iAcoustics https://www.iacoustics.net/ Dublin Acoustic Consultants Mon, 08 Nov 2021 14:27:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://www.iacoustics.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/cropped-Facebook-profile-pic-1-32x32.jpg iAcoustics https://www.iacoustics.net/ 32 32 3 Ways To Improve the Sound Insulation Performance of a Wall https://www.iacoustics.net/3-ways-to-improve-the-sound-insulation-performance-of-a-wall/ https://www.iacoustics.net/3-ways-to-improve-the-sound-insulation-performance-of-a-wall/#respond Mon, 11 Oct 2021 10:16:36 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=50692 The post 3 Ways To Improve the Sound Insulation Performance of a Wall appeared first on iAcoustics.

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How to Soundproof a wall

‘Sound Insulation’ refers to the ability of building materials, or combinations of materials, to inhibit the passage of sound. 

When a sound wave impacts a surface, some of the sound is:

  • Reflected
  • Absorbed
  • Transmitted through the solid body 

Building elements such as walls, floors, doors and glazing all have their sound insulation characteristics, (such that we can determine how much sound energy is transmitted through them. )

Partitioning serves several functions in the built environment, one of which is to stop the passage of sound between areas. Walls should be designed and constructed to allow a minimum of sound energy through them. 

If we consider party walls between dwellings, these walls should have a relatively high sound insulation performance because the last thing we want to hear is our neighbour! 

For existing buildings, existing partition walls can present an acoustic challenge. These walls may not have been designed and constructed with acoustics in mind, and therefore might not be fit for purpose. Measures would then need to be taken to improve the sound insulating properties of the partition.

The following is a real-world example that highlights three common techniques that Acousticians refer to when improving the sound insulation performance of a wall:

A Real World Example

A school decides to repurpose an unused room into a larger meeting room for staff. However, the space in question is situated adjacent to the School’s music room. The concern here is that noise from the music room could disrupt the meeting and negatively impact speech intelligibility. Both rooms could likely be occupied and used at the same time. 

A lightweight wall exists between the two spaces, consisting of a 12.5mm plasterboard on either side of a 92mm metal stud, giving a theoretical sound reduction of Rw 36dB. There are no penetrations in the wall for services or sockets, extending from slab to slab. 

Musical performances in the music room rendered speech intelligibility very difficult in the adjacent room, making it practically impossible to hold meetings in such conditions. 

Clearly, the sound-insulating properties of the existing wall is not good enough and this would need to be improved in order for both spaces to be used simultaneously in their intended purpose. 

wall sound insulation

Solution #1: Add Mass

A significant improvement in the sound insulation performance of the partition would be achieved by changing the existing 12.5mm plasterboard with 2no. Layers of 15mm ‘Acoustic-rated’ plasterboard on either side of the stud; this is the ‘Add Mass’ approach.

Note: every doubling of mass will provide an additional 6dB of attenuation.

Solution #2: Add Damping

Rockwool insulation is easy to install, inexpensive and yields an appreciable improvement in the overall sound insulation performance across the relevant frequency range.

Solution #3: De-coupling

A resilient bar could be installed on one side of the stud. The resilient bar de-couples the plasterboard lining from the stud, inhibiting the transfer of sound through the structure. An even greater improvement in the overall sound insulation performance of the wall is achieved; this benefit is particularly pronounced in the middle and high frequencies.

Implementing all three techniques will significantly reduce the noise transfer between the music room and the future meeting room.

Note: these results are based on theoretically modelling of sound insulation performance. The true performance will differ in real-world scenarios. 

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Glen Plunkett

MSc Applied Acoustics , AMIOA

Glen has been involved in large-scale acoustic projects in the educational, commercial and residential sectors, with particular merits in assisting in the design of low-noise M&E systems. Glen has been commended on his ability to function within a large design team, resolving key acoustic issues quickly and effectively. 

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Adverse Health Effects from Overexposure to Air Traffic Noise https://www.iacoustics.net/adverse-health-effects-from-overexposure-to-air-traffic-noise/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 15:27:03 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=49449 The post Adverse Health Effects from Overexposure to Air Traffic Noise appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Adverse Health Effects from Overexposure to Air Traffic Noise

Overexposure to air traffic noise has the potential to cause severe adverse physical and mental health effects in populations. Such unreasonable levels of air traffic noise will cause sleep disturbance and annoyance, severely affecting the quality of life.

Adverse Effects

“Uninterrupted sleep is a prerequisite for good physiological and mental functioning, and the primary effects of sleep disturbance are: difficulty in falling asleep; awakenings and alterations of sleep stages or depth; increased blood pressure, heart rate and finger pulse amplitude; vasoconstriction; changes in respiration; cardiac arrhythmia; and increased body movements” (WHO, Guidelines for Community Noise 1999).

With overexposure to air traffic noise, psychophysiological changes, including changes to blood pressure and stress hormone levels, are possible. Cardiovascular disease in the form of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and hypertension (high blood pressure) may arise. Obesity and type-2 diabetes are also promoted by such overexposure to air traffic noise. Children and vulnerable individuals may also suffer cognitive impairment effects. Chronic exposure to noise during early childhood impairs reading acquisition and reduces learning motivation.

What the guidance says:

In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) collated and reviewed several research papers demonstrating how air traffic noise (and other environmental noises) can be responsible for such adverse health effects. Their review of the relevant research was presented in a document entitled the Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region 2018. The WHO in this document present guideline noise levels above which the adverse health effects begin to set in. Based on the evidence, the WHO makes a strong recommendation for policymakers to implement suitable measures to reduce noise exposure from aircraft to below these levels.
To avoid the adverse health effects described in this article, the average daily noise exposure to aircraft noise should occur below 45dB Lden. Night-time levels should drop further to below 40dB Lnight. For context, such levels approximate the perceived loudness of a quiet office or quiet bedroom at night. Achieving such low levels of air traffic noise may prove difficult, particularly in geographical areas located directly beneath busy flight paths.

So, how can the mitigation of aircraft noise be achieved?

The most efficient and widespread option involves policymakers implementing measures at a macro level. These measures will benefit all nearby populations exposed to air traffic noise. Flight paths can be designed and rerouted so that aircraft fly over as few residential areas as possible. Planners can refuse permission for the development of large residential estates directly beneath noisy flight paths. Airlines can be directed to increase their take-off and landing angles, thus increasing the distance between the airborne craft and residential areas. Runways can be closed at night, reducing the quantity of aircraft taking particular flight paths. The use of regional airports can be promoted, reducing quantities of traffic around the primary international airports.
Noise mitigation measures can also be implemented at a local level through the retrofit of existing dwellings with acoustic insulation. New dwellings can be designed and built with an acoustic noise-control strategy in place. Windows can be acoustically rated, with higher ratings providing greater attenuation of air traffic noise. Acoustically rated wall vents and trickle vents can be used for the natural ventilation of a home, negating the need to open windows as often. The roof and facades can also be reinforced with acoustic linings to ensure noise does not intrude through the external building envelope.
Noise is a frightfully serious environmental risk to health, only second to air pollution in the cause of health problems. Yet, the importance of noise control in society is often overlooked. Health and wellbeing in society relies on the consideration of noise.

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Eoghan Tyrell

MSc, AMIOA

Eoghan is a qualified Acoustic Consultant and has been involved in the audio industry for 10 years. His most notable designation is that of M.Phil., Music and Media Technologies, awarded by Trinity College Dublin with a distinction grade.  

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Designing Homes To Keep Out Aviation Noise https://www.iacoustics.net/designing-homes-to-keep-out-aviation-noise/ https://www.iacoustics.net/designing-homes-to-keep-out-aviation-noise/#respond Tue, 03 Nov 2020 11:05:50 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=49407 The post Designing Homes To Keep Out Aviation Noise appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Designing Homes To Keep Out Aviation Noise

We have had a busy year preparing Noise Impact Assessment Reports for aviation noise. These reports are prepared almost exclusively in response to requests for further information (RFI’s) by the relevant local authorities. We though we’d share some insights into how buildings can be designed to keep out aircraft noise.

What is aviation noise pollution? 

We first need to fully understand what it is we are trying to keep out. Aviation noise pollution is the unwanted by-product of an aircraft in flight. The individual components that make up the noise of an aircraft in-flight are:

  • Mechanical noise from the engines.
  • Aerodynamic noise generated by the rapid movement of air around the fuselage.
  • Noise from aircraft systems such as cabin pressurization and conditioning systems, and Auxiliary Power Units (APU’s).
Air Traffic Noise

– Predicted sound level inside a bedroom with 65 dB(A) of aircraft noise outside.

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Glen Plunkett

MSc Applied Acoustics , AMIOA

Glen has been involved in large-scale acoustic projects in the educational, commercial and residential sectors, with particular merits in assisting in the design of low-noise M&E systems. Glen has been commended on his ability to function within a large design team, resolving key acoustic issues quickly and effectively. 

Using available information:

For an aircraft designer, this information is vitally important. For us acousticians, it is useful information, but we are more interested in the sum-total of these individual noise components. In other words, acousticians are more interested in what our sound level meters are reading on the ground, as this is more relevant to what will be experienced by the occupants of a home.

Specifically, acousticians and architects want to know (inter alia):

 

  1. The peak noise level during an aircraft flyby.
  2. The average noise level during a day and/or night period during which aircraft flew by.
  3. The overall frequency spectrum of the noise.

Keeping out Aircraft noise:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that for a good night’s sleep, the equivalent sound level should not exceed 30dB(A) if negative effects on sleep are to be avoided, and individual noise events exceeding 45dB(A) should be avoided.

Let’s take an example: A noise survey taken at the location of a proposed dwelling in a rural area shows the equivalent sound pressure level to be 45 dB(A), but an individual noise event clocked 65 dB(A) during once particular flyover.

The dominant noise source was aircraft noise.

As a rough guide, the envelope of the dwelling should therefore be designed to reduce external noise by at least 20dB’s.  

This is of course an over-simplification but the principle is the same: (a) set a design target for internal noise levels; (b) take a representative sample of the outside noise & (c) design the building envelope to the appropriate levels of sound insulation.

Have you got an acoustics issue related to aircraft noise?

Speak to a qualified acoustician right away

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Air Traffic Noise: Planning in Co Meath https://www.iacoustics.net/air-traffic-noise-planning-in-co-meath/ https://www.iacoustics.net/air-traffic-noise-planning-in-co-meath/#respond Mon, 12 Oct 2020 09:14:11 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=49181 The post Air Traffic Noise: Planning in Co Meath appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Air Traffic Noise: Planning in Co Meath

Every planning application for a residential building in Co. Meath must consider the effects of air traffic noise on the development. Meath County Council are now insisting that noise mitigation measures are employed so that air traffic noise does not impact on the health and quality of life of future residents.

‘Requests for Further Information’ from the local authority following a planning application will result in delays to the project. The most effective way to ensure against such delays in the planning process is to provide the local authority with all the relevant information from the get-go.

iAcoustics welcome such measures. Noise pollution is one of the most dangerous pollutants to human health, second to air pollution only. As described in the World Health Organisation’s Environmental Noise Guideline’s for the European Region 2018, the burden of disease from environmental noise for cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in children, sleep disturbance, tinnitus and annoyance is severe. Persistent low levels of noise create low levels of stress which takes its toll on human health over time. The WHO calculated that in Western Europe alone, 1.6 million healthy years of life have been lost as a result of environmental noise.

In Practice:

With the initial planning application, an air traffic noise impact assessment can be included. Such an assessment involves a noise survey of the proposed site,  a review of Dublin Airport noise contour maps, predictions on the future expected air traffic noise levels, and advice on how to design a building to mitigate against air traffic noise.

Excess noise puts stress on mental and physical health, but not as much as delays to your planning application!

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Eoghan Tyrell

MSc, AMIOA

Eoghan is a qualified Acoustic Consultant and has been involved in the audio industry for 10 years. His most notable designation is that of M.Phil., Music and Media Technologies, awarded by Trinity College Dublin with a distinction grade.  

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The Problem with Videoconferencing https://www.iacoustics.net/tips-for-videoconferencing-audio/ https://www.iacoustics.net/tips-for-videoconferencing-audio/#respond Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:36:28 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=49056 The post The Problem with Videoconferencing appeared first on iAcoustics.

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The Problem with Videoconferencing

The importance of videoconferencing in the modern corporate environment can not be underestimated. It offers a flexible, efficient and cost saving means of correspondence providing that the communication links are sufficient.

Providing the right room acoustic environment is essential in ensuring the clarity and understandability of speech and audio communication content. However this is one element which is often overlooked in the design and construction of most videoconferencing suites.

The continuing rise of video communication

Providing the right room acoustic environment is essential in ensuring the clarity and understandability of speech and audio communication content. However this is one element which is often overlooked in the design and construction of most videoconferencing suites.

Videoconferencing suites are often primarily built, furnished and fitted with aesthetics at the forefront of architects, builders and end users thoughts. However if the success of a videoconferencing suite is to be judged by the effectiveness of communication (which is should be) then acoustics and room acoustic is an extremely important barometer.

Here are some of the typical problems with videoconferencing:

 

1. Reflective fixtures and fittings

 

Inappropriate fixtures and fittings creating a noisy acoustic environment. The fixtures and fitting installed in a room can have a dramatic effect on the acoustics within the videoconferencing suite. Sound reflective materials can result in a noisy acoustic environment. This noisy acoustic is picked up and amplified by the highly sensitive microphones and results in a racket over the other end of the videoconferencing line.

2. No sound absorption at all

Lack of sound absorption in the videoconferencing suites. Specialist acoustic panelling is one the most effective and aesthetic means of introducing sound absorption into a videoconferencing suite. Its installation into a videoconferencing suite helps reduce the reverberant noise or echo in a space thus creating a comfortable acoustic environment. To provide clarity in speech a low reverberation time is essential.

Author: Glen Plunkett

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3. Poor Sound Insulation

 

Inappropriate levels of sound insulation between the videoconferencing suite and adjacent office spaces. If there are poor levels of sound insulation between the videoconferencing suite and adjacent spaces then unwanted noise can be picked up by the audio and microphone equipment distorting the essential speech content. The location of videoconferencing suites within your office building should be considered. It should be located away from potentially noisy office spaces (e.g. open plan offices, canteens etc). Furthermore specialist advice should be sought with regards to the sound insulation of walls and ceiling elements. Particular attention should be paid to materials used, construction methods and junction detailing.

4. Noisy Services

Poor integration of services such as heating and air conditioning can result in high levels of background noise within the videoconferencing suite. This can make it very difficult to hear the audio content of the videoconferencing meeting. Such issues may require correspondence between your acoustic consultant and service providers so as to ensure the successful implementation of such essential services.

In conclusion: Solutions to videoconferencing audio issues

The acknowledgement of such issues and the integration of acoustics at the design and building (or refurbishment) stage of your videoconferencing suite will ensure the success of videoconferencing communication. Even if acoustic problems exist in your videoconferencing suite remedial work can be done to create a more desirable room acoustic. The importance of videoconferencing in today’s business world should merit the integration of acoustics so as to ensure the foundation of effective communication is in place.

 

 

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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Firsts steps in better School Acoustics https://www.iacoustics.net/firsts-steps-in-better-school-acoustics/ https://www.iacoustics.net/firsts-steps-in-better-school-acoustics/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:41:08 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=48508 The post Firsts steps in better School Acoustics appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Firsts steps in better School Acoustics

This article explores how a baseline noise survey informs design decisions, creating a better outcome for learners. 

School Acoustic’s at the pre-design stage

It is critically important when designing new school facilities to take proper steps to address acoustics and ensuring a future proof space that promotes better interactions and engagement. 

A good first step is baseline noise survey, to feed into the layout and design of new classrooms.


New primary and post-primary classrooms must be designed to achieve the performance requirements set out in the Department of Education’s TGD-021-5: Acoustic Performance in New Primary & Post Primary School Buildings.
The parameter we are interested in at this early design stage is the Internal Ambient Noise Level (IANL), for which we must first quantify the level and character of noise that will impact on the future buildings.


We can then determine what mitigation measures need to be considered in the design of the building envelope to ensure that enough noise is kept out of the classroom during learning so that the IANL criteria can be achieved. 

school acoustics  noise survey

Author: Glen Plunkett

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In Practice:

In a recent assignment, noise measurements were carried out at the proposed locations of new classrooms. Measurements were taken at a lower height and an upper height to simulate the free-field levels at ground and first-floor level in a future two-storey building.


It was found that traffic noise had a strong influence on the prevailing noise environment at the school.
Once these issues have been identified, practical recommendations were then given to the project architect to ensure that the future design takes full advantage of relatively quieter areas on the school compound, while also allowing for openable windows and vents.


This is a crucial first step in making sure a new school not only meets the criteria for acoustics but exceeds these standards to make an exemplary educational space.

References:

Maxwell, L.E., & Evans, G. (1999). The effects on pre-school children’s pre-reading skills. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20, 91 – 97.

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Speech Intelligibility and Covid-19 https://www.iacoustics.net/speech-intelligibility-and-covid-19/ https://www.iacoustics.net/speech-intelligibility-and-covid-19/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2020 12:51:10 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=48413 The post Speech Intelligibility and Covid-19 appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Speech Intelligibility and Covid-19

This article explores the relationship between speech intelligibility and virus transmission. 

Why would speech intelligibility matter?

 

 The scientific community has emphasized how coughing and sneezing yield the transmission of infectious disease. These dramatic expiratory events expel large quantities of droplets from the person, so large that these droplets are often visible.

Concerningly, regular expiratory events such as talking and breathing, also expel particles. These particles may be invisible to the naked eye but still have the potential to carry large quantities of communicable respiratory pathogens. Although such droplets are smaller in size compared to those that occur due to sneezing and coughing, they are still sufficiently large to carry a variety of respiratory diseases including measles, influenza, tuberculosis and Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Furthermore, research published by Nature.com shows how “the rate of particle emission during normal human speech is positively correlated with the loudness (amplitude) of vocalization, ranging from approximately 1 to 50 particles per second for low to high amplitudes, regardless of the language spoken” (Asadi et al, 2019). That is to say, the probability in the spread of deadly respiratory pathogens via droplets from the nose and mouth is increased with vocal effort.

The hazards of shouting

In recent weeks, Irish news and media outlets have reported how Covid-19 has spread like wildfire in factories such as those where meat is produced. These factories are noisy environments. For workers to hear and understand each other, they need to shout or at least speak with a raised voice. A workplace environment where employees are within proximity for long durations is already unideal. Factor in everyone shouting and the situation becomes a highly contagious and dangerous one. This not only applies to factories, but to any workplace environment where people may need to raise their voice, including offices, gyms, garages, retail outlets etc.

 

As the lockdown slowly lifts, people must not be returning to a workplace environment that is hazardous. Social distancing has become part of our everyday lives. We need to ensure that as people separate, they do not overcompensate by raising their voice.

Where do acoustics come in?

So, why does all this concern acoustics? – Speech Intelligibility. We achieve safe workplace environments by ensuring adequate speech intelligibly at all times. Where there is sufficient speech intelligibility, there is no need for people to increase vocal efforts above that which is normal, which keeps droplet projection to a minimum.

 

What is speech intelligibility?

 Speech intelligibility, more technically referred to as Speech Transmission Index (STI), describes to a way of measuring and predicting how easily speech will be understood in a given situation. With higher levels of speech intelligibility, people are less likely to raise their voice to be heard and understood.

 

There are two factors at play when determining the intelligibility of speech in a space: 

  1. background noise levels within the space 
  2. reverberation or the reflectiveness of the space

Background Noise Levels:

Noise can arise due to sources inside the building, or from sources outside the building. For example, in modern architecture, noise may radiate from large heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems suspended from the ceiling. In older blocks where natural ventilation is employed, traffic noise may break in through open and closed windows. Regardless of the noise source, too much background noise will encourage people to raise their voice. Acoustics is a discipline grounded in noise control. Employing an acoustician to ensure adequate control of HVAC noise, external noise intrusion and control of other such noise sources will directly assist in the reduction of droplet projection. 

Author: Eoghan Tyrrell

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Reverberation:

In open spaces with free-field-like conditions e.g. grassland in the countryside, sound energy escapes into the atmosphere. Such free-field environments have little influence on a sound’s composition. Its timbre goes relatively unchanged. 

In enclosed spaces, sound energy is retained. Sound waves bounce around a room, reflecting off the various boundaries and surfaces within. These reflections or “echoes” prolong a sound’s duration. Consider the sound of a ball bouncing in a huge sports hall. 

It is desirable to control this reflected energy. Too much reverberation will have the effect of reinforcing unwanted noise, such as chatter in an office space or noise from HVAC systems. Furthermore, speech becomes less intelligible in a room that is too reflective. Long subsequent reverberation tails will mask important syllables used for speech perception and cognizance.  

One of the most significant disciplines in acoustics involves controlling reflected energy. Shorter reverberation times yield better speech intelligibility results which will directly assist in the reduction in the spread of disease transmitted via droplets.

To summarise, lower background noise levels and less reverberation means higher speech intelligibility. Higher speech intelligibility means a safer work environment. 

 

References:

Asadi, S., Wexler, A.S., Cappa, C.D. et al. Aerosol emission and super emission during human speech increase with voice loudness.Sci Rep 9, 2348 (2019). .  

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Gym noise: Noise impact Assessment for a Gymnasium https://www.iacoustics.net/gym-noise-noise-impact-assessment-for-a-gymnasium/ https://www.iacoustics.net/gym-noise-noise-impact-assessment-for-a-gymnasium/#respond Fri, 24 Apr 2020 10:12:22 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=48276 The post Gym noise: Noise impact Assessment for a Gymnasium appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Gym noise: Noise impact Assessment for a Gymnasium

iAcoustics were engaged by Brock McClure Planning Consultants to prepare a Noise Impact Assessment in light of a request for further information by the planning authority as related to a proposed gymnasium in Greystones, Co Wicklow with potential gym noise being a factor. Nikafit Studios are now up and running at the meridian Centre in Greystones!

The Objective:

 

The R.F.I. sought information about the potential noise impacts on nearby noise-sensitive commercial & residential properties, including a dentistry practice and an adjacent performance Theatre. The Planning Authority were also interested in identifying the key noise sources attributable to the normal operation of the gymnasium, and for the client to demonstrate how any potential noise impacts of these sources can be managed/controlled to ensure minimal likelihood of adverse impacts.

First Step : A baseline noise survey

iAcoustics engaged in an immediate start upon our initial engagement, and attended the site in order to carry out a baseline noise survey. We measured the average sound pressure level, and utilised other measurement parameters to determine the extent by which road traffic noise impacted in the prevailing noise environment.
Nikifit Gym in Greystones

Next, getting a reference:

Next, in order to establish the key noise sources and to anticipate the likely noise levels arising from the proposed development, iAcoustics attended another local Nikafit premises during a busy evening class in Kilcoole which was similar in scale, setup and occupancy. A representative internal noise level during a typical class was established at this reference location.   

iAcoustics acoustic design : EPIC Immigration museum voted as “Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction” at the 2019 World Travel Awards.[1]

Author: Glen Plunkett

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Noise sensitive Neighbours

iAcoustics then undertook a detailed site survey and desktop analysis of the subject site in order to determine the likely levels of sound insulation afforded by the existing building envelope to ensure no breakout of gym noise. The subject site shares a common boundary with the Whale Theatre in Greystones; background noise levels in theatre settings need to be very low, sudden noises can negatively impact moments of suspense during theatrical performances. iAcoustics needed to carry out a detailed spectral analysis based on the anticipated noise levels inside the development, the sound insulation of the separating walls, and the required levels inside the theatre. We are able to determine that noises generated within the gymnasium would be inaudible to individuals situated in the theatre.

A clever approach to amplified music:

 An obvious concern with gymnasiums is the impact of amplified music. We made it clear in our report that consideration must be given to the fact that Nikafit offer personal training on a one-to-one or small group basis. Loud, intrusive music would hinder the instructors’ ability to deliver clear instructions to the group, negatively impacting speech intelligibility; it would be simply incompatible with the Nikafit business model. We observed this at the reference premises in Kilcoole. The gym also utilises a highly effective sound system which allows speakers around the premises to be individually controlled, meaning the music could be played only in areas where it was needed, and reduced or turned off completely in areas where it is not, therefore minimising noise generation.

 

What the model told us about gym noise:

With regards to noise emissions to the immediate environment through the glazed façade, noise prediction models were developed for a number of noise sensitive receptors. Starting with the anticipated noise level inside, this noise level incurs losses due to the solid glazed façade, and through propagation over distance. iAcoustics demonstrated to the planning authority that the noise level contribution from the gymnasium at each noise sensitive receptor would be insignificant when compared to the prevailing noise climate, therefore the likelihood of adverse impact could be considered very low during the normal operation of the development.
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Hospitality noise: 3 practical tips for Bars & Venues https://www.iacoustics.net/hospitality-noise-tips/ https://www.iacoustics.net/hospitality-noise-tips/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 12:23:48 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=48070 The post Hospitality noise: 3 practical tips for Bars & Venues appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Hospitality noise: 3 practical tips for Bars & Venues

Hospitality noise is becoming more and more of an issue for bar, restaurant, and venue owners and managers. Good acoustics have the result of making the space subconsciously much more pleasant to be in. If you find your self in the position of wanting to improve and address acoustic in you hospitality space, here’s three tips for you.

iAcoustics acoustic design : Roe and Co

1. Noise from speaker systems

Gain full control over your speaker systems. If you can manage the noise levels from the speakers, be it from live or commercial music, you are most of the way there. Sometimes when we are called to investigate a noise issue in a premises, it is surprising that most staff and managers do not know how to operate the audio system, who operate a ‘turn it on and leave it’ approach to venue music. The audio system should be easy to use, equipped with full volume control. A selection of key staff should be fully trained in the use of the system, and in the event that things are getting too loud, the music levels can be controlled without hesitation. Visiting DJ’s/Bands should not be given free-reign over the audio system as they are unlikely to have a complete understanding of the premises, and the sensitivities of nearby commercial or residential properties.

2. Noise Policy for hospitality industry

Develop a noise policy. A noise policy specifies exactly how the premises deals with noise levels, which might include a maximum decibel level or procedures to be followed in the event of a noise compliant. At the very least, a noise policy will have the effect of generating an awareness to noise amongst staff, and to demonstrate to the local authority that your business is fully intent on complying with statutory noise regulations.

 

iAcoustics acoustic design : EPIC Immigration museum voted as “Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction” at the 2019 World Travel Awards.[1]

Author: Glen Plunkett

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3. Room acoustic in bars and venues. 

Address the acoustics of the room. When a sound is generated in a room, it propagates outward from the source and eventually reaches the room boundaries such as walls or floors. Hard, reflective surfaces will reflect sound waves back into the room, while soft, absorptive finishes and furnishing will absorb much the incident sound wave. Multiple reflective surfaces can cause an uncomfortable buildup of sound within an enclosed space, which raises the background sound level to such an extent that normal conversation become difficult to comprehend. Reflections can also interfere with speech intelligibility, meaning some words get lost in translation. Above a level of 65 dB(A), people begin to speak in a raised voice, when everybody does this the background noise level in the room goes up, then everybody begins to speak louder, then suddenly nobody can hear the music so it gets turned up… pretty soon, a very loud and potentially dangerous sound field develops which is compounded by poor room acoustics. If unaddressed, this never ending cycle can result in everybody going home with a ‘ringing’ in their ears.

Make your venue with more comfortable with better acoustics

As we like to tell people, the acoustics of your premises does not have to be ‘bad’ in order to address it; improving the acoustics of your premises can allow you to gain significant commercial advantages by making it a better and safer place to work, and a more comfortable venue for customers.

How iAcoustics can help

iAcoustics have a wealth of experience in dealing with noise issues in the hospitality industry, and have developed noise policies for some of the country’s most well-known indoor & outdoor venues. We offer noise measurement services, including noise limit-setting & occupational noise exposure assessments, and can perform room acoustic modelling to determine what materials you need to control reverberation.

We also prepare Noise Impact Assessments in response to queries from the Planning Authority.

We would be more than happy to discuss, please contact info@iacoustics.net to get the ball rolling.

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Soundproofing protected structures https://www.iacoustics.net/soundproofing-protected-structures/ https://www.iacoustics.net/soundproofing-protected-structures/#respond Tue, 10 Mar 2020 12:10:22 +0000 https://www.iacoustics.net/?p=48019 The post Soundproofing protected structures appeared first on iAcoustics.

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Soundproofing protected structures

What guidance does part-E (Sound) of the building regulations 2014 provide?

What should I do when soundproofing a protected structure then ?

The recommended approach described in TGD Part-E is summarised as follows:

  1. Establish the existing/in-situ acoustic performance. A sound insulation test should be carried out n accordance with Section 2 of TGD Part-E. The build-up of the existing structure should also be established.

 

  1. Seek expert acoustic advise. Provisions for best practicable means of improving the current situation should be sought where the performance standards are unlikely to be achieved. Any and all implement measures intended for improving the situation should be fit for purpose and should avoid damaging, or otherwise creating the potential for damage to the special interest of the protect structure.

What is the minimum performance for soundproofing a protected structure then?

Re-testing of the treated structure may then be carried out to verify the improvement in the treated structure. Notwithstanding, TGD Part-E does not define a minimum performance threshold, or a relaxed performance value in cases where the requirements cannot be achieved under normal circumstances; this is where TGD Part-E falls short. In cases of very poor in-situ sound insulation performance of a protected structure, the privacy and quality of living of future occupants can be seriously jeopardised. In any case, an acoustic consultant should be appointed as a best practice measure to ensure that the structure in question is indeed fit for purpose.

Soundproofing residential dwelling is subject to building regulations. The general scope of the Building Regulations Part-E Sound is to ensure that separating walls and floors between dwellings achieve reasonable levels of sound insulation to protect individuals against excessive noise transmission emanating from adjoining buildings, or from different parts of the same building (in the case of apartments). Regulation E-1 of Part-E sets out the required sound reduction level to be achieved by a separating element (walls & floors); compliance with Part-E is achieved by meeting the minimum acoustic performance standards.

What type of buildings does part e apply to?

The Regulations of Part-E apply specifically to:

  • New dwellings and extensions which adjoin other buildings and;
  • Works involving a material change of use that results in that building, or part thereof, becoming used as one of more dwellings.

Part-E does not apply to any other type of construction project, including hotels; the requirements only address residential dwellings.

Glen Plunkett

MSc Applied Acoustics , AMIOA

Glen has been involved in large-scale acoustic projects in the educational, commercial and residential sectors, with particular merits in assisting in the design of low-noise M&E systems. Glen has been commended on his ability to function within a large design team, resolving key acoustic issues quickly and effectively. 

What about protected structures?

Protected Structures which are identified as having cultural significance or special interests and that are listed on a record of Protected Structures are treated differently in Part-E. In the case of material altercations of changes of use to a protected structure, modification to the building fabric may not always be appropriate.

As such, achieving the airborne & impact sound insulation performance requirements as stipulated in Part-E may not be achievable due to the original design and construction of the building, or depending on the appropriateness or feasibility in making alterations to the structure having. In such cases, a relaxation of Part-E requirements may be granted by the Local Building Control Authority.

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