Republic Towers & North Toronto Collegiate Institute
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Architects: Burka Architects (Condo Towers), CS&P Architects (School)
The Republic Condominium project represents a great example of creative land use planning and high-density urban development. Tridel, a leading private developer joined forces with the Toronto District School Board to create a win-win scenario for both: a new state-of-the-art-school for the district’s community, and a prestigious high-rise condominium project in a high demand neighbourhood, for the builder and its future occupants.
The development incorporates two condominium towers (24 and 27 stories) on top of a modern, new collegiate institute. The institute replaced an adjacent century-old secondary school that continued to function until the end of construction, when it was finally torn down to make way for a new sports field. Both towers and the school are fully integrated and share a common underground parking garage.
North Toronto Collegiate Institute
The new high-performance school has achieved a LEED Gold designation. Strategies to promote energy efficiency were incorporated throughout. The four-storey school includes classrooms, 400-seat auditorium, library and triple gymnasium. The ground level features a dramatic, three-storey theatre lobby and performance hall. The 156,000-square-foot collegiate institute also incorporates heritage components of the older school.
HGC Engineering Responsiblities
HGC Engineering was retained to provide comprehensive acoustical engineering services for both the high-rise residential towers and the new school.
Sound isolation between the school and the residential towers was of particular concern to the developer. The new school’s 400-seat auditorium was built as a theatrical and musical performance venue and so the auditorium stage was designed as a “building with in a building” to mitigate sound transfer to the residential areas of the joint development. Acoustical provisions were also specified for the auditorium’s mechanical room to address the potential for sound flanking from the auditorium through the mechanical room to the condominiums.
School Specific Acoustics
We were requested to review and address transformer noise related issues in the mezzanine of the theatre and its control room.
Furthermore, we measured and assessed the reverberation characteristics in the Drama/Rehearsal Room where there had been concerns about the reverberation inside the room and the impact on its suitability as a rehearsal space.
Republic Towers Specific Acoustics
In the design phase of the residential side of the project, we reviewed drawings and identified potential sources of noise and vibration throughout the development, particularly from mechanical systems, and then proposed cost-effective remedies. For example, the cooling plant included chillers on the rooftop mechanical levels, directly over penthouse suites in both towers. We design engineered special supplementary architectural treatments such as suspended ceilings to reduce chiller noise.
We recommended appropriate construction methods and materials to control both noise and vibration as set by building code requirements and developer expectations. We also assessed potential environmental noise from the new school’s sports field to determine its impact on the project and its future occupants.
Amenity Related Issues
We reviewed the project’s amenities and their relationship to potentially impacted adjacent spaces and designed appropriate noise control solutions.
In one tower a 16-theatre was flanked by a fitness centre and the garbage compactor room. We proposed acoustical solutions that minimized the intrusion into the theatre of exercise equipment and compactor or chute noise.
In the other tower another theatre was situated next to a washroom and a meeting room. Low frequency noise from the theatre could intrude on the meeting room and noise from the washroom could be noticeable in the theatre. We engineered solutions to mitigate the potential.
In addition, the party rooms in each tower were below suites, and therefore noise controls solutions were incorporated into the design of the party space to alleviate concerns there as well.
Acoustical Consulting Services Included:
- Environmental Noise and Vibration Study
- Sound Transmission Class (STC) Analysis
- Building Services Noise and Vibration control (HVAC Systems, Pumps,Compactors,Generators, etc)
- Acoustical Privacy Between Suites
- Noise and Vibration Control of Amenity Spaces (Theatre, Fitness Centres, Party Rooms, etc)
- Tarion Bulletin 19 Compliance and Certification
- Façade and Glazing Specification
- Shop Drawing Review
- Site Inspections
- Occupant Noise Complaint Investigations