Echo Barrier introduces portable construction noise solution
Noise solutions business Echo Barrier has just launched a new-generation acoustic barrier into the local market which the company claims can reduce construction noise by up to 30dB(A).
The company says the barriers will benefit construction companies, local businesses and residents due to the barrier's ability to soak up sound rather than reflecting it like other products on the market.
Echo Barrier adds it has already proven popular on large scale overseas projects including the 2012 London Olympics.
Echo Barrier Director Ray Lee says the company's local clients include John Holland Group, Regional Rail Link and Aggreko.
"These barriers can significantly reduce noise impacts on people living and working near construction projects," he says.
"Construction companies often have to spend time dealing with noise complaints, liaising with councils, local businesses and residents to keep work moving on site."
"From a residents' and local businesses' perspective, excessive noise from construction projects can cause significant impacts including loss of sleep or inability to work or study for residents, as well as the potential loss of revenue for local businesses."
"So keeping noise levels to a minimum is also about enhancing a company's reputation as a member of a community."
Lee adds before the introduction of the Echo Barrier's soundproof barrier, mitigating the noise from construction projects meant building heavy duty walls which can be expensive, time consuming and sometimes impractical.
According to Echo Barrier, its soundproof walls are engineered from a patented lightweight material which is highly sound absorbent but does not absorb water. This means they stay light and manoeuvrable even on wet days so one person can easily move the barriers around sites as required.
"With Echo Barrier, you can create a noise wall where one couldn't previously have been made and it's even feasible to set up and take down the noise walls on a daily basis, making them an incredibly versatile, affordable and easy to use solution to construction noise," Lee says.
Although construction noise is not addressed by national building code legislation, the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants says there is a desire in the industry to implement best practice noise management strategies.
The Association's Chairman Martti Warpenius says control is necessary due to noise becoming an increasing issue as Australia's urban population grows.
"We work with a lot of construction companies providing advice on best practice acoustic control during the construction phase and in the building design itself," he says.
"There is no national legislation governing noise, with acceptable levels determined on a project by project basis, but we do see that companies are generally striving for best practice noise protection approaches."
In the absence of guidelines, what 'best practice' implies can be difficult to identify but Warpenius says to look to the specific needs of a community for guidance.
"Options can range from the use of noise barriers to using equipment which emits lower noise levels, or even temporarily relocating affected communities during peak construction periods."
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