses, including a law office, a healthcare facility [and] a financial institution, as well as meet National Research Council guidelines for optimal speech privacy,” Kamoh continues.
Fine-Tuning for the Right Acoustical profile
The plan rolled out as Brookfield Place was under construction. This allowed the electrical contractors at Western Electric to tuck the equipment above the ceiling for a clean, unobtrusive installation.
Vibra-Sonic analyzed the infrastructure, acoustical characteristics and sound-masking needs of each office space. Then, it created a comprehensive blueprint indicating speaker and controller locations to ensure optimal performance.
“Speech privacy and employee productivity may be the main reasons to implement sound masking,” Kamoh says. He adds that attractive aesthetics help seal the deal. “It’s important for productivity and comfort that employees aren’t distracted by speakers.” He notes that the noise that the system generates should become a natural part of the environment.
The small footprint and installation versatility of the M1000s allowed Kamoh to position and calibrate the speakers for an even distribution of the sound. The result is a peaceful, calming effect that can mask confidential conversations and minimize “unwanted, distracting ambient noise.”
The configuration and installation of the ASP-MG2240s couldn’t have been any easier, either, says Kamoh. One major benefit is the built-in amplification, noise generators and DSP with control software. Real-world conditions determine the sound-masking levels, all preset at the factory. “This helped us maintain a very streamlined workflow, despite the enormity of the project,” Kamoh continues.
Vibra-Sonic tuned the sound-masking systems to customize the levels for each environment. All sound-masking settings are storable on the ASP-MG2240 and a PC for file backup and recall. That gives Vibra-Sonic a head-start on Phase 2 of the Brookfield Place rollout.
Forty Floors and Counting
A quick calculation by Kamoh puts the AtlasIED sound-masking total at roughly 160 ASP-MG2240 controllers and 4,000 M1000 speakers. And that’s only the first phase of the build-out!
Construction at Brookfield Place is ongoing, with new tenants routinely added to the building. So far, Vibra-Sonic has equipped most tenants with AtlasIED’s square, black, plenum-rated M1000 speakers for a hidden sound-masking solution. Occasionally, the firm adds a black-and-white, round M1000 speaker in spaces with open ceilings.
Sometimes, it’s not possible to conceal the speaker above the ceiling, “These flush-mounted versions in a color that matches the particular office aesthetic are a great alternative,” Kamoh says.
No matter which style of speaker befits the office design, Kamoh expects most newcomers to follow the original tenants’ AtlasIED sound-masking lead.
Another version of this article was originally posted on our sister site Commercial Integrator.