Acoustic Logic Consultancy  |  14.12.2017
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Value Engineering
One of the essential qualities that the acoustic consultant must have is the ability to recognise feasible alternatives for the various design systems/components required on a project. A highly innovative approach is required which will provide advantages in the following areas, namely;
  • Construction methodology
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Acoustic performance
  • Construction programme
Acoustic Logic Consultancy has proven in recent years that they can provide this level of value adding to construction projects. This ability has won them a large base of Clients in a relatively short period of time. Their Client base includes some of the largest builders and developers in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  A number of case studies are presented below which illustrate this fact.

Castle House- Elephant and Castle - London
(Europe’s Tallest Residential Tower- 42 storeys)

Acoustic Logic undertook a review of the acoustic design originally prepared by another London consultant on the basis of value engineering the project. The glazing on the first 15 levels of the building was designed as triple glazing to control train noise ingress, as the project sits next to major railway line. Acoustic Logic through measurement and calculations were able to reduce the glazing to a standard IGU, eliminating the highly expensive option proposed by the other consultant and providing considerable cost saving to the project. The windows have been compliance tested and fully comply with project criteria.

The upper levels of the building from Level 24 to level 42 were also specially glazed to control noise ingress from the rooftop wind turbine. Again, a re-evaluation of noise from the turbines allowed the removal of acoustic glazing which was replaced with the standard IGU used for the remainder of the building. The exercise undertaken by Acoustic Logic saved the project considerable money and programme time. Other savings were made with the partitioning systems.

Peterborough Hospital - UK

Acoustic Logic was brought in to review the acoustic design prepared by another consultant. On this project Acoustic Logic were able to remove significant elements which were over designed which included a layer of plasterboard while all impact treatment to floors was removed throughout the hospital. The redesign of glazed screens netted more than £500k in savings. All treatment nominated for the hydraulic services was eliminated and the mechanical design rationalised. The atriums were redesigned removing all acoustic treatment as it had no functional value.

The Pinnacle - Bishopsgate London
(Europe’s Tallest Commercial Tower- 287 metres)

Acoustic Logic undertook a re-evaluation of the acoustic design done for the basement by the incumbent consultant. The basement contained Chillers on level 2 and emergency gen-sets on Level 1. The basement acoustics had been significantly over designed and the exercise undertaken by Acoustic logic was able to remove all acoustic treatment provided an estimated saving of £1m and seriously simplified the construction process, hence effecting a saving in programme time.

Acoustic Logic has also worked at re-engineering the building facade based on wind noise phenomena associated with the planned double ventilated facade. The work of ALC has lead to the reduction of glass thickness, increase of floor plate, the resolution of other energy issues, and the modulation of the facade. Overall the valued added to the project is estimated at 5% of the total project cost.

Al-Zenia -Abu Dhabi -UAE

On this project the most profound saving effected was $52mAED. This was achieved through the re-design of the wall systems for the 1100 apartments, which provided saving to structure as a lightweight system was implemented. This was a landmark achievement in the UAE with the saving equivalent to £8.4m.

Millennium Centre - Brisbane

Acoustic Logic was initially asked to review the design of the mechanical services on this project. The principal issue being that a 100m by 40m primary gallery space was air conditioned by ductwork located on the soffit of the level below and delivering air through floor grilles. The level below were the ductwork was situated was a large plant room and very noisy. The initial project consultant had developed a design which required all ductwork to be clad with three layers of plasterboard, including a 64mm frame and insulation. Due to the complex network of ductwork, the completion of this acoustic treatment was priced at $5m, which resented a massive budget/cost issue for Bovis Lend Lease. Acoustic Logic reviewed this design and was able to achieve the required Rw 57 reduction without cladding he duct work. The answer lay in understanding the fundamental acoustic principles. The project has been constructed and tested and passed successfully. The saving for Bovis Lend Lease was $5mAUD, and the result was excellent.

Commonwealth Games Village - Parkville Victoria

Acoustic Logic was requested to review the glazing design for the Commonwealth Games Village by the Australand - Citta consortium. They had significant concerns as the design prepared by the initial consultant included glazing selections which could not be installed into residential projects, with glazing construction of up tom 17mm laminated glass being nominated for certain sliding door assemblies.

Acoustic Logic undertook a review based on strict compliance with the Vic Roads standards for traffic noise. Through this review they were able to reduce the cost of glazing by 150k. The site of the Commonwealth Games Village is located directly adjacent to the Tullamarine -Citylink freeway, and hence is subjected to heavy traffic volumes from both passenger vehicles and truck traffic.

The investigation undertaken by Acoustic Logic indicated that the initial study had over predicted noise levels for the worst case scenario of traffic volumes for the years 2022, because they used a traffic mix of 23% heavy vehicles, whereas the actual advice from CityLink was 13% heavy vehicles. This made a difference of 3 dB, which is significant in terms of glazing requirements and cost. In addition based on a number of other factor it was determined that the maximum glazing required for the project was 8mm glass, and opposed to the originally specified 17mm glass. The change instigated by Acoustic Logic brought about significant benefits in terms of constructability, programme, and cost benefits, with a saving of $150k (AUD) affected.

Melbourne Central

This project involved the conversion of the old Diamuru department store into a cinema and entertainment complex. Acoustic Logic was the third consultant to work on this project and was able to implement significant change to the design of the cinemas and entertainment areas. Some of these changes included reducing the inter-cinema walls from 8 layers of plasterboard to a total of 4 layers. The removal of a 4 layer of 9mm cfc floor which was to be installed in 4 cinemas which sat over a night club.

The removal of a 4 layer of 9mm CFC floor which was to be installed into the night club tenancy. Other measures implemented included reducing the corridor/cinema construction, the ceiling constructions over the restaurant and entrainment tenancies.

In all there are to be twelve cinemas in this complex, therefore the changes provided significant cost and time advantages to Bovis Lend Lease, with a total saving on acoustics of $2m (AUD). 

Latitude Commercial Tower - World Square

This is a fifty storey commercial tower which will be occupied by Ernst & Young as anchor tenant. ALC were commissioned as the second consultant to review the glazing design of the tower. The tower is located on the corner of Goulburn and George Streets, Sydney

The original consultant specified double glazing consisting of 13.38mm laminated glass, a 12mm airspace and 10.38mm laminated glass. A complete review including re-measurement of noise levels determine the project acoustic requirements could be met using 10.38mm laminated glass 12mm airspace and 6.38mm laminated glass. This was an effective halving of the glass costs on the project. This project is complete and has been fully compliance tested with perfect results. The cost saving effected by Acoustic Logic were $3.5m (AUD)

The Cove - Apartments

This is an upper market residential building located in The Rocks area of Sydney.  Acoustic Logic was brought in as the second consultant to re-design the internal systems as well as review the glazing. For the west façade of the building which façade the City approaches to the Harbour Bridge we were able to reduce the glazing from 17.38mm laminated glass to 10.38 mm laminated glass. This building has been occupied for 18 months as was fully compliance tested.

In addition, the internal acoustics of the building was totally redesigned and tested 100% successfully. The internal wall which was developed for the project by ALC was so successfully that CSR Hebel has now included it as a standard system. This wall is now been used on the Royal Domain Apartments in Melbourne.

Hawkesbury Hospital - Windsor NSW

ALC were asked to undertake a review of the acoustic design completed by another Sydney acoustic consulting firm. The main issues were the system implemented for the exclusion of aircraft noise from RAAF planes and the design of the mechanical services. The pervious consultant had developed a rather complex method of controlling aircraft noise, which involved inserting layers of plasterboard between all the purlins and then sealing them. This exercise was to cost an additional $300k (AUD). ALC were able to review the design and resolve the issues using a conventional suspended ceiling. ALC also reviewed the mechanical services and was able to remove $200k (AUD) of treatment. All were highly effective.

ALC effected $500k worth of savings on this $30m dollar project.

IMAX™ Theatre Darling Harbour - Sydney NSW

The project programme had reached June 1996, and the IMAX™ was scheduled to open on September 13, 1996. Yet the builder could not let the internal acoustics package because no contractor would undertake it due to its complexity. In addition, the package was significantly over budget some 400%.  The acoustic design to date of theatre had been undertaken by two different consultants, leading to the current situation.

ALC were called into the project June 4, 1996 to assist in letting of the tender and possible cost savings. ALC undertook the redesign of the internal acoustics of the theatre and assisted in the letting of the package. This work was competed in a period of six days.

The project was completed on time and the contract for the internal acoustics was let at 5% below the budgeted price.

ALC effected $1.1m (AUD)worth of savings on this $17m (AUD)project, plus assisted in ensuring the project completion date was met.

Canterbury Hospital - Campsie NSW

ALC were commissioned to take over the project from another Sydney Acoustic Consultant. The acoustic design was complex and unbuildable, and extremely expensive.

ALC set about redesigning the fundamental principles, and redefining the project criteria. The new criteria were demonstrated to the client who accepted them and then the design principles were finalised.

A single wall system was formulated for 95% of the entire project except for special cases. The wall system only varied in the sense that it either was insulated or not insulated. The second significant area of acoustic design was the elimination of all above ceiling work. There were no acoustic baffles or barriers constructed above the ceiling. this meant that all services could be freely routed through the ceiling void without the requirement for costly sealing and penetration details. ALC were able to achieve this result by selecting a high density ceiling tile, which was able to obtain 95% of the design objectives. The project is complete and all systems performed as required.

Because of the complex nature of this project, and the fact that the ALC design formed the final cost of the project, the actual dollar savings are difficult to determine, however the elimination of above baffling did yield a $300k (AUD) saving. savings in the areas, such as the single wall system, the simplified ceiling and mechanical and hydraulic services are not as easily quantifiable.

The general design process discussed above is applied to all of ALC’s projects. ALC can clearly add value by effecting savings in cost and providing effective solutions which are able to be built and perform.

Latitude Milsons Point - NSW

ALC were commissioned to take over the project from another Sydney Acoustic Consultant. The acoustic design of the party walls involved the use of a complicated wall system that was expensive and difficult to coordinate on site.

ALC redesigned the systems, using just one party wall system that was symmetrical (which made setting out much easier), rationalised the number and types of plasterboard sheeting needed, and allowed services to be run in all party wall cavities. Prototype walls were built that demonstrated compliance with the project requirements (which were to exceed minimum BCA).