Noise pollution is best defined as any disturbing noise with a damaging influence on human or animal life. In the city and urban areas, this is caused by human activity, stemming from the use of machines and vehicles, but also compounded by poor urban planning, non-adherence to noise ordinance rules and from individuals creating noise.
The importance of acoustic ventilation is easy to underestimate. In situations like recording studios or concert venues, it's vital to bring clean air into the room. But in doing so, you need to ensure that you don't at the same time introduce unwanted noise elements.
There are few things more annoying than trying to get to sleep in a hotel room and having to make the choice between being kept awake by noisy air conditioning or being kept awake by being too hot. Similarly, conference facilities don't want heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) which is so loud it distracts from what the speakers have to say.
Heightened noise levels, especially those in offices, can cause distractions and an unhealthy work environment. Sound seeps in through doors and windows, walls, floors and ceilings and can seriously affect stress levels and office productivity, with negative results.
If jet engines pose noise issues on airport runways, imagine those of testing them inside factories and test facilities. A jet engine test cell(ENTC) must not only safely contain the noise and other health and safety challenges: the acoustics must also be elaborately controlled in order to extract accurate relevant data about component performance and vibrations.
If you want to create your own home recording studio or cinema without breaking the bank, then building your own acoustic panels could be the cost-effective answer. Poor acoustics can make even the most expensive set of speakers sound tinny and cheap, while lack of sound absorption will ruin your home recordings.
Marcel Proust, the famous French writer, was so disturbed by noise in turn-of-the-century Paris that he built himself a cork-lined room in which to work peacefully on his masterpiece. He would have loved the news that Microsoft has built a room so quiet that you can hear your own bones grinding and the blood flowing through your body.
There's no reason for noise control acoustic panels to look bland and boring. Those large flat surfaces aren't just good at keeping noise out: they're also ideal canvases for art ideas. What's more, panels are just one of the forms that sound absorption can take - there are bubbles in an amazing range of shapes and dividers as well.
One of the key elements in effective noise control is something called the reverberation time. This is effectively the way that sound echoes and the length of time that it takes that echo to decay. Reverberation can have a major effect on the acoustics of a room and how the sound within it is perceived. Let's have a look at why.
When a military or civilian jet is about to take off, its engines can produce winds of up to 120 mph from its exhausts - as much as a hurricane. What's more, these winds can travel as much as 60 metres behind the plane. The danger to personnel and the possibility of damage to other planes seems obvious.
Do you work in an open-plan office where people are on the phone all day? Is your office as noisy as a crowded restaurant would be? Does the noise carry on for most of the working day? Then controlling noise in the workplace needs to become a priority.
The use of acoustic audiology rooms is important in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing issues. These rooms need to provide a comfortable environment for the staff who work there and a relaxing space for patients. They also need to provide noise reduction levels of 35 dB or more in order to offer a controlled testing space.
Audio testing facilities come in a number of different forms. Most of these involve an anechoic chamber of some kind. These are used to isolate the test item from ambient sounds, but there are different types of anechoic chambers too, with both fully and hemi-anechoic chambers in use.
An acoustic enclosure is the first line of defence when it comes to controlling noise levels in the industrial workplace. Using an enclosure can control the noise emissions of pumps and motors at source, reducing noise pollution without affecting the efficiency of equipment.
What most people would consider as absolute silence is really not that silent at all. Even in a very still, peaceful room, there will be sounds near and far: traffic, plumbing, birds warbling and people coming and going. There will be all kinds of ambient sounds that you are probably generally not tuning into.
Such is the importance of sound performance in commercial products that big companies like Apple and Microsoft have turned to using an anechoic chamber to thoroughly test and design their latest products. Apple's new HomePod product underwent thorough design and testing using an echo-free chamber before its release on the market.
Music practice rooms are invaluable spaces for artists and musicians to practise their instruments and crafts away from critical judgement or interference from others. Inside these spaces, they can hone their instrumental and musical skills, perfecting existing material or working on something new and original.
Buildings and structures designed as living and working spaces, as well as healthcare locations, all have to ensure that they provide an acoustically comfortable environment. Depending on the purpose of the building, we may want to maximise or minimise certain sounds.
The need for noise control and assessment technology has never been greater. Building regulations frequently require accurate assessment of noise at the planning stage and containment to specified levels thereafter.
IAC Acoustics was commissioned by Lindner Facades to design a bespoke arrangement of Slimshield™ acoustic louvres to protect users of the new development from noisy plant machinery, including chillers, air conditioning and extraction systems for the restaurants.
Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are ubiquitous in industrial, commercial and medical environments - but equally ubiquitous and well known to anyone who has worked in such environments is the noise given off by HVAC air ducts.
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