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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

Are You Tired of All the Noise at Your Veterinary Hospital?

It's time to control the noise

One of the biggest problems we have found in our years of work is that existing animal care facilities typically have noise issues. Keep in mind that noise issues can also be a problem for poorly designed new buildings too.


Noise in a veterinary hospital can cause issues for both staff and clients. 


  • Can people overhear conversations between exam rooms? 

  • Can people overhear the veterinary staff communicating in the treatment space?

  • Are client animals stressed because they hear other animals in the building?

  • Are staff members frequently distracted and stressed due to excessive noise? 


A building design should account for two main types of noise: reverberation and transmission.


How to overcome noise reverberation


Noise reverberation is the noise that occurs within a space and often causes an echo. Hard surfaces, usually found in veterinary clinics, exasperate reverberation that do not have any noise absorption. 


Here is a scenario to think about: If a dog is in an exam room and starts barking, a room with poor reverberation control may allow that bark to bounce off of the walls within the room. The best way to address this type of noise concern is to provide porous surfaces to deaden the noise.


The challenge with porous surfaces is that there are very few products that the building design experts at Design Learned recommend. Many porous materials are actually not suitable for the wet environment and cleaning chemicals used in veterinary hospitals. Our team of building design experts often recommend two types of solutions for noise reverberation.


  • One helpful tool for noise reverberation control is an acoustical ceiling tile that is wipeable, washable, and antimicrobial. 

  • Another material is acoustic wall/ceiling panels that are placed throughout the building to deaden noise. Think about the lobby areas, hallways, patient rooms, etc. 


Stop noise transmission from room to room

Noise transmission is the noise that occurs from one space to another. This type of noise is what travels through the walls and ceilings. Our building design experts often work with veterinary hospitals experiencing this noise issue. Remember that noise transmission is much more difficult to treat after the building is constructed.  


Typically, when the engineers at Design Learned design a building, they design the walls to be acoustically insulated and thick. Our team also requires that either the walls continue to the roof or that a hard lid be added to each room to seal it from other spaces.  


There are two common areas of the building that experience noise transmission.


  • Most veterinary hospitals with noise transmission issues have thin walls and ceilings that only go up about a foot past the drop ceiling. The entire space above the rooms is open by not having walls that continue to the roof. The open space allows noise (both speaking and barking) to travel freely above it throughout the building.

  • Doors and windows are also weak spots in terms of noise control. The Design Learned building experts know the best way to address weak spots is to add mass to the walls or ceilings. (Don't worry - we have a few engineering tricks for clients!)


Say goodbye to noise issues at your animal hospital


Noise is a prevalent issue, and our building design experts and engineers design and remediate animal hospitals to address all types of noise issues. Our goal at Design Learned is to provide you and your clients with a calm and relaxing environment. 


If you want to have your existing facility reviewed due to noise control concerns or create a new veterinary hospital to address these concerns during construction, call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online.








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