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Problem Solver - August 2016
Problem Solver Questions & Answers

Control Noise in Your Natatorium or Gym


Natatoriums and gyms often host activities with acoustic challenges. For example, a natatorium might need to accommodate swimming practice and instruction, swimming competitions and programs that combine music and aquatics; or a gym might also serve as a lecture, music or presentation space. But with inherently poor acoustics in these environments, the noise level becomes a nuisance. The right attention to engineering and design can address these problems and acoustically transform these settings.

Q: We're building a new natatorium and would like to host multiple types of events, but we're concerned about acoustics. What should we know?

A: The typical moisture- and chlorine-resistant materials used to construct natatoriums combined with the large size of such facilities cause high reverberation times and give rise to excessive noise. Your goal is an environment where people can enjoy multiple activities without deterioration of sound.

Because your facility has not yet been constructed, the necessary acoustic testing will need to be done via computer modeling based on your architect's specs. Armed with this analysis, you can identify a solution to fit your design and meet your needs, such as the installation of acoustic panels that reduce reverberation and improve the ambient sound environment.

Q: Our gym's acoustics are fine for most daily activities, but we sometimes host other events. How can we control the noise?

A: When you want your gym to accommodate a variety of events, it is imperative to find ways to control the raucous noise created by the hard surfaces and the cavernous space. Sound testing and analysis can compare the existing reverberation time to the ideal and show how acoustic panels will absorb sound and make speech or music more intelligible and pleasant.

Q: What else should we know?

A: Acoustic panels are available in moisture-resistant, coated aluminum, which is perfect for a damp, chlorinated environment. They're also highly durable, so they're tough enough to withstand impact from basketballs, volleyballs and more. They can be easily adjusted in terms of mounting distance from ceiling and walls, and tilted when necessary to provide optimum sound absorption. Panel solutions can be designed and installed during new construction or as a retrofit to existing spaces.



FOR MORE INFORMATION

Eckel Noise Control Technologies
617-491-3221
www.eckelusa.com


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