Location: Markham, Ontario, Canada
Architects: Kirkor Architects and Planners
Developer: Times Group
HGC Engineering was retained to conduct a noise feasibility study for a proposed master planned community in the City of Markam, Regional Municipality of York. This study was required by the municipality as part of the approvals process.
This major residential and commercial development, known as Uptown Markham, represents the largest landholding in the entire Highway 7 Precinct Plan area for the City of Markham. It is expected to transform Highway 7 around Warden Ave into a more vibrant, urban-type boulevard and neighbouring community. In an area of roughly 86 acres this planned community proposes approximately 4,400 residential units, 500,000 square feet of office & other commercial floor area, as well as schools and a retaining green space to create parks along the existing Rouge River Valley. All buildings will be LEED certified ensuring the community’s energy efficiency and environmentally friendliness.
Highway 7 is a four-lane road in this area, with a centre left turn lane which will be expanded to 6 lanes in the future. Sounds from adjacent Highway 7 and Warden Avenue dominate the acoustical environment on the existing site. To the west of Warden Avenue is a major hotel chain. To the northwest are the Town of Markham municipal offices. On the northeast corner is a retail plaza. To the east of the subject site is a Garden Nursery. There are residential buildings 3 to 10 storeys in height to the south of the subject site.
The noise feasibility study was based on the concept site plans prepared by the Architects. Traffic noise predictions were used to find the future worst-case zones of impact. The results were used to investigate the general type and extent of noise mitigation required for the proposed dwelling facades and outdoor living areas (OLA’s). The predicted sound levels were compared to the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment (MOE), the Region of York and the Town of Markham.
In general, sounds from commercial equipment or activities in the area were not specifically discernable over the traffic sounds from Highway 7 and Warden Avenue.
Assessment Conclusions and Recommendations
Daytime and night-time sound levels were found to exceed MOE guideline limits at the façades of the multi-storey buildings with exposure to the major roadways. Central air conditioning as an alternative means of ventilation to open windows was recommended for all residential units, so that bedroom windows could remain closed against the traffic noise. Upgraded glazing constructions was also suggested to provide sufficient acoustical insulation for all dwelling units with exposure to Highway 407, Highway 7 and Warden Avenue. Furthermore, as per the MOE guidelines, warning clauses would be required to inform future residents of traffic noise issues.
During the site visit, there were no specific significant stationary sources of noise identified. Nevertheless, due to the proximity of the site to a variety of different commercial uses, it was recommended that warning clauses also be included for the potentially affected buildings, to also indicate that noise from such commercial activities or equipment may at times be audible.
Detail Block Studies
Since the original noise feasibility study, we have continued to do conduct detailed noise studies. We have subsequently competed studies for Block 6,7, and 8 and are currently doing the study for Block 5.
Acoustical Consulting Services Being Delivered Include:
- Detailed acoustical noise reports and audits in accordance with Ontario Ministry of the Environment procedures
- Noise Feasibility Studies
- Block Studies
- Detailed Noise Impact Studies
- Specified noise controls
- Developed noise control plan