Hotel owners are prisoners of a paradox—they must build near major thoroughfares, highways, and rail services so they are accessible and convenient, but this ideal location is also often the source of the noise problem. As noise awareness grows, some proprietors mistakenly believe the only solution is replacing every window—an expensive upgrade with no guarantee of success. Two brief case studies show why this is not the case.
By comparing exterior noise levels with interior requirements, and considering background noise levels, a project’s required level of window or curtain wall acoustic performance can be inferred either in specific frequency bands or by using one of the single-number rating systems described in this article.
Fenway Park has undergone a number of innovative expansions over the years, and one such project was completed this May. Unused deck space was removed in order to support the construction of a rentable outdoor group function area. Half of this remodeled deck area is dedicated to a chiller and other mechanical equipment—all of which makes noise that can be distracting and irritating to visitors. To resolve this issue, sound panels were installed to serve as an absorption barrier.
AltusGroup, a partnership of 21 North American precasters, recently published a technical brief explaining architectural properties of precast wall panels. The brief outlines the acoustic performance of high-performance insulated wall panels and how they can be used to reduce the amount of outside sound reaching the receiver.
Buildings are a combination of design and construction. On paper, it may all seem to flow and make sense, but a small change in the former can have major impacts on the latter. Similarly, alterations that happen during the construction phase can end up causing significant design problems, affecting everything from acoustics to ambient noise.