Acoustical Design for Assisted Living Facilities

With residents spending much of their day within units, intrusive noise from a neighbor’s television set, music system, talking, or traffic can create an environment that residents complain about.  Assisted living facilities in many ways are like hotel projects, having the amenities available within the unit and provided for within the building.  They include spaces where people gather and meet for social functions and meals, laundry, and exercise rooms.  The proximity of these types of spaces requires special review and mitigation.  People in assisted living spend much more time in their unit, and care a great deal about the quality of their environment.


Spending your retirement years in the comfort of an assisted living residence is for many, changing from single-family to multi-family, a change that immediately brings up concerns about noise from neighbors.  Many residents will be satisfied to spend much of their day within their unit and venture out for meals, shopping errands, and community activities.  The unit they are living in is now their home and must provide a quiet respite from others in the building.

Within each project there are basic acoustic issues which should be addressed involving sound isolation and sound quality.  These issues are beyond the scope of the Architect and Mechanical Engineer, but are essential for the quality of these projects.  Under International Building Code Section 1208, sound transmission from airborne noise and footfalls are limited.  Guidelines established by the EPA Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC) provide acceptable noise levels from auto, aircraft, and rail traffic within a residential unit.  Noise from plumbing elements is limited by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Limits of noise from heating and air-conditioning systems are provided by the American Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE).

Our Expertise

SSA Acoustics has become a National leader in acoustical design for assisted living facilities.  Solving the details of the noise generating elements in the project with creative, budget-saving solutions is necessary in a growing and competitive market.  We take pride in meeting our clients' needs with experienced personnel, detailed evaluations, and innovative solutions to advanced design issues.  As your project moves from drawings to reality, we will work with the Construction Manager to provide guidance and assistance to ensure the details contained within the drawings are completed correctly in construction.  We provide a complete set of tests to evaluate the performance of acoustic details of your project.  In almost every project we complete testing for STC and IIC performances within the living units.

In areas such as lobbies, cafeteria and meeting spaces, we complete testing for reverberation times to check that the reflective nature of these rooms is consistent with speech, music and paging systems.  We also can inspect mechanical equipment mounts for proper vibration isolation from the structure.  Many times an intrusive noise thought to be related to airborne fan noise, turns out to be a vibration source generating structural noise.