Children are naturally energetic, which is why it may be difficult to distinguish from this innate boisterousness and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The Center for Disease Control has noted a marked increase in the disorder—11% of school-aged children have received an ADHD diagnosis, which is a 41% increase over the last decade.
Numerous studies have shed light on the impact of environmental stressors and the disorder, and a recent German study has found that children who live near noisy roads may be at increased risk for hyperactivity. Children exposed to the highest levels of traffic noise at home displayed 28 percent more symptoms of ADHD than children exposed to the lowest noise levels.
It is thought that environmental stressors such as noise and chemical pollution can negatively impact a child’s brain during crucial developmental stages, increase the levels of stress hormones, or interfere with the ability to sleep and concentrate. Previously, links have been made between noise pollution near schools and learning issues.
This study, conducted by the Helmholtz Zentrum German Research Center for Environmental Health, found that the children subjected to the highest levels of traffic noise tended to have issues falling and staying asleep. Further, it is believed that the disruptions in the normal sleep pattern are most likely the root cause of behavioral issues. However, it is unclear whether ADHD causes problems with sleeping or if it’s the other way around.
The weather is getting warmer, which is a sign of many things—blooming flowers, trips to the beach, allergies, and summer. And with summer comes another staple, the outdoor music festival. Between Lollapalooza, Coachella, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, there is something for everyone.
What might not be for everyone, however, is the excessive noise that accompanies music festivals. Traditionally, noise pollution is defined as unwanted or disturbing noise. It can also have serious impacts on health including sleep loss, increased blood pressure, and hearing loss.There are some steps residents near noisy venues can take to help lessen the impact of noise. Earplugs are the one of the simpler steps, but the city of New Orleans is taking further steps to combat noise.
After receiving numerous complaints from its citizens, the New Orleans City Council wants to assume a larger role in determining whether or not music festivals will be allowed. The motion was proposed after the BUKU Music + Art Project, which was reportedly heard for miles.
After dedicating decades to a company, most workers can look forward to a small office party or a pension plan to commemorate their retirement. However, one of our senior welders received a more unusual, and decidedly more prominent, celebration of his illustrious career.
John Randolph, our senior welder, recently retired after devoting 27 years to Sound Fighter Systems. During the ceremony we held in his honor at our Shreveport plant, Sound Fighter Systems president, Patrick Harrison, presented him with an unexpected proclamation. It was from Mayor Cedric Glover and it declared March 28th, 2013 as John L. Randolph Day to recognize everything he has contributed to the community over the years.
John’s exceptional welding skills are present in our LSE Noise Barrier Systems throughout the country. His work helps countless people live their lives unaffected by noise. He now plans to move back to his home in central Louisiana and pass the time fishing.
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22, which is seen as the day the environmental movement officially started in 1970. The movement was spurred into creation by an oil spill off the California coast in 1969, and celebrating the anniversary of its birth encourages us to continually look for ways to mitigate our impact on our planet.
While we may all be aware of climate change and air pollution, noise pollution might not get the attention it deserves. Busy roads and planes flying by can be annoying to us, but their impact on animals should not be overlooked. Environmental noise can have profound effects on how they hunt, mate and live. Below are some facts on how the noises we generate interfere with animals.
Noisy areas are unlivable for some birds, especially those with lower frequency calls. Some birds have been able to adapt their calls to be heard over the noise, but it has been found that birds with lower frequencies have not, making it harder to communicate and find mates.
Birdsong, while enjoyable to humans, is critical for survival. It wards off rivals and warns of predators. Birds unable to hear each other leave noisy areas, which has been found to impact their former homes. The scrub jay in New Mexico stores seeds by burying them, and the forgotten seeds grow and replenish the forest.
Owls and bats are especially affected by plane and traffic noise, as it impacts their abilities to effectively hunt. Some scientists believe this could put these animals at risk of extinction.
Grey and European tree frogs are struggling to adapt their mating calls to compensate for increases in noise. Scientists expect to see drops in their populations as their ability to find mates declines.
Studies have shown that excessive noise can permanently increase blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels in animals. Increased stress in turn makes animals more susceptible to disease and less perceptive to detecting predators.
What may seem like a small nuisance to us can deeply affect animals, as they are much more sensitive to noise. While most research on the impact of noise pollution focuses on individual species, scientists are beginning to find that it has a far-reaching impact on all aspects of the environment. Therefore, it is important that we take the necessary steps to minimize the noise we generate and its impact on our environment. Although it is impossible to eliminate all noise in our environment noise barriers have proven to be a highly effective tool for outdoor noise mitigation.
Late night noise is an issue that can face any community, especially those that are home to music venues. However, even a barking dog or a neighbor’s rowdy party can encroach on desired nighttime tranquility. For a county in Texas, though, this could soon change.
State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) has proposed legislation that would allow Bexar County Commissioners Court to set a 85-decibel noise limit between the hours of 10:00 pm to 6:00 am in unincorporated portions of the county. The American Academy of Audiology states that prolonged exposure to noises over 85 decibels can result in permanent hearing loss.
The bill is currently pending, and arose from county officials’ inability to properly respond to frequent noise complaints. The main culprits are construction, loud music and parties, dogs, and motorcycles racing—essentially the things citizens said they moved to the country to get away from.
When a noise complaint is lodged currently, the offenders are contacted by the county and told to respect their neighbors. This issue highlights the importance of well-planned noise ordinance, as noise coming from construction sites as well as traffic noise from roads and highways are easier to plan for and accommodate for than a neighbor hosting a loud party until the early hours of the morning.
If you are expecting a temporary increase in noise your community, though, our mobile LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier Walls may be the ideal proactive solution. Just like all our sound barriers, they are lightweight, durable, and effective at killing sound. Their mobile and temporary nature translates into flexibility and cost savings. They can be used for as long as necessary and be moved from site to site as needed.
So your community is suffering from noise issues, either temporary or permanent, contact Sound Fighter Systems today for a quick and effective noise abatement solution.
“I had seen the effectiveness of the LSE® Absorptive Noise Barrier System firsthand at St. Mark’s Cathedral School, and I knew of the company’s longstanding reputation.” says owner and Chef of Frank’s Pizza Napoletana, Frank Harris, Jr. “Our objectives were twofold: one was to create a less-noisy environment for our patio dining experience, and the other was to be good a neighbor and screen nearby residences from any potential noise such outdoor dining may create. The LSE noise barrier is up, and I am very pleased with the way it looks and performs.”
Sound Fighter® Systems worked with Frank to custom design an LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier for his patio dining area. “Frank was smart to insist on the use of absorptive barrier like our LSE System, because his patio dining area is between two concrete buildings,” notes Sound Fighter VP, Murray Stacy, “and it would have been a reverberation nightmare otherwise. We also incorporated some attractive green-screens on the front of the wall, which Frank has planted with fragrant flowering vines, as well as an herb garden along the base of the wall. The whole effect is really unique, and it will definitely enhance the outdoor dining experience for his customers.”
While many people associate our LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System with larger, high-profile projects like highways and transmission stations, some of our most rewarding projects are those smaller ones where we make an immediate positive impact on a business or community.
“Our large HVAC system is adjacent to our student playground.” notes St. Mark’s Cathedral School Principal, Chris Carter. “It was an eyesore and very noisy – for our kids and nearby residents. Selecting the LSE System made good sense to us, since Sound Fighter is a local company and its’ performance on such applications is well-known in the acoustics and mechanical engineering industry. We are thrilled with the results. It’s one of those things that people don’t notice at all, which is exactly what we were seeking.”
Carter also noted that the noise barrier is also frequently pummeled by various balls and other playground toys, and it “Can take anything these elementary kids can dish out!”
World-renowned noise reduction and kid-proof durability – a winning combination!
After nine years and numerous setbacks, the newest extension of the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway in Bossier, LA, is now open. The construction project finished with a $25 million price tag, which included a half-mile section of our LSE® Noise Barrier Systems.
The new section of road passes behind the Plantation Terrace Estates residential neighborhood, and the absorptive sound barrier wall was constructed to appease the residents worried about unwanted traffic noise problems. The sound wall is designed to absorb 85% of all the sound generated by passing motorists.
Noise wasn’t the only concern the three-mile extension generated. The road needed to pass through the Red River Wildlife Refuge, and it took years to establish an acceptable route through the 600-acre refuge. The use of the fully-absorptive LSE noise barrier will also help to minimize noise impact on the refuge.
Officials hope to extend the parkway all the way to I-69, and this new three-mile extension is expected to serve as a guide for the future expansion.
So if you happen to travel down this new portion of the Teague Parkway in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, look for Sound Fighter System’s handiwork and take comfort in the fact that you will not be disturbing the shielded residents with unwanted roadway noise.
Noise barriers perform an essential function in our communities, yet few people likely realize that the origin of one of the most effective noise-reducing materials in the world, “stone wool” or “mineral wool” found its beginnings in one of nature’s loudest phenomena: volcanoes.
Approximately 150 years ago, it was observed that winds could shape molten lava into wooly tufts resembling hair. Scientists were able to replicate this process artificially, which lead to the invention of stone wool insulation. They could not have imagined at the time that their discovery would be widely used as an effective thermal and acoustic insulation.
Today, the insulation is crafted from basalt and steel slag. The artificial process mimics the natural, as the basalt and slag are melted down into lava via temperatures reaching up to 1500° Celsius. Due to its natural properties, the stone wool component is fire retardant and can withstand temperatures up to 1200° Celsius. Ours is also impervious to the elements – rain, UV, heat and cold.
Check out how stone wool insulation is made in the video below.
So what does this mean for you? The specially-engineered stone wool that we use in the renowned LSE Noise Barrier Systems makes our absorptive noise barriers more effective than traditional wooden or concrete reflective noise barriers in eliminating unwanted noise. i.e. It helps make the world a quieter place.
In addition to the proven acoustical performance of our LSE Noise Barrier System, it’s incredibly durable, easy to assemble, and graffiti resistant. You can even have your LSE Barrier made in any color you wish.
Have you thought about incorporating one of our LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System into your community or next big project, but are hesitant because you live in an area affected by extreme weather? As a sound wall company that got our start in the Gulf Coast region, our sound abatement products have a long track record of withstanding even hurricanes, most notably Katrina, Rita, and Ike.
Last year, we completed a project for Lowe’s in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The home improvement retail giant had proposed constructing a new branch of its chain that would span 160,000 square-feet and include over 400 parking spots. The citizens of Kill Devil Hills were worried about excessive noise, among other things, that would make the new Lowe’s a nuisance in their residential communities.
Sound Fighter Systems LSE Sound Barrier System at Lowes in Kill Devil Hills, NC as seen from the residential street.
After a noise study conducted by an engineering firm was completed, Lowe’s agreed to have Sound Fighter Systems build a 15 foot high commercial sound barrier wall to absorb the noise from the big box store’s trash compactors and loading docks, and was able to move forward with the build.
Sound Fighter Systems LSE Sound Barrier System at Lowes in Kill Devil Hills, NC to absorb noise from loading docks and trash compactors.
So if you are looking for sound abatement, there is no need to worry that our products won’t be able to stand up to extreme weather. They are lightweight and modular for your convenience but built to last for your peace of mind.
A new year always signifies a fresh start and resolutions for improvement. Whether it’s a new diet or hobby, people strive for ways to better themselves once January 1st rolls around. If your community could use some help fighting noise, let us help you start the new year off on the right foot.
We have been around since 1973 and are the oldest established manufacturer of absorptive outdoor noise barrier walls in the country. We design, engineer, and manufacture high-performance absorptive sound barrier walls that are custom-made to fit your community’s needs.
As ideal noise mitigation solutions, our systems are lightweight, durable, impervious to the elements, and fully absorptive. Absorptive barriers are better than reflective barriers because they eliminate the sound waves that hit them rather than reflecting them in a different direction. Concrete walls and masonry merely bounce the sound waves back to the source, while absorptive walls like the LSE 2000 effectively “kill” the noise.
So if you think your community could use some improvement when it comes to noise reduction, we can help. You can request more information and read over some sound barrier common questions if you think our LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System is the right solution to your noise abatement needs.
As the holidays draw closer, people will flock to their local shopping centers to buy gifts for their loved ones. Parking lots will be full and checkout lines will be longer as shoppers try to find perfect gifts.
Living next to one of these shopping centers might be convenient for the people in your community, but the increased number of shoppers and delivery trucks means an increase in unwanted noise. Nobody wants to wake up in the early hours of the morning to the sounds of overnight restocking.
Fortunately, we have experience fighting the noise of big box stores with over 30 of our LSE sound barrier systems having been installed at big box commercial development locations like Walmart stores nationwide. A concrete wall isn’t enough to combat the noises of the modern supercenters in your city as they tend to reflect noise back into the community rather than absorb it like our absorptive noise barriers do. Our LSE Sound Barrier Wall is the most effective way to avoid the cacophony of sounds that are associated with big box stores and malls, especially during the busiest shopping season of the year.
The LSE Barrier System outperforms and outlasts the other products in the class, making it the best solution for noise mitigation. Our systems are lightweight, easy to assemble and disassemble, and impervious to the elements. Our LSE mobile noise barriers are an effective mitigation tool for reducing unwanted noise in temporary situations.
Our systems are tailored to custom fit any noise mitigation needs and can be customized with personnel doors, swing gates, cut-outs, and even different color schemes. So call toll-free at 866-348-0833 or email us for more information and let us create a sound barrier system for your community that will fight noise during the holidays for the years to come.
One of the basic rules-of-thumb for maximum noise attenuation, especially in environmental or outdoor applications, is this: The closer the attenuation treatment is to the source, the better the overall noise reduction will be. And this is especially true in the case of noise barriers and sound walls. But it’s not always easy to achieve.
Many of our LSE® Absorptive Noise Barriers are designed for equipment that requires a minimum airflow for cooling. This usually means that impermeable barriers like our LSE System cannot be placed as close to the equipment as desired from an attenuation perspective. But many sites do not have the physical space needed to locate a barrier sufficiently far from the equipment to allow for the required airflow. In cases where there is simply no other place to locate the barrier, we have developed an acoustical louver system that can be incorporated into the LSE Barrier to supply the required airflow.
Noise barrier application with a single louver section
Typically, the manufacturers of the equipment can specify the minimum distance needed for airflow. When a noise barrier must be located closer than those minimum distances, Sound Fighter can incorporate acoustical louvers into their barriers in coverage to allow sufficient airflow. In such cases the closer the barrier is to the equipment, the more square-footage of louver is required. Although some attenuation is sacrificed via the louvers, they provide the critical airflow needed for the operating equipment – with a minimum amount of sound escaping.
Noise barrier consisting primarily of louvers to improve airflow
Sound Fighter utilizes a custom-designed metal louver system when required for airflow through a noise barrier. These high-performance louvers are designed to easily fit into the LSE’s typical structural framework, and can be incorporated into any LSE Barrier, including acoustical gate applications.
Having firsthand experience and success with the extreme wind loads found along the Gulf Coast, we knew the LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System could withstand hurricane-force winds. But seeing it firsthand was an impressive sight at a recent dynamic wind-load test conducted by Sound Fighter Systems (SFS).
SFS LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System withstanding a V-8, 425 hp wind machine at 130 mph
A V-8, 425 hp wind machine cranked-out a whopping 130 mph constant wind load on the LSE Noise Barrier section, and video shows no significant movement or panel deflection. Although the wind machine’s max capacity was 130 mph, all participants agreed that the noise barrier could withstand considerably higher wind loads.
To put this into perspective, a category 3 hurricane will have winds from 111–130 mph. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans peaked at Category 5, with wind speeds greater than 155 mph, but had weakened to Category 3 by the time it made landfall. Our LSE System has withstood the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, fierce straight-line winds in the “Tornado Belt,” and the unpredictable winds atop high-rise buildings. We have installed our sound barrier walls in high wind locations like rooftop HVAC enclosures and for other noise mitigation projects in high-wind locations along the Gulf Coast.
Federal Specifications for Structural Design of Sound Barriers as well as many state Department of Transportation regulations state that sound barrier walls should be designed for a minimum wind velocity 110 mph for most applications. Clearly this is not a problem for the LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System.
While we knew from firsthand experiences with hurricanes Katrina, Rita and others that our LSE System was tough it was incredible to actually watch those forces being applied to the system. And it didn’t even flinch. It will make a believer out of you for sure!
We had a great time at Inter-Noise this year. It’s always fun to catch-up with old friends and new customers. David and I also had the chance to visit Ground Zero, which was a very moving experience. Ironically, I was impressed with how quiet the site was, even though there were hundreds of visitors paying their respects. Thankfully, I don’t see that beautiful memorial ever having a noise problem.
This event is one of the largest acoustics conferences and a worldwide consortium of organizations who, like Sound Fighter Systems, are concerned with noise control, acoustics and vibration. The theme of the congress was “Quieting the World’s Cities,” and featured special workshops highlighting city noise codes, and the New York City noise code in particular.
Sound Fighter Systems display at Inter-Noise 2012 Conference in NYC
Many of these Acousticians are longtime supporters of our LSE System. Noise barrier companies come and go over time, and our reputation as the oldest established manufacturer of absorptive noise barriers in the USA gives them a level of confidence that their customers demand. Fortunately, the physics of acoustics does not change over time, and the high-performance design of our LSE System remains one of the world’s very best outdoor absorptive barriers.
This year marks a milestone as the 50th Anniversary of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants and includes special events including tours of the Meyerson Symphony Center and the Winspear Opera House.
Sound Fighter Systems will have an informational display on their fully sound-absorptive LSE Noise Barrier System at Table 1 in NCAC Exhibit Hall located in the Crescent Hotel on Saturday (4/15) from 2:30pm – 5:30pm.
If you are also attending, the SFS Team looks forward to meeting you or reconnecting.
NOT ATTENDING? HERE’S MORE INFORMATION ON THE LSE ABSORPTIVE NOISE BARRIER SYSTEM:
The LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System was specifically engineered and tuned for maximum noise attenuation. The result is an absorptive design for noise reduction barriers that boasts an NRC of 1.05, ranking the LSE System as one of the top-performing noise barriers in the world today.
For decades, the LSE System has been the go-to noise abatement tool of Departments of Transportation, Acoustical Engineers & Consultants, Developers, Architects, Oil & Gas Companies, Manufacturers and Contractors around the world for countless different applications.
If you are in need of a proven, highly effective outdoor noise barrier, the LSE System has no equal. Contact SFS and we will help you resolve your noise problems quickly and effectively. Toll-free 866-348-0833 or email@example.com.
If you take a look at the critical expenditures spreadsheet of most states, one of the recurring items you’ll see is “electrical grid maintenance.” What that means is the grid – the network of lines, transformers and substations that transports electricity within and without the state – is old, obsolete, and in dire need of replacement. In addition to the aging hardware, electricity consumption has been growing at an exponential rate. This is not a good combination.
Although much of the grid structure was originally positioned where population densities were much lower, many of these sites now lie amongst densely-populated areas. Once located where their noise bothered no one, now their constant humming and vibration are sources of litigious discontent amongst nearby residents - which raises the question:
HOW DO UTILITY PROVIDERS ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF UNWANTED NOISE WHILE MAINTAINING AN AGING GRID?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the three primary solutions for mitigating unwanted noise at transformer/transmission sites:
UPDATE TO NEWER, QUIETER EQUIPMENT
Pros: Since the older equipment usually needs updating anyway, utilizing new components that are designed to attenuate noise is easy and relatively cost-efficient.
Cons: Built-in attenuation treatments seldom provide adequate overall noise reduction and additional investment in noise mitigation is often required.
CONSTRUCT AN ENCLOSED ACOUSTICALLY-ATTENUATED BUILDING
Pros: A fully-enclosed attenuated building will provide the highest level of noise reduction.
Cons: Attenuated buildings require lighting, mechanical ventilation, non-conductive components, etc, driving the cost of compliance higher, which is usually passed-on to the consumer in some fashion.
CONSTRUCT A PERIPHERAL NOISE BARRIER WALL
Pros: Like an enclosed building, a peripheral noise barrier wall around the site is an effective tool to reduce noise – especially if it is a non-reflective or absorptive noise barrier wall. Additionally, peripheral noise barriers do not require the lighting and ventilation components of an enclosed building, and they are generally much less expensive to install and maintain than attenuated buildings. Peripheral barriers also provide a visual screen for the equipment.
Cons: Peripheral barriers do not provide any protection from the elements, which can be a consideration in the most extreme environs.
WHAT SOLUTION OPTION WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
While all three options do have cons, peripheral noise barriers are often selected because they provide the most tangible mitigation benefits in relation to cost. This is where utility companies, their customers and nearby residents benefit from understanding that not all sound barrier walls are created equal. They are either absorptive or reflective – preventing reflective noise by absorbing it, or reflecting sound in different directions.
If protecting customers from unwanted noise created by your power company’s aging grid was your project -or- you were enlisted to lead the “Do something about this noise!” charge for your neighborhood association, what noise mitigation solution would you choose?
About the Author:Murray Stacy is the Vice President of Sound Fighter® Systems, L.L.C. (SFS). SFS is the sole manufacturer of the LSE® Noise Barrier Wall System, a fully sound-absorptive, high-performance sound wall designed for outdoor noise mitigation.
Sound Fighter® Systems was the first absorptive sound wall and noise barrier company to launch an interactive website, and maintains its effort to stay on the technology curve by launching a new PDA-optimized website designed for the mobile search market. “The growth rate for PDA web browsing and research is skyrocketing – nearly doubling in 2011 alone, and our customers are looking for flexibility and convenience when managing their projects on the go,” said Murray Stacy, VP of Marketing & Sales for Sound Fighter® Systems. “We expect this trend to accelerate in the next couple of years, making a mobile-optimized website a critical component of our marketing effort.”
Sound Fighter® Systems’ mobile site is accessible on any smart phone or PDA, including the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android models. Users can access much of the same valuable content of the company’s web site, www.soundfighter.com, including informative videos and demonstrations on noise and noise barriers, photos, and commonly-asked Q&A. Customers using mobile devices from an iPad to a Smart Phone can easily find educational tips on noise barrier performance or quickly contact a Sound Fighter® Systems representative to ask questions or request a quotation.
The site is designed to provide basic but meaningful information regarding absorptive noise barriers and absorptive sound walls:
Fast – the site streamlines content size to speed user interface.
Concise — the site includes the most commonly-searched components of Sound Fighter® Systems’ main website, scaled-down for ease-of-use by mobile viewers.
Informative — Fast-loading educational and instructional videos
Although its presence lingered unaddressed for many years, environmental noise is now recognized as a significant health issue. Environmental or ambient noise is unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport /road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic – and from sites of industrial activity. From delivery trucks to air conditioners, we are constantly bombarded by sounds that go unnoticed for the most part. However, out-of-earshot should not mean out-of-mind. It is precisely these innocuous environmental noises that should be sounding an alarm.
Those involved with the more obvious noise sources such as airports, shooting sports, manufacturing or even musical concerts have long known the detrimental effect of extreme noise levels on long-term hearing. Only recently, however, has environmental noise been thoroughly researched for its affect on our mental and physical health – and the findings may surprise you.
Subjected to 45 decibels of noise, the average person cannot sleep. At 120 decibels the ear registers pain, but hearing damage begins at a much lower level, about 85 decibels. And one burst of noise, as from a passing truck, is known to alter endocrine, neurological, and cardiovascular functions in many individuals.
Does this mean we are doomed to a noise-filled life of stress? Fortunately, no. Noise is now recognized as a controllable problem that can be minimized via varied abatement technologies. One of the most effective environmental noise abatement technologies to be developed is the noise barrier wall, or sound wall. Sound walls are classified as reflective or absorptive. Hard surfaces such as masonry or concrete are considered to be reflective. This means most of the noise is reflected back towards the noise source and beyond. A barrier wall such as the Sound Fighter® LSE 2000 with a porous surface material and sound-dampening content material is tested to be highly-absorptive, meaning little or no noise is reflected back towards the source or elsewhere.
Is a sound wall the best mitigation option for every application? Certainly not. There are effective mitigation tools for any situation – from earplugs to ceiling tiles. But for many outdoor applications such as traffic, manufacturing, compressor and commercial retail noise, nothing outperforms a well-engineered and efficient absorptive sound wall.
So you need to install a commercial sound wall (noise barrier) to eliminate unwanted noise either created by your business, or noise coming from a neighboring source. There are lots of “wall” materials out there – wood, cement block, metal, etc., but most are considered “reflective” materials that actually cause the unwanted noise to echo off of them. We’ve all been inside a building with bad acoustics, which result from the use of reflective materials in construction. And when it comes to unwanted noise nobody wants to hear that in the first place, much less again as reflective or echoed sound.
So what are the best noise barrier options for eliminating unwanted outdoor noise? Address these three key considerations, and you will be on your way to a quieter solution:
Use a fully-absorptive barrier material (i.e. non-reflective) with an NRC of 1.0. Acoustical absorption is measured by a rating called “NRC,” (Noise Reduction Coefficient) where an NRC of 1.0 is considered 100% absorptive, and NRC ratings lower than 1.0 are considered less absorptive.
Use a barrier material made for the outdoors. Request test data on UV protection, color stability, freeze-thaw testing and wind-load testing. Newer barrier products that have been in the market less than ten years have no way to verify this data except in theory.
Use a barrier manufacturer with a long track-record. You want your barrier to last decades, so you should use a company who has been in business long enough to back-up what they offer.
Fully-absorptive noise barriers are not inexpensive, but if noise-reduction is the overriding objective in a contentious or even litigious situation, a properly-designed absorptive noise barrier will be money well spent.
Sound Fighter® Systems (SFS) is the sole manufacturer of the LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier System, a fully sound-absorptive, high-performance sound wall designed for outdoor noise mitigation.
Urban sprawl and antiquated technology has made the Water Treatment Industry a very active market for Sound Fighter Systems. “The updated equipment that modern pumping and treatment facilities use – in either new construction or upgraded retrofits – is easily attenuated by our LSE System.” states Murray Stacy, VP for Sound Fighter® Systems. “Municipalities and water companies find their facilities being engulfed by expanding urban development who do not want to hear or see their equipment. The unobtrusive and very effective attenuation performance of our LSE System addresses both of those concerns.”
Sound Fighter® Systems works with design engineers, environmental engineers and directly with the water companies and municipalities to address their noise issues. “Add the fact that our LSE System is engineered specifically for harsh outdoor environments, is completely corrosion resistant, and maintenance-free, it’s an attractive long-term solution for our customers in the Water Industry.” concludes Stacy.
Acoustical specialists often face a common dilemma when addressing how best to attenuate industrial or HVAC equipment: How to get as close to the equipment as possible without adversely affecting the airflow or ventilation to the equipment itself?
Many sites targeted for noise barriers – either design-built or retrofit – have limited space in which to install a barrier. As a result, the barrier must be located very close to the noise source equipment, and such equipment often includes coolers that require specific minimum airflow in order to keep the system from overheating and potentially shutting-down. Gaps underneath or in the noise barrier itself destroy the attenuation performance of the barrier. So Sound Fighter® Systems has partnered with a top custom baffle manufacturer to provide acoustical baffles designed to allow sufficient airflow to the noise source, while simultaneously maintaining meaningful noise attenuation. And the baffle system is designed specifically to fit with the company’s LSE Absorptive Barrier Systems.
Sound Fighter Systems has successfully designed LSE Barriers utilizing these attenuated baffles for customers in the HVAC, gas compression, manufacturing, water treatment and utilities industries.
Sound Fighter® Systems’ has received the order to design, engineer and produce a 30’ tall, 400’ long extension to the existing massive LSE Absorptive Noise Barrier at the Derichbourg Recycling facility in southeast Texas. The combination of poor soils and excessive wind loading challenged the Sound Fighter team, but with the previous sections of LSE Barrier in place for over two years now (and two hurricanes), these challenges appear to be another success story for the company.
Besides the LSE System’s renowned durability and acoustical performance, Sound Fighter Systems recently conducted Miami-Dade wind load testing on the system (both static and dynamic testing), and it passed with ease, and such testing is essential for such large wall structures along the Gulf Coast.
This newest section will be the final of four noise barrier sections, ranging from 30-35’ tall – all engineered for Gulf Coast wind loading.
Sound Fighter® Systems’ ability to design creative solutions for its customers has again transformed the company into an industry leadership position. This time, the reason is the Company’s high-performance noise-attenuating gates.
Sound Fighter’s® designs range from traditional hinged swing-gates to sophisticated automated rolling gates, and can design a custom noise barrier gate for your specific needs.
With few exceptions, gates incorporated in to large sound walls (including most DOT sound walls) have posed serious problems from a logistics and performance perspective. Most of America’s highway sound walls are made of concrete, which is too heavy to be used as a gate material. Utilizing wood or other non-attenuating materials as an alternate significantly diminishes the overall performance of the sound wall into which they are going.
However, Sound Fighter® Systems has designed and engineered numerous gate designs that are adaptable to nearly any new or retrofit sound wall application – enabling the customer to maintain peak attenuation while providing needed access for maintenance or emergencies. Weighing-in at only 5 lbs psf, the LSE System is ideally-suited for gate applications.
Sound Fighter’s® designs range from traditional hinged swing-gates to sophisticated automated rolling gates, and can design a custom noise barrier gate for any specific needs.