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Acoustic Noise & Vibration Control Engineering

Acoustic Noise & Vibration Control Engineering

Cambium specializes in acoustics, noise, and vibration control engineering. We have a highly skilled team of engineers that are experts in conducting detailed acoustic assessments, performing acoustic audits, and managing noise abatement projects. Our team has worked extensively with a range of clients such as industrial and food manufacturing companies, ready mix concrete companies, and mining companies on controlling and containing their noise impact on the outdoor environment.

Acoustic measurements are generally required to identify the sources of noise and the related impact on the surrounding environment. Cambium personnel are trained and experienced in conducting noise measurements for various applications. We use calibrated, state-of-the-art instrumentation and measurement techniques to accurately determine the sound power level of the noise-producing source. We also utilize acoustic modelling software to calculate, assess, predict, and display environmental noise impacts. The software uses calculation algorithms and 3D visualization of the predicted noise emissions, often referred to as acoustical mapping.

Three speciality areas of our environmental acoustic consulting include:

To complement our outdoor environmental acoustic services, Cambium also specializes in indoor acoustic and noise control for the built environment. A complete outline of these services can be found in the building sciences section of our website.

Acoustic Assessments Reports

An application for an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) may require an Acoustic Assessment Report to be completed. This generally involves characterizing the noise sources at the facility, either through onsite measurements at existing facilities or using published data and engineering estimates for proposed facilities, and modelling the propagation of noise in the surrounding area to determine facility’s noise impact at sensitive points of reception for comparison against the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s sound level limits. If required, Cambium will also provide recommendations and design for noise control, and develop a Noise Abatement Action Plan. The results of the assessment (and Noise Abatement Action Plan if applicable) are documented in the Acoustic Assessment Report which is prepared in accordance with the Ministry’s reporting requirements, and is submitted to the Ministry for review with the ECA application.

Acoustic Audits

Occasionally, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change may issue an ECA to a facility with a requirement to complete an acoustic audit within a given timeline. Acoustic audits are required to be completed by an “independent third party’ who was not involved in the original acoustic assessment. The general intent of an acoustic audit is to verify the noise impacts at sensitive receptors through direct measurement at the receptor location. These measurements can range from short term – attended measurements – to long term monitoring over days, or sometimes weeks. Cambium has the long term monitoring equipment and knowledge and expertise to analyze the measurement data to satisfy the Ministry’s measurement and reporting requirements.

Noise and Vibration Impact Study – Development and Land Use Changes

With the increase in intensified urban development comes the additional need to address – and avoid – the challenges associated with incompatible adjacent land uses. One of these challenges is ensuring an appropriate acoustic environment for the occupants of a development (and the neighbours of a proposed development).

Cambium is experienced in conducting noise and vibration impact studies for development and land use changes. We can help both developers and municipalities to ensure an appropriate assessment is completed for a specific development project and that any issues are addressed at the appropriate stages of design. Accurate and thorough assessment of land use compatibility during the planning and design stages of a project is critical to ensuring that compatibility issues are identified and addressed before occupants move in, and avoid the need for costly mitigation post occupancy.

There has been a noticeable increase in requests by municipalities for the completion of noise and vibration studies as part of the approvals process for new developments, particularly among smaller municipalities. This is largely due to the following publications:

  • Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) formerly the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Environmental Noise Guideline: Stationary and Transportation Sources– Approval and Planning NPC-300
  • Railway Association of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations in May 2013 through the Proximity Issues initiative.


However, as neither document has authority under the Planning Act, it is ultimately up to the local Planning Authority to determine how and when to apply the guidelines; the result is implementation that is somewhat haphazard across the province, with the requirements of the requested study not always being clear.

Cambium’s acoustic engineers have a exceptional understanding of these documents and MECP regulations. We can provide a noise impact assessment study that meets the requirements of these guidelines and other regulations to help move your project forward in its development.

Vibration Monitoring

Cambium can measure and monitor vibration impacts, whether from transportation sources such as trains, or construction vibrations on neighbouring land uses, such as may be required by City of Toronto By-law 514-2008.

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