Case Studies

The MaRS Discovery District

Tram and streetcar noise and vibration study and control

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contractor: Ellis Don (Phase I), PCL (Phase II)
Architects:  Adamson Associates Architects (Phase I), B+H Architects (Phase II)

MaRS Discovery District is a public-private partnership whose goal is to incubate and commercialize publicly-funded medical research with the help of local private enterprises. MaRS stands for Medical and Related Sciences.

The District consists of :

A Heritage Building: The District consists of a Heritage Building, which is used as primarily as offices space. There is a glass-roofed public atrium that hosts public and private events.  The Atrium’s lower level also features media centre, video conferencing rooms and a public food court.

The South Tower: Featuring 11-storey structure that houses incubator programs and shared laboratory and research facilities. The 200,000-square-foot wet-lab-capable building spans eight floors in the MaRS Centre. The tower boasts advanced mechanical and electrical systems, floors with enhanced load bearing capabilities and 15-foot  slab-to-slab clearances.

The Medical Discovery Tower: With 400,000 square feet  of state-of-the-art wet labs, the 15-storey Toronto Medical Discovery Tower accommodates leading-edge scientific equipment and houses the basic research activities of two of Canada’s premier research hospitals: the University Health Network and the Hospital for Sick Children.

The West Tower: The 20-storey, 800,000-square-feet, MaRS West Tower is home to established innovation leaders such as Facebook, Autodesk, Airbnb and PayPal Canada as well as newer, emerging start-ups like LEAGUE, Vanhawks, Ecobee, Hubba, and Figure1.

As part of HGC Engineering’s ongoing contribution to this multi-phase project we provided acoustic and vibration control design services, including noise studies for the City and acoustic assessment reports for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

The project infrastructure included high-power rooftop diesel generators (2×1.5 MW), 1000 ton chillers, steam generators, and high-velocity fume hood exhausts.  HGC helped ensure that noise and vibration from this equipment was well below the threshold of perceptibility on the occupied floors, so that sensitive laboratory equipment would not be affected, and also addressed the environmental noise emissions to prevent complaints by neighbouring condominiums.

Acoustical Consulting Services Included:

  • Environmental Noise and Vibration Study
  • Building Services Noise and Vibration control (HVAC Systems, Pumps, Compactors, Generators, etc)
  • Vibration Isolation of Sensitive Equipment
  • Acoustical Privacy Between classrooms, offices, labs, meeting rooms etc.
  • Noise and Vibration Control of Common Spaces
  • Structural Vibration Assessment
  • Façade and Glazing Specification
  • Shop Drawing Review
  • Site Inspections



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