Widgets Magazine

AtlasIED Sound Masking Systems Maintain Speech Privacy for Tenants in Calgary’s Tallest Building

Brookfield Place’s claim to fame may be that of Calgary’s tallest building. But it’s also a monumental showcase of advanced sound masking technology, with businesses on 40 of the 56 floors outfitted with hundreds of white and pink noise-generators, speakers, and controllers from AtlasIED. As the property management firm’s chosen sound masking contractor, AtlasIED dealer Vibra-Sonic Control custom-designed, engineered, and calibrated speech privacy solutions for a large variety of new offices, boardrooms, and meeting spaces of five vastly different clients. 

Deep Roots in Sound Masking Make AtlasIED Brookfield’s Go-To Source

Although the focus of each customer’s business differed—from banking to oil production–they all required the same comprehensive level of sound masking for speech confidentiality and acoustical comfort. Vibra-Sonic didn’t have to dig deep into AtlasIED’s commercial audio portfolio to find a solution that would suit all configurations. “AtlasIED’s M1000 sound masking speakers paired with ASP-MG2240 amplified sound masking controllers were the obvious choice,” says Vibra-Sonic regional manager Paul Kamoh. Together they create a system that’s easily scaled and configured for the specific needs of each client, making AtlasIED the single sound masking source for Brookfield Places’ first tenants. 

“Plus, we knew through our 20-plus years carrying AtlasIED equipment that the M1000s and ASP-MG2240s would satisfy the strict confidentiality requirements of Brookfield businesses including a law office, healthcare facility, financial institution, as well as meet National Research Council guidelines for optimal speech privacy,” Kamoh continues.

Scalability and “Set-and-Forget” Software Streamline Massive Deployment

After analyzing the infrastructure, acoustical characteristics, and sound masking needs of each office space, Vibra-Sonic created a comprehensive blueprint indicating speaker and controller locations to ensure optimal performance. The plan rolled out as Brookfield Place was under construction, allowing the electrical contractors at Western Electric to easily tuck the equipment above the ceiling for a clean, unobtrusive installation. “Speech privacy and employee productivity may be the main reasons to implement sound masking; attractive aesthetics help seal the deal,” Kamoh says. “It’s important for productivity and comfort that employees aren’t distracted by speakers and that the noise generated by the system becomes a natural part of the environment. The small footprint and installation versatility of the AtlasIED M1000s allow us to position and calibrate the speakers so that the sound is diffused and evenly distributed for a peaceful effect, all while masking confidential conversations and minimizing unwanted, distracting ambient noise.”

As for the configuration and installation of the ASP-MG2240s? “It couldn’t have been any easier,” remarks Kamoh. Amplification, noise generators, and a DSP with control software are built-in, and sound masking levels are preset at the factory, based on real-world conditions. “This helped us maintain a very streamlined workflow despite the enormity of the project,” Kamoh continues. Vibra-Sonic expertly tuned the sound masking systems to customize the levels for each environment. “Once it’s set, we can forget it … until our next customer.” All sound masking settings can be stored on the ASP-MG2240 and a PC for file back-up and recall, giving Vibra-Sonic a head-start on Phase 2 of the Brookfield Place rollout. 

100 Speakers and 4 Controllers on Each of 40 Floors … and Counting

A quick calculation by Kamoh puts the AtlasIED sound masking total at roughly 160 ASP-MG2240 controllers and 4,000 M1000 speakers, and, and that’s only the first phase of the build-out. Construction of the 4- year-old Brookfield Place is ongoing, with new tenants routinely added to the building. So far, Vibra-Sonic has equipped most tenants with AtlasIED’s square, black, plenum-rated M1000 speakers for a hidden sound masking solution, adding an occasional black and white, round M1000 speaker in spaces with open ceilings. “When we can’t conceal the speaker above the ceiling, these flush-mounted versions in a color that matches the particular office aesthetic are a great alternative,” Kamoh says. 

No matter which style of speaker befits the office design best, Kamoh expects most of the newcomers to follow the sound masking lead of the original five tenants. “Brookfield uses sound masking as a selling feature of the property—a value-added amenity akin to the building’s LEED Gold Standard rating and spectacular architecture. Sound masking systems are built into each tenant’s lease, and if anyone needs convincing, Brookfield uses its own office on Floor 12 to demonstrate to prospective clients its acoustical benefits.”  

Pushing Sound Masking into Commercial Mainstream

When the property management team of an entire 56-story commercial building includes sound masking as a selling feature for their spaces, they clearly consider it to be an essential amenity that not only attracts tenants but retains them. “It’s become something that most corporate businesses simply expect,” Kamoh says. Be it for speech privacy, acoustical comfort, or both, sound masking creates the type of working environments that today’s businesses crave, and for Brookfield Place, the streamlined solutions met every requirement—quick and easy to install, scalable for a diverse clientele and repeatable for future tenants.   

AtlasIED Equipment Used in This Project:

  • ASP-MG2240 amplified sound masking controllers: approximately 160
  • M1000 sound masking speakers (combination of square plenum-rated and black and white round flush-mounted models): approximately 4,000

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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