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Commercial Noise Mitigation

What is Industrial and Commercial Noise Mitigation?

 

Construction jobs are long-lasting and involve a significant amount of work. People often forget just how much work construction takes, especially new construction.  Asphalt is cut out to make way for large utility pipes, countless nails are hammered into walls, sidewalks are jackhammered, and trucks are constantly out of properties at early hours for months on end – sometimes years. In short, these projects are loud. If you are living or renting space next to or near a construction site, you are usually aware of these projects, and the experience is almost never positive. At some point in our lives, we will experience this difficult time. Many of us will be on the other side, as the person building or having something built for you. With construction workers arriving early, our sleep will be interrupted by whatever work occurs next door or in the next room over at the early hours. When we are at work, we will find ourselves frustrated and apologizing to colleagues on a conference call who are forced to listen to the loud noise surrounding your office. Your time, space, and previously calm experience will be interrupted. Attempting to concentrate with significant background noise will be very difficult.  These types of situations are common and occur in countless locations every day. After all, things break. All properties need repairs, renovations, and upgrades. The difference is whether or not those involved take this work in stride or whether it results in a catastrophe such as lost clients or lost tenants is all in how it is handled. What separates the most professional organization from those with poor reputations are how they handle these noise mitigation situations.

 

Sound Mitigation

True professional organizations recognize there is value to working on mitigating these noise effects. There is, of course, a cost to doing this; however, the cost of not doing this will be significantly more expensive. Imagine you own an apartment building. You have owned the property for 15 years and had great success, so much success that you are consistently full have a waiting list, and are receiving top of the market rents. With extra land next door, you decide to construct a new building to service the pent up rental demand. As you build the building, you spend so much time focused on the new development that you forget about your existing structures, specifically forgetting to work to limit the noise effects of the construction. You are so caught up in building something for your future non-existent tenants that you forget about your current tenants. As you go through the 18-month construction process, your residents become more and more frustrated in your existing building. After all, they are forced to live next door to loud noises at terrible hours for a long period of time. They are woken up every morning to heavy early construction, constant noise through the day, and before you know it, tenants are not renewing, not willing to pay as much rent, and the waiting list you have next door vanished. The landlord did not think about his current tenants, so he now has the challenge of filling an empty new building and leasing now vacant units in his old building – all while knowing his reputation in the local market has been tarnished. The local community gossip tells people to avoid renting in his properties, a complete nightmare all due to your sound mitigation problem.

 

Commercial Noise Proofing

These same factors find themselves in commercial properties as well. In an office environment, people pay top dollar to house their employees in professional and quiet office space. This professionalism helps them attract top talent while also portraying their company’s positive image to outside eyes and customers. After all, they say, “your lobby is your business card.” People do judge a book by its cover. Walking into a loud, noisy building feels more like a construction site than an office is a real problem. Will customers think less of your company and employees? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. New and outside eyes will not only be less productive, but they will also become frustrated and no longer enjoy work. With many standard office leases being 3 to 5 years, you are constantly in interview mode with your building to market space to tenants and portray your self in a positive light to keep your existing tenants. If the existing tenants are not happy, they will not renew their lease. This means you are stuck re-leasing the current space and more often than not being required by a new incoming tenant to rebuild the space to their specifications, creating another period of construction. If that is handled poorly, the domino effect only continues. Word will travel, and prospects in the market will avoid your property when searching for their next option. These situations present themselves in all property types and construction types ranging from new building construction to small interior renovations.

People often forget industrial noise can also be considered an occupational hazard. Outside of the interruption and dissatisfaction it can cause, prolonged exposure can create a liability issue by causing health effects such as hearing loss, which can come back onto the contractor and the property owner. Any avoidable negative physical effects run the risk of coming back on to the contractor and the property owner in the form of a lawsuit or other claim. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or “OSHA”) estimates more than 30 million workers are subjected to harmful noise every year and as a result, many construction sites have specific noise thresholds they may not exceed or be out of compliance. Lack of compliance will lead to issues themselves such as stop-work orders, local municipalities pulling permits, and overall long construction delays.

With all of these issues truly capable of arising, what is the solution? The answer is professional noise mitigation and site management. You need to hire the right team to keep your sites in control and oriented appropriately to prevent liability issues. Our team has the experience and technical know-how to achieve these goals practically and cost-effectively. If managed appropriately, a professional construction site can achieve not only uninterrupted construction progress but also happy neighbors, creating an overall seamless experience without anyone thinking twice about the in-progress construction. We are experts in commercial soundproofing.

Occupational Hazard

Industrial noise may seem like it would just be an annoyance, but it is actually listed as an occupational hazard. Prolonged exposure to industrial noise can cause hearing loss and other health problems. OSHA estimates that 30 million workers every year are subjected to harmful industrial noise. Over the past 11 years, over 125,000 workers have lost their hearing due to this type of noise.

OSHA has strict regulations for noise control and limits the time of exposure. Workers who are in environments where the sound level is 90dBA or above cannot exceed 8 hours per day of exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is trying to lower this level to 85dBA, and in the meantime encourages industrial noise mitigation techniques in environments where the sound is near that level.

Noise control is vital because it can cause direct health problems in industrial workers, but it can also create secondary risks. Excessive noise can easily mask the sound of a forklift, other large vehicles, or warning alarms, therefore making it harder for workers to know if there is an emergency or impending dangerous situation. Prolonged industrial noise also has been shown to be detrimental to a person’s ability to concentrate. In most industrial jobs, concentration is critical.

With years of experience and technical know-how, Florida Engineering Solutions is prepared to provide practical and cost-effective solutions for commercial and industrial sound mitigation by using state-of-the-art designs and materials.

Commercial and Industrial Sound Control Plans

Industrial and Commercial sound control is essential for the successful completion of industrial and commercial projects. It is counter-productive to shut down or limit the use of a facility or activity because it is a hazard to employees or nuisance to neighbors. Taking these factors into account beforehand or during the design phase is optimum, but it may also be handled after operations have begun and sound control becomes an urgent matter. Florida Engineering Solutions can provide the analysis, design, and recommendations to provide effective mitigation for all industrial and commercial sound issues.

One of our strongest execution points is the use of noise mitigation structures. The goal of the product is to increase the distance the sound has to travel to escape an area while also increasing the obstacles encountered within that distance. There are a variety of ways to achieve this, including porous absorbers, resonant absorbers, and reflective noise barriers. The specific option or options we will use will be based upon a custom sound mitigation plan we assemble for each situation. There is not a one size fits all option in our opinion. A custom plan will put together the most effective path forward for you.

The main strategy when designing a noise mitigation plan is to first observe. In order to really understand all of the relationships and factors involved, it is necessary to have in-person observation and direct, on-site souPortable Sound Wallnd level monitoring. Every situation is different and has its’ own characteristics. When designing an industrial noise mitigation strategy, engineers and planners use sound-absorbing materials in addition to sound isolation techniques. This is because industrial noise creates sound in both high and low frequency, and each type of sound has to be controlled with different methods. Engineers also need to have a specific target or goal of how much benefit (mitigation) to the impacted area or receptors is required or requested. They then isolate the source or sources that are creating an impact on the acoustical environment one is planning to provide mitigation for. 

There are a wide variety of materials and approaches that can be employed to provide sound control, from vibration isolators for machinery, composite acoustical materials for barriers, absorptive acoustical insulation, adjusting the fan sizes and speeds for HVAC to simple precast walls and cement. There are many commonly used materials that are effective as well as highly specialized materials for specific acoustical applications.

 

Custom Planning

In addition to our physical implementations, we will also put together a communications plan for all of our clients. Just as important as the physical elements are communication. There are times of loud interrupting noise that cannot be avoided. To make these moments more digestible to your neighbors you have to communicate with them. No surprises. Let them know in advance and they will be appreciative.

In addition to our physical implementations, we will also put together a communications plan for all of our clients. Just as important as the physical elements are communication. There are times of loud interrupting noise that cannot be avoided. To make these moments more digestible to your neighbors you have to communicate with them. No surprises. Let them know in advance and they will be appreciative.

Engineers often build custom plans that are industry or location-specific in order to best reduce the particular noise that is generated within the work environment. Industrial noise control can be comprised of various elements like machine enclosures, sound dampening or absorbing panels, reverberation control, quiet rooms, wall blankets or foam, and other pre-assembled or custom-built structures.

The real goal of noise mitigation is to bring the operation or plant into compliance with the requirements of federal, state, and local rules and regulations while also improving the workplace environment for the employees, and lessening the impact on the surrounding environment.

 

Call us; we will walk you through our detailed options, which involve strategic layout planning, sound-deadening materials, and other items which will be assembled together in a professional sound mitigation plan. These plans will save you in many uncounted ways. In addition to the actual and opportunity costs saved, we will save you from the negative effects of possible litigation. The best action is sometimes preventative action.

 

 

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(352) 588-5311