Acoustic panels reduce excessive barking noise in dog shelters, keeping animals calmer

Dog kennels and shelters can be noisy places. The normally hard surfaces used for walls, floors, and ceilings can create an echo chamber where one dog’s barking can reverberate throughout the entire facility. What’s more, when one dog starts barking, it can excite other dogs, who then join in the cacophony, creating an unhealthy environment for both animals and humans.

Eckel Eckoustic Functional Panels (EFPs), with their combination of superb sound absorption, simple installation, rugged construction, and easy cleanability are the preferred choice of one architectural firm designing many animal shelters.

Among its many specialties, Quorum Architects (Fort Worth, Texas) has carved out a niche in designing animal shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth/Austin area. The firm started designing animal shelters about twenty years ago and has exclusively specified Eckel acoustical panels for shelters and kennels for the past six years. In that time, they’ve specified some 20 kennels with Eckel panels.

“Eckel panels are extremely effective in this application, and all of our clients are very pleased with the noise reduction they provide,” says David Duman, principal at Quorum.

According to Duman, panels are typically installed on the walls, starting with the wall opposite the cages and the end walls of the cage rooms. If windows or other wall obstacles are present, panels can also be installed on the wall behind the cages or on the ceiling. EFPs are available in a range of sizes from the largest panels—3.05 m (10 ft) x 762 mm (30 in.)—to as small as (457mm x 457 mm) 18 in. x 18 in.

Here are some specific examples of animal shelters recently designed by Quorum and specified with Eckel EFPs.

City of Seguin, Texas Animal Shelter

Photo courtesy of Quorum Architects

The City of Seguin opened a new animal shelter in August 2017. The shelter has about 186 m2 (2000 sf) of rooms where up to 43 dogs can be housed, including an adoptable dog room, a stray/impound room, an isolation room and a quarantine room. Quorum’s design called for a total of 34 panels. They range in size from 3.05 m x 762 mm down to 610 mm (24 in. x 24 in.)

According to Shelly Lutz, senior officer and animal services manager at the Seguin facility, “Our previous shelter did not provide any sound reduction and was deafening at times. The Eckel panels help keep the echo down. When we have barkers, the others don’t seem to feed off it as much because the echo is reduced. In all the facilities I have worked in my 20 years’ experience, noise levels have always been an issue, causing animals to be stressed.”                                                                                                                                  Patriot Paws, Rockwall, Texas

Photo courtesy of Quorum Architects

For returning veterans who have suffered war-related physical and psychological trauma, Patriot Paws offers a unique service. The organization trains service dogs to help disabled vets live independently and successfully perform activities of daily living and reintegrate into society.

Patriot Paws started out operating from a storefront in 2006 but has since moved to a facility that can house and train as many as 25 dogs. The 110 m2 (1180 sf) facility is outfitted with 10 EFPs, which range in size from 2.74 m (9 ft) 203.2 mm (8 in.) x 610 mm (24 in.) down to 813 mm (32 in.) x 610 mm.

Pflugerville Animal Shelter, Pflugerville, Texas

The Pflugerville Animal Shelter is a new, 353 m2 (3800 sf) facility that opened in March 2019 and has a total capacity of more than 40 animals. The shelter features a quarantine room with six indoor/outdoor kennels, a stray dog area with 18 indoor/outdoor kennels, a dog isolation room with two large dog kennels and six small/medium dog kennels, and a small dog room with 10 kennels. For this facility, Quorum’s design included 31 panels ranging in size from 3.05 m x 610 mm down to 610 mm x 610 mm to accommodate wall obstructions.

Deer Park Animal Shelter, Deer Park, Texas

Photo courtesy of Quorum Architects

The Deer Park, Texas animal shelter just had its grand opening on May 21. The new 697 m2 (7500 sf) facility features 24 dog kennels and 6 dog quarantine kennels, along with cat rooms, a dog “get to know” room, and administrative rooms (break room, work room, medical room, food prep room, and offices.) A total of 34 Eckel EFPs were installed in the dog kennels and quarantine rooms (total area 174m2 or 1868 sf) in sizes ranging from 610 mm x 2591 mm (102 in.) down to 305 mm (12 in.) x 914 mm (36 in.) with cutouts to accommodate obstructions.

According to Al Garces, director of the facility, “The panels work very well with the noise from the dogs. It makes doing our job a lot more tolerable. I have worked in other facilities in the past that had nothing to help with the noise and it was very annoying at times. When a shelter is full and without noise remediation it’s hard to show dogs to prospective adaptors or even do any work-related tasks in the shelter”

Images: Courtesy of Quorum Architects

According to Duman, “Eckel’s EFPs are the perfect solution for dog shelters and kennels. By drastically reducing reverberation of barking dogs, they help these facilities keep animals safer, healthier and calmer. We plan to continue to specify Eckel panels in our future animal shelter projects.”

Eckel Acoustic Panels can be fabricated in custom sizes up to 3.05 m in length and painted to match any room décor. They are available in steel, galvanized steel and aluminum, and install quickly and easily.

About Eckel Noise Control Technologies

With expertise in creating optimal sound environments, including ‘the quietest place on earth’ as certified by The Guinness Book of World Records, Eckel Noise Control Technologies has been at the forefront of acoustic analysis and design for more than 65 years. Headquartered in Ayer, MA, Eckel helped to create the world’s first Anechoic Chamber at Harvard University. Since then, the company has pioneered chamber design for use in product testing—from cell phones to cars to jet engines—helping engineers and manufacturers achieve exceptional quality standards. Building on the science behind its chambers, Eckel’s Audiometric Rooms create the ideal controlled environment for hearing testing and other sound isolation applications; while its Acoustic Panel Systems provide precise control of reverberation and background noise in any setting—from auditoriums and gyms to concert halls and industrial facilities. No matter the acoustic challenge, Eckel has a sound solution. Learn more at www.eckelusa.com.

Are you designing a space that poses a potential noise problem? Or are you redesigning a space that is currently experiencing acoustic reverberation issues? Fill out our brief Reverberation Calculation Form, and we’ll have one of our applications engineers get back to you with a solution. For more information about how Eckel Acoustic Panels can help create a space that is quieter, safer, more comfortable and more versatile, please visit the Acoustic Panel section of our website or contact us at EFPinfo@eckelusa.com or 978-772-0840

All information listed in this section was submitted by Eckel Industries Inc..
Kenilworth Media Inc. cannot assume responsibility for errors of relevance,
fact or omission. The publisher does not endorse any products featured in this article.

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