The rumble of heavy machinery, the shriek of drills, the constant din of industrial activity – these are the unwanted sounds that plague many project sites. Whether you are trying to comply with local ordinances or avoid complaints from the neighbors, effective sound control is essential. Before you begin to develop your own solution, consider the benefits of working with professional mitigation experts who understand what is involved in effectively controlling your site-specific noise issues.
The effectiveness of a material in controlling noise is evaluated in one of two ways. A Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) value identifies how well a material can absorb sound. Any sound waves that aren’t absorbed are reflected, bouncing back in the direction they came. The material’s Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating identifies how well a material blocks sound waves, preventing sound from passing through.
Do-it-yourself sound control solutions like plywood, haybales and metal shipping containers (“sea cans”) may seem appealing at first, but have limitations when it comes to performance, durability, and safety. When considering these solutions here are some things to keep in mind:
Inconsistent Performance – Plywood has an NRC rating of 0.1-0.15, depending on the thickness, which means that only 10-15% of sound is absorbed. The remaining sound waves are reflected back which can create new noise issues in other project areas depending on the site layout. Other solutions, like haybales and “sea cans” don’t have any available performance data making it difficult to predict noise control performance prior to installation.
Unpredictable Costs – Plywood was once a cheap solution, but with the rising costs of building materials that isn’t necessarily the case any longer. Wood and haybales don’t stand up well to exposure to extreme weather conditions, requiring damaged sections to be replaced.
Susceptible to Noise Leaks – With different materials it’s difficult to achieve consistent noise control throughout the length of the wall. Gaps in the wood panels or shifting hay create small gaps that. Overlapping materials could help address this issue, but will increase the overall material costs.
Safety Concerns – Without paying for a professionally engineered wall design, plywood walls may not stand up to windy conditions. Haybales aren’t likely to blow over, but as the hay breaks down the structural integrity can become compromised. These two methods are both highly flammable, causing fire to spread rapidly if ignited.
Benefits of Professional Noise Control Solutions
Measurable Efficiency: DIY solutions offer a guessing game of noise reduction. Environmental Noise Control products, rigorously tested and certified, boast NRC ratings of 0.55 to 1.1, meaning they absorb 55% or more of the sound. They also come in a range of STC ratings to meet applicable code requirements and approved project and municipality performance specifications. This means you can be confident in their ability to meet your specific sound control needs, whether it’s silencing drilling rigs, generators, compressors or other equipment.
Targeted Solutions, Tailored Results: Different frequency levels require different solutions. ENC products are available in different materials and designs, each adept at tackling specific frequencies and installation requirements. There is no true one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to controlling noise. Utilizing mitigation designed for your specific challenges helps to avoid overspending on unnecessary mitigation.
Durability Built to Last: Unlike plywood or haybales, our noise control solutions are built to withstand the toughest environments. Built with a fire-rated, UV resistant outer vinyl shell, they are designed to stand up all kinds of unpredictable weather conditions. They can be reused, making them a sustainable, environmentally friendly solution.
Safety and Compliance: ENC products are professionally engineered to meet UBC/IBC wind loading requirements. Utilizing a properly constructed wall will help to ensure the safety your employees and nearby residents and comply with local regulations.
DIY soundproofing might seem like a cost-saving solution, it might be a gamble you don’t want to take. Professionally engineered sound control solutions provide quantifiable results, targeted performance, and built-in durability, making them the clear champions for noise control.
Not sure where to where to begin? Contact our team of experts today to discuss options specific to your next project.