An increased awareness of the damaging effects of noise pollution has forced general contractors and builders to consider noise mitigation solutions for their construction sites. If you’re reading this blog post, you are probably considering installing (or may have already purchased) Echo Barrier to help control noise on your site. When it comes to sound barriers, proper installation is crucial to achieve maximum noise reduction. Here are some tips and best practices to help you install your Echo Barrier for optimal performance.
To appreciate the importance of proper installation, it helps to first understand how Echo Barrier works to mitigate noise.
Echo Barrier acoustic panels use a patented technology to absorb noise and prevent reverberation. Whereas solid wood or metal barriers reflect noise – which can aggravate noise pollution – Echo Barrier panels are designed to absorb sound. The core of the Echo Barrier panel is made of a lightweight but highly noise absorbent composite.
This composite, which is made of bio-degradable recycled materials, is sandwiched between other materials which form an outer layer. On the front of the panel, the outer layer is a durable and waterproof PVC in a weight that helps to maximize noise mitigation. On the back of the panel, a waterproof, breathable membrane helps to keep water away from the core, while allowing sound to pass so that it can be absorbed by the composite. This durable mesh membrane works to protect the panel from damage, wear, and weather without compromising its acoustic performance.
What exactly is an acoustic shadow, and how does it relate to reducing the noise level on a work site? An acoustic shadow is the result of sound waves failing to spread outward due to disruptions or physical obstructions such as buildings, wind currents, or – you guessed it – sound barriers.
Within the acoustic shadow, our perception of the noise is lessened but may not be completely eliminated. This is because sound waves have the ability to spread and bend around objects – a phenomenon known as diffraction. Diffraction of the sound waves around the physical obstruction means that someone on the other side of the sound barrier may still hear some noise.
The good news is that proper placement of a noise barrier can create a favourable acoustic shadow. If the acoustic shadow encompasses nearby residences or businesses, it can prevent high-level noise from reaching people near your site. This is how noise mitigation solutions can minimize disturbance or even hearing damage caused by construction activity.
Now that you understand the concept of the acoustic shadow, we can cover the key elements of proper Echo Barrier installation.
Like any noise control solution, the placement of your Echo Barrier panels will impact how effective they are at blocking sound. The idea is to maximize the acoustic shadow by placing your sound barriers as close to the noise source as possible.
Ideally, you want to block the line of sight between the noise source and the “noise receivers” – those who would be within hearing distance of the noise source. A noise source can be a single piece of equipment or machinery, like a jack hammer, or it can refer to all of the noise-generating activities typically performed on a job site.
Echo Barrier panels are designed to be installed on some kind of supporting structure. Depending on the size of your job and the source of the noise, the structure could be a simple barrier, a compound, or even an enclosure with a ceiling or roof.
Temporary fencing or fence on jersey could serve as the underlying structure for your noise mitigation solution. Similarly, Echo Barrier panels could be installed over hoarding or scaffolding.
Remember: when installing anything on a temporary structure such as fence or scaffolding, you must reinforce the structure so that it can bear the additional weight and wind load.
If not properly oriented, your Echo Barrier sound panels could be rendered totally ineffective. It is crucial to hang them with the front of the panel facing away from the noise source. The rear outer layer of the Echo Barrier, consisting of the semi-absorbent mesh, must face toward the noise source. This is what will allow the noise to pass through the outer layer and be absorbed by the composite core.
Echo Barrier panels can be hung vertically or horizontally depending on your supporting structure. You should also consider installing them on the inside of your barrier, if possible, to prevent theft of the panels.
Echo Barrier panels include several attachment points via grommets around the edges of the panel. The panels can be affixed to your temporary structure using zip ties, hooks, or Echo Barrier’s specially designed fitting kits.
Whether you install your Echo Barrier panels horizontally or vertically, they should overlap in order to prevent “leakage” of sound. Any gaps between the panels will allow noise to escape, so overlapping the panels is key in maximizing the performance of your sound curtain.
To further enhance performance of your noise mitigation system, consider doubling up your Echo Barrier panels. They can easily be layered to achieve maximum noise attenuation.
To get the most out of your Echo Barrier noise attenuation system, consider implementing these best practices for installation:
To combat the effects of diffraction, you’ll want to maximize the size of your noise wall. Because sound waves can deflect or refract around a physical object, create a noise barrier that is as tall and as wide as possible to improve noise attenuation.
You may already plan to install Echo Barrier around the perimeter of your site, but consider additional measures for noise “hot spots”. If you’ll be using a particularly noisy machine at any stage of the project, you can install a dedicated sound barrier for that activity. Either double up the Echo Barrier panels in that area of the site, or create a smaller compound to enclose the activity.
You can create a sound barrier compound or sealed enclosure to suit a number of different scenarios. A noise mitigation enclosure is a great solution for generators, focused construction activity within a small footprint, and indoor construction or renovation work. Using our pickup panels and Echo Barrier, we can easily create a temporary noise control enclosure that is mobile and customizable.
If you still have questions about how to install Echo Barrier, or you’d like to learn more about our noise control solutions, please contact us.
We’re here to answer any questions you may have.