Acoustics Awards 2023 has garnered an incredibly positive response from the industry. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the applicants for their unwavering support and dedication towards advancing innovation and technology within the field.
After a meticulous screening process, 25 submissions spanning five categories, including Environmental Noise, Architectural Acoustics, Product/Material Invention, IT Application and Other Excellence, have been chosen as finalists. Comprising a stellar group of acoustics veterans and professors, the jury panel will deliver final judging on 2 and 9 September 2023.
Finalists will be contacted by HKIOA AA 2023 Secretariat for further arrangements on the final judging. Congratulations to all AA2023 Finalists!
Category 1 : Environmental Noise
Eastern District Council (EDC) advocated for a permanent outdoor event space to hold cultural activities such as Chinese Operas and create a new and holistic waterfront experience to attract visitors as well as serving the community. The proposal was to build an amphitheatre: an outdoor performance stage with a canopy for a maximum capacity of 1000 persons. Due to the frequently noise complaints in Hoi Sham Park and Tuen Mun Park, many stakeholders in the project concerns singing activities and other amplified sounds would create nuisance noise to the neighbourhood. Shen Milsom & Wilke (Acoustic Consultant of the project) was to make sure noise generated from activities would not create a nuisance to the neighbourhood and submit Noise Impact Assessment Report to obtain Environmental Protection Department (EPD) approval for this project. The Project is to find a way to actively control the sound systems brought into the venue by the hirer. The idea was using Bruel & Kjaer sound monitoring system that the measured readings instantly compared to the threshold level, and once the level was exceeded, it sent a feedback signal to the sound control processor (Designed by China-tech Engineering Co. Ltd.) The processor then gradually compressed the output sound volume to meet the criteria. The objective was to demonstrate the activities noise must not be 10 dB above the current ambient noise level.
Hong Kong is well-known for its high density metropolitan with residential developments next to heavily trafficked roads. To protect residents from traffic noise impact and address growing demand for public housing, Hong Kong Housing Authority collaborated with Environmental Protection Department and Hong Kong Polytechnic University to innovate and integrate mitigation measures into building envelopes/facades delivering building formats for sustainable development. This submission shares their experiences in research and development, focusing on "Enhanced Acoustic Balcony" design derived from the innovative "Acoustic Window" concept, and discusses how to cater for challenges of traffic noise encountered in public housing developments.
Innovative Noise Mitigation Design (INMD) emerges for over a decade. In past decade, its application focused on road traffic noise which is the commonly shared problem of most developments in Hong Kong. INMD for railway noise is less popular. The performance is also less satisfactory due to stricter standard imposed. In a recently built development immediate to East Rail, railway noise impact has been addressed by INMD. The applicant combined INMD with conventional direct mitigation to further enhance noise reduction performance. As verified by field test, the combined innovative design can effectively mitigate the impact and relax the constraint to the design.
The acoustic design for Clockenflap 2023 was highly innovative, incorporating cutting-edge technologies and techniques to achieve optimal acoustic performance in a challenging festival environment. This included the use of complex models of stage speaker simulations to determine sound levels, and the strategic placement of barrier mats and storage containers to mitigate noise. The acoustic design was executed with excellence, achieving optimal acoustic performance while meeting strict noise limits set by the government. The careful management of sound levels during the festival ensured that the audience was fully immersed in the music, while also ensuring that nearby residents were not disturbed.
The project team (MTR/Contractor) has to think out of the box and innovate a strong and dense enough structure with the acoustic materials to achieve the necessary degree of noise reduction and to be flexible enough to suit the condition. So, work can be undertaken for an extended time under a construction noise permit (CNP) to catch up on program recovery. After several round trials, a noise curtain of 22m in height and more than 48m wide has been composed of fabric, barium sulphate and fibre glass with a density of 6.4kg/m2 and eventually successfully granted the CNP by EPD.
he EMSD’s Additional District Cooling System (DCS) is locating next to the Kai Tak Nullah No.1 Desilting Compound, ADCS is facing different types of Noise Sensitive Receivers: for example, Kai Tak Tunnel Administration Building and Vibe Centro. Different innovative construction methods or products have been adopted such as Battery Energy Storage System, MiMEP to minimize noise impact arising from construction activities.
Category 2 : Architectural Acoustics
The Shaw Auditorium is a new landmark for the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). The multipurpose building provides a dynamic venue that can transform from a concert hall for large orchestras to a conference hall, lecture auditorium, proscenium theatre and exhibition space. The flexible design of the auditorium, equipped with retractable seating, allows for multiple arrangements with a seating capacity of 850 for concerts, and over 1,300 in flat floor configurations.
Marshall Day Acoustics (MDA) provided full acoustic design services for the auditorium, multipurpose rooms, and ancillary spaces including room acoustics, mechanical services noise & vibration control and sound insulation. MDA was involved for the whole of the Project from concept design, detailed design, tendering, and construction supervision, right through to commissioning.
The building acts as a new cultural beacon for the HKUST and forms a new heart at its centre. MDA worked closely with the project team to ensure the acoustic design could support the functional day to day needs of HKUST’s thriving university life. For our client, HKUST, the highest priority was to ensure the outcome of the construction quality would achieve the targeted acoustic design objectives and perform the multiple purposes as briefed.
Galaxy Design Team was looking for Innovation lightweight Products to perform Thermal Reduction and Sound Insulation underneath PTFE Roof Membrane 16,000sq.m, there is no structural steel column inside the dome shape building. Kinetics designed and built 2 layers of Kinetics Acoustic Blankets with 400mm air gap. This innovative solution provides superior STC60 and reduces dead load and shorten construction time with Environmental Friendly Concept. Besides, two nos of 18m height of Operable walls was designed and installed with STC60 between Arena and Convention Center. We design and built the Plenary Theater for 800seats to achieve NC18 with electrical sliding absorptive and reflective wall panel system for multi-purpose function.
M+ occupies a prominent site on the southernmost edge of Kowloon, overlooking Victoria Harbour. Opened in 2021,it includes 17,000m² of exhibition space across 33 galleries, and three cinemas, a Learning Hub and Research Centre. The M+ acoustic design was able to overcome various key challenges in meeting the complex requirements of the building and provide an excellent comfortable, engaging atmosphere for visitors to view exhibits, by allowing visitors to better appreciate exhibits and by minimizing noise distractions, which can be especially important in spaces where quiet contemplation is desired to enable a high-quality visitor experience.
Victoria Dockside project exemplifies the acoustic design successfully immersive in a multi-complex development, it features a 65-storey tower accommodating Rosewood hotel and grade-A office, a 14-storey serviced apartments and a 10-storey shopping mall with cinema and show space. The constant buzz of activity can become overwhelming, acoustic design offers a respite from this auditory chaos. Whether it is a serene office environment or energetic fitness gym, a peaceful hotel guestroom or good vibes live music club, applying design strategies to achieve comfortable and enjoyable environment, fosters a sense of calm and allows individuals to focus, relax and rejuvenate.
As the arena has been in operation for 18 years and the demand for music performance events continues to grow, there is an urgent need to enhance its acoustic performance. The objective of this study is to transform the arena into a world-class performance venue that can offer top-notch acoustic quality. The sources of excessive sound reflection are identified and echoes and implemented solutions to address the problem. The installation of newly added sound-absorbing materials has significantly improved the acoustics of the arena, resulting in a clear and immersive listening experience for concert-goers.
TKO-AMC is a newly built advanced high end manufacturing base for “new industries”, it aims to serve as a base for high precision manufacturing, such as, electronics, robotics, sensors fabrication and so on, and also advanced testing and analytical laboratories. Such usages required very low floor vibration, to achieve the specified vibration constraint, a high performance floating floor was proposed by acoustic consultant to control the vibration source. As the acoustic contractor, Architectural Acoustics (HK) Limited and CDM Stravitec provided DESIGN, SUPPLY, INSTALLATION ad TESTING of the floating floor, the end results are more then satisfactory.
Category 3 : Product/Material Invention
Magnetic Tuned Mass Damper (MTMD) is a vibration absorber to reduce the re-radiated noise from steel plate and supplied by Acoustics Innovation Limited (AIHK). This product is invented by Ir. Wilson Ho, the founder of AIHK. The first on-site implementation is carried out in 2022 at CEDD project namely Tung Chung New Town Extension - Major Infrastructure Works in Tung Chung East (Contract No. NL/2020/03). The project is constructed by Build King Civil Engineering Limited and supervised by AECOM Asia Company Limited.
MTMD incorporates following key features to enhance its performance.
1. MTMD is effective for low-damping material, such as steel plate, where plate resonance is the major noise source during machine operation.
2. Target frequencies can be tuned independently from 200Hz to 1500Hz, by adjusting stiffness of resilient layer and mass of oscillation masses. The vibration energy of steel plate at the tuned frequency would be transferred to MTMD and dissipated in the resilient layers by hysteresis.
3. Lightweight structure that allows quick installation by a single worker.
4. Space saving and easy installation by the use of magnet attachment on sheet pile.
Auto-reclosing SilentUP (retractable noise barrier) is the world's first retractable barrier that supplied by Acoustics Innovation Limited (AIHK). This product is invented by Ir. Wilson Ho, the founder of AIHK. Our retractable noise barrier has been widely used under challenging constraints in more than 300 construction sites, in both Hong Kong and Singapore. It does not require a concrete foundation and offers the following benefits:
1. Effective – up to 27dB(A) reduction in white noise, excellent gap sealing magnetic joint that allows SilentUP to form a continuous wall
2. Quick & Quiet – allows night-time installation up to 7m high by manpower
3. Stability and safety – patented automatic wind load relief mechanism allows light-weight structure remains safe during occasional gusts
4. Flexible – Modular design allows localized different barrier heights during installation
5. Reliability - Enhanced magnetic closing mechanism allows SilentUP to achieve auto-reclosing at low wind speed
SilentUP is listed in CITF pre-approved list under Advanced Tools and Equipment (CITF: PA19-022). Successful applicant can have 70% refund of amount for purchase with ceiling of HK$1,500,000 and 50% refund of amount for rental with ceiling of HK$1,000,000 and12 month rental period.
Road traffic noise is receiving increased attention in contemporary urbanised cities such as HongKong, for its wide-ranging detrimental effects on health, society, and the economy. With therising popularity of EVs, tyre/road noise is recognised as the dominant contributor to traffic noisepollution. An advancement has been developed in enhancing the quantification capability ofwidely-used close-proximity (CPX) technology for measuring tyre/road noise on urban roads.This development enables real-time measurement of the sound power level of tyre/road noise,which represents an absolute metric for noise sources and is less susceptible to variations in themeasurement environment in urbanised cities.
The air-cooled chillers operating 24 hours on the rooftop of Haven of Hope Hospital generated airborne noise affecting the wards downstairs. NAP Acoustics was appointed and a unique acoustic solution combining SNAPAcoustics NewEra Acoustic Louvres and QRD Noise Reducers was adopted. This design blocks the line segment of plant noises to noise sensitive receivers in different positions and directions and increases barrier attenuation while enabling natural draught ventilations, allowing dissipation of heat of the chillers without increasing too much the height of the louvre barrier. The project resulted in a quiet environment for the healthcare workforce and patients
A detail investigation to a tonal noise inside a hotel guest room revealed that there was structure-borne noise transmission from the chiller plant above. After the rectification of the vibration control device, another innovative solution using the tuned mass damper was developed to further reduce the residual tonal noise.
Highlights of the turned mass damper:
- Unique solution to address specific source of structure-borne noise emanating from the chiller
- Development of experimental prototype
- In-situ tested
- Reduction 45-70% reduction in forcing frequency at source
- 10dB coincident tonal noise level reduction in receiving room
- Cost-effective and easy retrofit solution without complex modifications and impact on the hotel operations
Business Environment Council (BEC) was looking to improve the speech intelligibility of their Exhibition Hall. NAP Acoustics was invited to design, supply and install treatment to reduce the reverberation time at 500Hz to less than 1.5 seconds. SNAPAcoustics Harmoni-Cork panels, a 100% natural expanded cork product with thermal insulating and heat retention properties, was proposed with the design to achieve peak absorption at mid to low frequency. The result proven to have met not only the acoustical requirements but aesthetically incorporated with BEC's interior design retaining natural light, achieving 'Visual Tranquillity' and aligned with BEC's mission of advocating environmental excellence.
Category 4 : IT Application
The project's objective is to create a cost-effective real-time AI sound recognition tool that can monitor environmental noise and track down specific construction activities. With the AI sound recognition tool, noise management on the construction site can be made more effective. To achieve this objective, an AI model has been built to recognize noise from three types of construction equipment, namely percussive piling, excavator-mounted breakers and hand-held breakers. These equipment are well known for generating intrusive noise during operations. In addition, the project entails the development of a mobile application and a backend cloud server. These technological components enable real-time AI identification, audio signal recording, and prompt alerts to contractors and EPD when these equipment are being used outside permitted hours. The utilization of the mobile application at construction sites facilitates unmanned monitoring, thereby leading to resource savings in terms of site inspections and investigations.
ACOEM's ATD system is a more accurate, flexible, and comprehensive noise source identification system than conventional acoustic cameras. It uses 5 microphones to locate and track noise sources with precision, and it is weatherproof and easy to deploy. The ATD system can also provide engineers and researchers with more information about noise sources, which can be used to optimize noise control strategies.
The iSmartBuild(R) vibration monitoring system offers 24/7 vibration surveillance and real-time data analytics to ensure structural safety. It also sends instant alerts in case of abnormal findings, eliminating the need for additional technical personnel. The system is highly customizable and can be integrated into existing equipment and facilities, making it suitable for a variety of construction needs.Cai
Category 5 : Other Excellence
Development of innovative “Acoustic Windows” and “Enhanced Acoustic Balconies” is of great demand which has the unique characteristics of achieving substantial noise reduction and allowing natural ventilation – a proven sustainable living format. A novel testing method with innovative facilities is developed at the laboratory which greatly reduce testing time. This is named as “Acoustics Space Shuttles” for conducing sound insulation measurement for windows according to ISO 16283-3. Hundreds of tests have been conducted in the “Acoustics Space Shuttles” to assist EPD to establish Practice Note. This innovative testing facility has made noticeable contributions to Hong Kong to speed up the residential building developments.
In the past decades, Acoustic Window and Acoustic Balcony were introduced and applied in concerned projects to provide high noise performance regarding various kind of noises. Being an acoustic consultant, Ramboll Hong Kong Limited collaborated with other construction parties, has contributed in many residential developments and community services infrastructure developments, to propose the application of the measures, including preliminary design, scientific researches and on-site collaboration. The application successfully helps tackling the noise issues of subject sites, and become a common solution for various kind of noise impacts for both private and public sectors, and also community services infrastructure.
This study presents numerical and experimental investigations into the acoustic behaviour of a micro-perforated panel (MPP) backed by a shallow cavity under a fully developed grazing ﬂow. A hybrid Rayleigh's end correction model for T-shaped resonators is utilized to calculate the acoustic reactance of a very shallow cavity and an acoustics impedance model of MPPs at grazing flow is established. This study elucidates the influence of cavities upon the acoustic behaviour of MPPs in the presence of grazing flows; furthermore, it proposes an impedance model that is more suitable for predicting the acoustic performance of booming compact meta-structures.
The World Health Organization recognising noise pollution as the second largest environmental contributor to health problems. Environmental noise can originate from diverse engineering applications, including the production of green energy, the building services industry, and aviation. The objective of the project was to develop an innovative approach to designing low-noise airfoils, capable of significantly reducing flow noise power while maintaining the original aerodynamic performance during operation. The outcomes of the project present a readily implementable concept that advances quiet technology for contemporary low-speed flow-mechanical systems, such as wind and tidal turbines, wings for small-to-medium-sized aircraft, and propellers for air taxis.