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  • Writer's pictureC. Scott Learned MS, MBA, PE, LEED AP.

Noise Control Engineering and Design Considerations for Animal Care Facilities

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

The Problem: Noise Transmission and Noise Reverberation

Noise control is one of the most important aspects of animal care facility design and engineering. Humans and animals hear things at different frequencies and the design of the facility must account for the entire spectrum of frequencies. Some noises are also more difficult to mask than others. For example, it is much harder to mask a low bark from a dog than a human conversation in an office.

Noise control is necessary for animal care facilities for both animals and humans. Quieter facilities can decrease stress for animals, which can affect their overall health and/or recovery. On the human side, a quieter facility will bring about a more pleasant experience in the facility. For animal shelters, it can even help to increase adoption rates.

Noise control solutions address two main issues, noise transmission and noise reverberation. Noise transmission refers to sounds heard through walls, doors, and down hallways. These are the noises that travel from room to room. Noise reverberation is the noise that remains in a room but bounces off walls and creates an echo (or reverberation). There is nowhere for that sound to go. Both are concerns that require different solutions.

The problem with many noise control solutions on the market currently, is that many are porous to absorb noise, but due to the nature of animal care, cleaning and washing are necessary. This means a lot of water, which does not mix well with porous products. Because of this, animal care-specific noise control options are of the utmost importance when determining which products to use.

The Solution: Better Engineering and Design

The DLI approach takes all of these noise control issues into consideration when engineering and designing a facility. There are many animal care-specific solutions for noise control that can be considered when creating a new project. Here are some examples of better noise control engineering and design:

  • Use acoustical insulating products in walls such as acoustic batt insulation, mineral wool, and continuous acoustical sealants.

  • Extend walls to the underside of the building structure rather than just to the ceiling because noise can travel through attic cavities if there is space to do so.

  • Use acoustical ceiling grids that are scrubbable, washable, and do not rust.

  • Use door types with a high density. One cost-effective solution is to use an exterior grade solid core fiberglass door and frame with sound gasketing.

  • Make sure HVAC ducting does not communicate with other spaces so that noise cannot travel through the ducts from one room to another. For example, ducts for cat spaces should not communicate with ducts for dog spaces. Mechanical zones should be small and numerous so as to isolate different spaces of the building from one another.

Do You Have Questions?

Learn about how we can redesign or engineer your facility so that you can give your animals the kind of care, safety, and treatment they deserve. We provide solutions beyond noise control solutions, such as UV disinfection, humidity control, odor control, and everything in between for animal care facilities.

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