Loud noise hurts everyone—and it's especially bad for business. Continued exposure impairs hearing and undermines emotional well-being, exposing employers to potential liabilities. Even at relatively low levels, unwanted noise can be a costly drain on employee morale and productivity.
Some businesses by their nature demand isolation from the intrusive sounds of the outside world. Concert halls and theatres would forfeit their enchantment for audiences subjected to noisy reminders of the external world of lobby and street. Recording studios cannot function with even miniscule sound intrusions from the outside.
Other facilities need to shield common workspaces and office employees from the distractions of resident noise emanating from the HVAC plant and other heavy equipment rooms. Virtually all types of commercial buildings need offices equipped for private conversation. And the need for absolute confidentiality is a modern byproduct of expanding national security operations.
In fact, audible conversation is an inherent problem for all facilities where private communication is important–from doctors' offices and hospitals to counselling centres. Noise can be equally unwelcome in settings we don’t usually associate with “business.” Consider the impact of noisy disruptions on the tranquillity of services and other functions at churches. Closer to home, where integrated home theatre systems are becoming popular, even routine household noise can interfere with listening pleasure. And when you're on the road, hotel noise often causes a lot of irritation if rooms are not equipped with sound-rated entrance and/ or communicating doors.
The solutions to the endless list of noise problems and challenges fall into two basic categories. The science of sound— acoustics—has yielded corresponding sound management techniques. Their application is determined by the nature of the particular noise problem:
• Absorption is the process of removing sound energy from within a room. Typically, that is accomplished using soft, porous materials exposed to soak up sound.
• Transmission is the movement of sound through a medium. Preventing the transfer of sound through door openings—specifically through clearances and gaps around doors—requires the specialized expertise and techniques.