Barriers helped to limit noise from chiller plant
ABU DHABI // As residents began to move into the area around Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Baniyas, the project’s developer faced an unexpected challenge.
Noise from a temporary, 6,250- tonne chiller plant behind the shopping centre was too loud for people living near by.
With the number of complaints rising and a permanent district cooling plant planned for the area still years away from construction, the project’s developer had to find an another solution.
“We had no other choice but to find some sort of acoustic treatment,” says Hussein El Nasser, senior manager at Baniyas Investment and Development.
The solution was to build a five-metre-tall wall around the periphery of the site and cover it with acoustic barriers to absorb and block out the noise.
Created and launched in Britain in 2009, the barriers limit noise from construction, outdoor events and other disturbances, says Geoff Callum, International Sales Manager of Echo Barrier, the company that developed the sound blockers.
It has been adopted as best practice by leading building companies in the UK and has since become a norm within the industry, he says.
“It is now like wearing a safety helmet. It is a must-have on construction sites,” says Mr Callum.
Part of the product’s appeal for builders is that it can be installed easily and reused, he says.
In Baniyas, the noise level around the chiller plant was about 85 decibels, says Mr El Nasser.
The level varied depending on which floor a resident lived and their distance from the chiller plant.
Since the acoustic panels were installed more than a year ago, noise has reduced by about 25 decibels.
The company has received no more complaints from residents, Mr El Nasser says.
“It is a rapid solution and effective,” he says. “The appearance is also satisfying. This in-between solution was an achievement for us.”
Updated: October 6, 2014 04:00 AM