blog of acoustics, noise, vibration & audio-visual systems
I admit that I like working in a niche field. I especially like the reactions of people who ask me what I do for a living and have never heard of an acoustics engineer. They find it amazing that someone does this type of work, or they start asking questions or making comments about some experience they have had with (usually poor) acoustics. Recently, on my way to an acoustics conference, I crossed the border at Detroitâ€™s Ambassador Bridge, which is the busiest US-Canadian crossingâ€¦ (more)
On a recent trip to Chicago, my wife and I were thankful for all the new traffic lanes recently completed. I can remember when the trip back home to my folks took an extra couple of hours if I got stuck in all the traffic. But thankfully, with the new highway renovations, weâ€™ve actually had some easy trips with no more traffic backups. Of course, our easy traveling must come at a cost. High density population areas are often encroached upon by the infrastructure needed to support them. In our case, the highways got a lot bigger with more lanes but that meant that they were even closer to the houses and neighborhoods that we drove through. (more)
Who Can See the Wind?
(by Christina Georgina Rossetti)
Who can see the wind? Neither you nor I
But when the leaves are trembling
The wind is passing by!
Who can see the wind? Neither I nor you
But when the trees are bending low
The wind is passing through!
As this children’s poem points out, the wind’s affect on the surrounding environment is a beautiful thing. But if you live near one of the many “wind farms” popping up all over the country, you may disagree. If that’s you, then “seeing the wind” means 400 foot tall wind turbines interrupting your landscape, and “hearing the wind” may mean loud “whirring” and “whoosh” sounds keeping you awake at night. (more)
With today’s heightened awareness about energy and our dependence on foreign oil, we are being lured with a promise of bountiful, cheap electricity if we simply harvest the energy from the wind. As is true with everything in life, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. Communities across the country are learning from past mistakes (the hard way) that one of the greatest struggles with wind turbine development is in community noise disturbances – or noise pollution. So, what can be done about it? (more)
Over the years as an acoustical consultant I’ve seen a lot of architectural firms locate rooftop air handling units over or near acoustically sensitive spaces; then they put up resistance to doing the necessary extensive noise controls that are needed for such a situation. The protest usually includes “but we’ve never had to do that in the past…” I call this rooftop roulette, because while not incorporating noise control design may have worked in the past, it does not guarantee future success. (more)
Are you planning to open a veterinary hospital? A doggy daycare? A kennel? A private dog park? If so, then make sure that you consider the noise issues ahead of time (i.e., the barking)! Although these types of projects only account for a small portion of our work at Acoustics By Design, we end up assisting with noise control for at least a couple of these animal facilities every year. And when it comes to building the perfect doggy daycare or kennel, there is always a common list of acoustic roadblocks. (more)
For many years, I worked as an acoustical consultant in Southern California. We had seasons in SoCal, but it took several years before I easily recognized the subtle differences between summer and fall or between winter and spring. Summer brought daytime temperatures in the 80’s while wintertime temperatures tended to range in the upper 60’s. But for the most part, the temperate climate meant that days would be warm, dry, and sunny and nights would be cooler, dry, and cloudless. My point: long term monitoring of outdoor noise levels and sound propagation was easy.
After ten years on the West Coast, I returned to the Midwest to work for Acoustics By Design, Inc., and found myself back in the midst of weather – real weather – blizzards, sticky summers, and thunderstorms. Most people know that weather can influence sound propagation, but by how much? (more)
Recently we were called in to consult on some highway noise that was affecting a residential community. The state had added a new exit ramp that diverged right through the back property lines of several of the residences. While we talked with one of the home owners, he asked about the acoustical effects of planting more trees and foliage between his house and the new exit ramp. As Acoustical Consultants, this is something we hear all the time: the idea that trees and plants can effectively mitigate loud noise. Hopefully, this blog will help put to rest some of the myths about acoustical attributes of trees: where they fail and where they succeed. (more)
Subscribe via email
Enter your email address