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Providing competent consulting services and litigation support in the fields of industrial, architectural, product and community noise – and machine and facility safety – since 1981.
Contact  at 800-537-7568 or Via Email to esaconsulting@comcast.net

BUILDING NOISE AND VIBRATION CONTROL

As designs and materials have become “lighter” over the years, commercial and residential construction has lost “mass.” When you couple this with the need to contain costs in the purchase of building equipment – everything from ventilation fans to elevator motors – it translates into more internal noise being generated and transmitted in any building. Exterior noise is a factor also, with sound from traffic, ultra-low frequency “boom cars,” aircraft and other sources raising interior noise levels even further. 

Over the years, we have tackled many problems, from the design stage, through construction, and post-construction – to correct things that were overlooked, or try to ameliorate undesirable situations. Sometimes the solutions can be very simple. Here are a few of our many building noise control projects:

Case # 1

A doctor in Miami Beach complained of a variable humming noise in her penthouse apartment causing sleep disturbance. Investigation by ESA determined that the sound was coming from a motley collection of rooftop air conditioners, many of which had been allowed to deteriorate, resulting in more vibration. In addition, the rubber isolation mounts on the older units had hardened in the hot Florida sun – and hurricane restraints had been added that effectively “short circuited” any of the original isolation on many others.

A report from ESA outlined the deficiencies and recommended changes so the landlord could take action.

ESA BN&V Pic1

Rooftop air conditioners in Miami Beach show signs of deterioration and inadequate vibration isolation

Residential noise control is becoming a major issue – particularly in Florida, where we also have an office. Our knowledge of materials for enhancing sound transmission loss, isolating vibration and minimizing shock transmission is essential to containing costs)

Case # 2

As they were planning to open the new facility, property managers at the NYS Performing Arts Center in Albany, NY (known as ‘The Egg’ ) found that sound from performances in various theatre venues was coming through the elevator shafts. Imagine being a speaker to a group in level three – while hearing a rock group rehearse in level 1.

ESA’s solution to the problem was to line the elevator shafts with readily available and inexpensive industrial wrapped fiberglass noise baffles – creating what we call an “acoustical tunnel” effect. The problem was solved.

Case # 3

Although we consider ourselves to be “noise control specialists,” we sometimes get called upon to be “acousticians.” Such was the case with the State University of New York in Oswego, where excessive reverberation and what we call “hot spots” were making music studios unsuited for their uses.

This is where my music background came in handy. We spent the better part of a day observing and measuring reverberation levels in various rooms, and then developed specific recommendations that included just the right amount of room absorption and diffusers to tailor the room acoustics to the applications.

This is just one of many such projects at educational institutions throughout the country – from elementary school “cafetoriums” to college classrooms.

Case # 4

Remedial treatment of meeting and dining areas is a large portion of our business. Building designers often neglect or underestimate the need for sound control – or shortcuts are made during construction.

The residents of a country club in Naples, FL called upon ESA to assist in reducing excessive reverberation in their dining hall. Aesthetics became almost as important as acoustics and, in meetings with the operations committee, we developed a tasteful and effective solution using Soundseal® cloth-wrapped panels affixed to the walls and suspended horizontally from the ceiling. The result was a lowering of the reverberation level to acceptable levels.

 

ESA BN&V Pic2

Acoustic treatment at Glen Eagle helps residents enjoy their dining experience

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