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An oasis of calm

An oasis of calm

An oasis of calm

Global consultancy WSDG has ensured the acoustics are up to spec at one of the most audacious constructions to take place in Qatar in recent times: Doha’s Oasis

A city-within-a-city built in the heart of Musheireb. The 37,000m2 Doha Oasis complex comprises two ultra-luxury, 20-storey elliptical glass residential buildings each with nine floors of duplex apartments, in addition to a 29-storey, seven-star hotel with seven restaurants and a business centre. The plan for establishing Doha Oasis stems from Qatar’s National Vision 2030 which aims to transform the nation into an epicentre for tourism and business. The jewel in the crown of the mammoth complex is a 72,000m2 Themed Experience Centre (TEC) featuring 26 next-generation, self-contained experiential attractions, with two glass towers rising from a landscaped courtyard housing two of the development’s major theme park rides.  

The development also houses a premium retail component, the Doha Oasis Boutique, which boasts uninterrupted views of the TEC and also features a state-of-the-art cinema with two VIP theatres. With the works ongoing for several years, general contractor RedcoConstruction ALMANA, working under the ARUP Group, called upon the services of the Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG) to address a plethora of latent acoustic issues that emerged in the later stages of construction.  

WSDG Middle East representative Marc Viadiu
WSDG Middle East representative Marc Viadiu

WSDG is a leading global acoustic and electroacoustics systems integration consulting and design firm. Although based in the US, the company has regional staff around the world and handles a large amount of international projects. To ensure complete sound isolation throughout the Doha Oasis complex, the global WSDG acoustic team engaged its arsenal of acoustic measurement, testing and analysis protocols, as well as critical isolation and design services, to help identify and eliminate all potential sound isolation issues at the site. With the complex comprising of a mixture of commercial and residential spaces, sound isolation between the different areas had to be tightly controlled.

WSDG Middle East representative Marc Viadiu was engaged in a large studio project when he first became involved in the inner workings of the Doha Oasis and realised that the team’s services would be of assistance. “We were involved in one of the largest recording studios in the Middle East at the time, and one of the contractors was also the subcontractor from RedcoCon ALMANA,” he recalls. “They decided to bring us on board at Doha Oasis as they needed someone to certify that every acoustic partition had been installed according to proper designs. You don’t want to get to the end of the construction before you find out that noise pollution can be heard from bedroom to bedroom, for example. This was our job: to design the partitions and supervise the drywall contractor, Emaar Trading and Contracting, to install everything correctly.”

Project manager and acoustic engineer David Molho
testing one of the complex’s VIP theatres
Project manager and acoustic engineer David Molho testing one of the complex’s VIP theatres

The WSDG acoustic measurement team consisted of Viadiu and Miami-based project manager and acoustic engineer, David Molho. Together, they performed a full week of comprehensive acoustic analysis and modelling tests in Doha for a critical peer review testing mission of the whole complex using B&K 2250 measurement microphones and DODEC omni-directional speakers.

“We went back to site again at the end to certify that everything designed was installed according to the specification,” explains Viadiu. “We stayed almost five days from 8am to 8pm performing all the measurements required throughout the various buildings and checking all the partitions. In total, there were something like 70 different kinds of partitions and they all have been checked.”

The result of the team’s week-long effort identified that approximately 90% of the space met acoustic requirements. “Most, if any, of the failure points were because of the doors,” explains Viadiu. “The bottom seal was missing on most of the doors throughout the space, so the contractors had to go back and redesign them. We stayed there onsite for another five days adjusting the seals and taking measurements before we were happy that everything was according to the specification. Sometimes it happens in the Middle East that you have to work things through in real time as our base is a long way away, but we left the project knowing that everything had been completed correctly.”

DODEC omni-directional speakers were used to
perform the measurements
DODEC omni-directional speakers were used to perform the measurements

“In total, we performed over 1,000 individual area STC and reverb time measurements for this assignment, and our comprehensive analysis confirmed the quality of ARUP Group’s work,” concludes Molho. “The Doha Oasis complex is magnificent and we look forward to our next round of testing in this extraordinary, multifaceted environment.”  

The multi-year Doha Oasis construction is due to officially open later this year in conjunction with the Qatar World Cup being held in the city, where, among other firsts, it will set a record for being the largest indoor theme park in Qatar.  

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