The following document has been prepared by Lalande + Doyle Architects Inc. to provide an overview of clarifications, common challenges, and best practices related to HVAC and mechanical air-flow adjustments and their impacts on room acoustics.
It is intended to supplement the original report Cultural Venue Recovery Project published on August 26, 2021 by Arts Network Ottawain a strategic cultural partnership with City of Ottawa’s Cultural Development and Initiatives. The engineer report was prepared by Bouthillette Parizeau.
The Cultural Venue Recovery Project August 2021 report’s mandate was to identify physical or mechanical adjustments that could be made to venue spaces, improving indoor air quality to reduce risk of aerosolized COVID-19 particle transmission. However, we also strongly encourage venue owners to be aware of potential and substantial impacts of the proposed recommendations on a venue’s acoustical profile, compromising the acoustical integrity of that space, and to exercise caution when modifying equipment to not increase ambient and machine-driven acoustical noise levels.
The comments remain closely aligned with the main themes and recommendations presented in Cultural Venue Recovery Project report and are summarized at the end with a few additional recommendations with regards to overall system modifications. They do not include other broader subjects related to room acoustics.