Disruptive noise is no stranger to city life, some would even consider it part of the draw, describing the city as having a ‘life all its own’. While this may be true, and the ambiance – of sorts – is attractive to many, there is a significant down side to exposure to too much noise, particularly at high decibel levels.
In the U.S., lack of sound isolation is a prevalent urban problem. Standards of regulation don’t always prevent noise from invading living spaces such as apartment buildings or neighborhoods. A luxury condo with a direct city view can also mean a lot of clatter from the light rail, train, busy streets, and various other sounds of the city as they echo their way up and through the condominium windows. Transportation alone, while a valuable asset to citi dwellers, ranks quite high on the scale for noise disruption, as does the sound of construction – both of which are common to city development.
The primary goal of our team at CENSEO AV+Acoustics is to design noise reduction measures to help with noise control and sound insulation, making disruptive environments more inhabitable. Our acoustical engineers specialize in noise interference and understand how potential solutions interact with other aspects of the acoustical environment. Not all solutions are immediately apparent, nor are they always beneficial, particularly when the overall cost or impact is considered. Our team of specialists conducts the research needed to calculate the best solution possible – considering all factors involved. We help make cities more attractive with a subtleness that often goes unrealized…hopefully never heard.
The human reaction to sound at high decibels can be tricky, because not everyone will react the same. A secondary factor to the varying response is that humans use multiple senses to determine an emotional response. For example, one researcher asked a focus group to determine the noise level of two trains – one green and one red. Both photos were accompanied by the same sound level train noise, however, when asked which train was louder, the subjects would often name the red train as being louder than the green.
What can we do to improve the lives of those living in the city? Attractive highway barriers are one acoustical solution that greatly benefits neighborhoods bordering busy streets. Sound isolation at its source is another approach. Our acoustical engineers can help reduce disruptive noise through the design of quieter roads or the design of a sound isolated mode of transportation. An electric vehicle is a great example of a successful acoustical solution. Creative solutions and superior design can transform the acoustical aspect of any project.
A psychoacoustic approach to acoustics is important in understanding how human senses merge with acoustical solutions. Achieving maximum harmony in acoustical treatments is the goal. Certainly, painting all noisy items green or building tall sound barriers that block attractive views are not the best possible solution. Hiring an acoustical consultant can help avoid costly mistakes and result in a truly superior deliverable backed by scientific research and professional design.
If you have questions about your urban project or just enjoy talking acoustics, contact our team of experts today!