LYNCHBURG, Virginia, April 27, 2011– Rolling green hills and pastoral settings are a top draw for residents and visitors to Lynchburg, Virginia. When noise from two aging 125-ton chillers at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in downtown Lynchburg began disturbing neighbors in the hillside community outside the downtown area, jail officials wasted no time finding a solution that would return the peace and quiet its neighbors had always enjoyed.
Once the complaints began coming in -- not from the facility’s immediate neighbors, but from residents on the hillsides surrounding the jail -- Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority officials had to determine whether the chillers' noise levels were within local ordinances and regulations governing noise, and found that they were in compliance.
“We were below acceptable noise levels, but we wanted to do the right thing and find a solution that would restore quiet to the neighbors and meet our budget and installation needs,” said Kenneth Floyd, maintenance director at the jail.
Acoustiblok Chief Operating Officer Marilyn Myers worked with Floyd in determining the best solution for quieting the jail’s chiller noise. Acoustiblok provides indoor and outdoor noise deadening products for a myriad of applications; Myers determined that the easy-to- install Acoustifence material would offer the best all-around sound abatement for this application.
“It’s working very well,” Floyd said. “We installed it around the chillers, and I was surprised at how easy it was to install because it is heavy.
“But we haven’t had a single complaint since it went up.”
The reciprocating chillers, which have been in place since the jail was built in 1998, are air-cooled. Noise emanating into critical areas -- screw compressors (on the bottom of the unit) generate mid/hi frequency noise, up-blast fans (on the top) generate low frequency noise. This is one type of industrial noise pollution that experts warn can be hazardous to the health of individuals subjected to it on an ongoing basis.
World Fence News defines Acoustifence as a "new defense against outdoor noise pollution." Commonly employed in industrial usage, small and private airports, construction sites, mass transit rail lines and even dog kennels, it is also available for residential use.
The Acoustifence is a unique 1/8th-inch thick heavy mineral filled viscoelastic acoustical material available in a standard 6-foot x 30-foot (3mm x 1.83m x 9.14m), although longer lengths and taller heights are available. To suit their needs, jail officials ordered 90 feet of 9-foot tall Acoustifence to wrap around their chillers. Unlike fences or shrubs, Acoustifence performs well at blocking direct sound while reducing reflective sound at the same time.
With acoustical properties that provide a lab-certified STC (sound transmission classification) of 28 dB, a reduction that represents a sound decrease of 85-percent to the human ear, Acoustifence also reduces sound that can reflect over or around the fence and reverberate off surrounding objects, creating a secondary noise problem.
This is not the first time a jail has utilized Acoustiblok sound abatement material to resolve a noise problem; in 2010, a Pinellas County, Florida jail installed Acoustiblok "All Weather Sound Panels" to resolve a noise problem caused by sound reverberations and echo in the jail's concrete videoconferencing room.
"Every noise issue we're faced with calls for a solution that addresses a host of unique variables," said Lahnie Johnson, president and founder of Acoustiblok, Inc.
"We offer a variety of noise reduction products, and the expertise to determine the best approach to resolve every problem."
For more information, visit the website at www.acoustiblok.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 813.980.1400.