Acoustic Fencing Helps Reduce Noise Levels
One way of helping to reduce the level of noise in commercial and domestic applications is the installation of acoustic fencing. Such fencing can greatly help to bring down noise levels but only if installed correctly. There are many factors to consider and here we are going to go through everything you need to know.
Here at HA-Acoustics, we are expert acoustic consultants specialising in all types of sound insulation in Essex, the surrounding regions and nationwide. When considering acoustic fencing it is important to have a survey beforehand and we are the experts to do it. However, first let’s take a look at the aspects of soundproof fencing that need consideration, starting with why keeping noise pollution down is essential.
Why keeping noise pollution down is essential
You can never totally get rid of noise pollution, there is always going to be some noise heard but it is essential for our health to keep the levels down as much as possible.
The noise of vehicles from busy roads and motorways can get on your nerves if you want some peace and quiet, but it can affect your life more seriously. Noise pollution over the long term can damage your hearing, even leading to some level of hearing loss and in the worst-case scenario, leading to total deafness. Long term noise pollution can also cause nervousness, anxiety and stress.
What is acoustic fencing?
Acoustic fencing is a type of fencing specifically designed to help reduce the level of noise. Fencing of this nature is used in many industries, commercially and residentially, where it is essential to reduce noise pollution. This can be in areas where there is noise from high volumes of vehicles, noise from industrial machinery and even people.
The level of noise reduction from soundproof fencing can be measured as high as upto 30dB, but this level of reduction is typically a laboratory level and not in a field test. Externally levels of upto 15dB can be achieved, a good manufacturer put their acoustic fence panels through laboratory testing, giving confidence on quality of product. Acoustic fencing differs from standard fencing in the way it is constructed. Standard fencing consists of thin panels of wood, such as the type of fence you’d get from a DIY store such as Wickes, B&Q or Homebase whereas acoustic fencing consists of a solid timber structure with an acoustic infill and weighs more than 12.5kg/m2, such suppliers include Jacksons and Gramm.
Just as there are different types of standard fencing, the same applies to acoustic fencing. Thanks to the numerous designs and materials used, it can be just as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as any other type of fencing. Acoustic timber panels can be vertical, horizontal or even topped with trellis and can be stained or painted to suit your needs.
Common applications for using acoustic fencing
There are many applications where this type of fencing is essential or preferred over the standard types of fencing. These include:
- Reduction of traffic noise for domestic properties close to busy roads and motorways;
- Reducing noise from neighbouring gardens;
- Reducing noise between neighbouring properties;
- Noise reduction if you live close to a recreational area, park, school etc.;
- Reduction of noise from such as sporting venues, railways and airports;
- Any business where loud machinery is used;
- Residential properties situated close to businesses.
Acoustic fencing does require a lot of consideration. It is not as simple as erecting any other type of fencing. For it to do the job of cutting down the sound, calculating the height of the fence correctly is essential. Therefore, it is imperative to have a professional acoustic survey carried out beforehand.
Why you need an acoustic survey before installation
An acoustic survey, sometimes called a noise assessment or noise survey or acoustic fence survey is undertaken using sophisticated sound measuring equipment. A test is undertaken by sound engineers to determine the level of noise in a particular area, consider the site topography, what the customer is seeking to achieve and the height and position of the fence. Typically at HA Acoustics we assess to reduce noise from such sources as road traffic, rail, mechanical plant, goods yards and airports.
It’s all about the height of the fencing
In regards to acoustic fencing installation to help reduce noise, a survey is essential to determine at which height the fencing needs to be erected. Unless an acoustic survey is completed beforehand to find the correct height, you might just as well have a regular fence installed.
HA Acoustics take that guesswork away by undertaking a site survey and noise modelling the source (e.g. road), the receiver (the house and garden), and then utilise noise modelling software and incorporating topographical data to determine what acoustic performance can be predicted to be achieved with an acoustic fence of a certain height in a certain position, of a certain length installed.
Whether you have relocated to a new home that backs onto a primary school in say, Chelmsford, you are close to a major road in Brentwood and want to reduce the noise or you are opening a business in Basildon close to housing, or any other area in Essex or beyond, we can provide a survey for acoustic fencing. HA Acoustics cover nationwide.
Our expert sound engineers will visit your site to take readings of real-time noise that surrounds the property and calculate projected results. We will then provide you with a written report that shows the results of our tests and recommendations to how suitable acoustic fencing would be and the results that could be achieved.
Factors to consider
Working out the exact height of an acoustic fence is never straight forward as it depends on different criteria and that is why experts are required. As a general rule, the further away the source of the noise from the receiver, the higher your acoustic fencing would need to be.
The noise reduction gained from the acoustic fence is also going to be dependent on the location of the boundary of the fence in relation to the source of the noise. Our sound engineers will take readings and calculations to determine the decibel reduction you would receive from your acoustic fencing.
Acoustic fencing may reduce noise in an outdoor setting typically upto 5dB when enabling only a partial line of sight to the noise source, this is a notable reduction in sound, with a significant reduction of around 10-15dB, which is a good reduction when the acoustic screen completely breaks the line-of-sight.
Depending on the site, the proposal to install acoustic fencing might require either planning consent or a licence for lawful development, therefore our acoustic reports can be used to support planning applications. Our noise models visualise the spread of sound and evidence the reduction that an acoustic barrier will have, supporting the argument that a properties external noise climate can be made more desirable, thus reducing the negative health impacts of high noise levels.
We know that acoustic fencing doesn’t come cheap and we do not want you to waste your money. Therefore, our sound engineers are totally honest with you and if fencing would be of no benefit, our acoustic survey will tell you, so that you don’t incur spending thousands of pounds installing acoustic fencing for negligible gain.
Contact us for your acoustic survey
Contact us, HA-Acoustics, to talk to an expert acoustic consultant or noise engineer to discuss your noise survey. We are the leading experts in the Essex, East Anglia, London regions and the rest of the UK. Just leave us your details via our contact form for expert acoustics advice.
We supply a wide range of acoustic sound testing services for commercial and domestic properties, including acoustic surveys for pre-installation of acoustic fencing.