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Noise Control in Building Services

It is well known that building services create noise and vibration. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, hot and cold water services, process services, electrical generation systems, lift and escalator systems are all potentially the source of undesirable noise and/or vibration.

Effective noise control of building services is not simply a question of locating attenuation devices at various points in a system. In an HVAC system, for example, the acoustic consultant must become completely familiar with the overall design. Only on this basis can comprehensive recommendations be made regarding duct velocities, damper locations, terminal device selections and potential ductborne crosstalk weaknesses as well as the basic requirement for plantroom wall/slab thicknesses or even isolation of slabs in lightweight building structures.

Every building services system is custom designed to meet the needs of the building it is serving. The trend toward optimum energy efficiency in buildings means that every part of a building services system must pull its weight. The consequences of over-design are just as undesirable as under-design. The margin for error on the noise control design of any system is becoming smaller. The generic solutions which may or may not match the needs of a specific system have no place in today's building.

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