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

October 1, 2019

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

Images courtesy Chad Davis[1]
Images courtesy Chad Davis

Sound-absorbing characteristics, fast and simple installation, and easy cleanability make Eckel panels a perfect solution to this universal problem in shelters.

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 is 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 that designs many animal shelters.

Among its many specialties, Quorum Architects (Ft. 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 20 years ago and has exclusively specified Eckel acoustical panels for shelters and kennels for the past six years. In that time, they have 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 m (10 ft) x 762 mm (30 in.)—to as small as 457 x 457 mm (18 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

[2]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 m x 762 mm to 610 x 610 mm (24 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 do not 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

[3]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 2.7 m (9 ft) 203 mm (8 in.) x 610 mm (24 in.) down to 813 x 610 mm (32 x 24 in.).

Pflugerville Animal Shelter, Pflugerville, Texas

Images courtesy Quorum Architects[4]
Images courtesy Quorum Architects

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 m x 610 mm down to 610 x 610 mm to accommodate wall obstructions.

 Deer Park Animal Shelter, Deer Park, Texas

[5]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 six 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 in sizes ranging from 610 x 2591 mm (24 x 102 in.) down to 305 x 914 mm (12 x 36 in.) with cutouts to accommodate obstructions.

[6]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 is hard to show dogs to prospective adaptors or even do any work-related tasks in the shelter.”

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 m (10 ft) in length and painted to match any room décor. They are available in steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum, and install quickly and easily.

For more information, please e-mail Eckel at[7], call us at 617-232-2951, or visit us at[8].

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