When working in a manufacturing or industrial environment, noise levels can vary from facility to facility from the dull sound of warehousing to high decibel, heaving machinery. And depending on which environment an employee is in, the sound level can have quite an impact, especially for a prolonged period of time. Here’s a chart that shows OSHA’s allowable hours of work for noise levels 90 and above. As you can see, once the noise level in a work environment goes above 90 decibels, the amount of continued work that is safe in this area is greatly decreased.
To the left is another chart that shows the typical decibel level in a variety of environments, everything from a Jet takeoff level to the decibel of a study room. If we compare the two charts a construction site, which thousands of Americans work at every day lands in the 2-hour range on our OSHA sustainability chart then, a little higher up, there’s operating heavy equipment, which a worker would only be able to do for maximum 15 minutes at a time. So, workers in these types of environments need some sort of relief from these high, sometimes chaotic noise levels and oftentimes a soundproof wall or enclosure is required in order to make this possible. However, soundproof walls have a number of applications rather than a break room for employees in high decibel environments. In this post, we will go through the variety of environments and applications that benefit from the use of soundproof wall panels.
Heavy Machinery Office
Continuing with our thought above, facilities or job sites with heavy machinery can consistently have decibel levels from 90-120+ which can cause permanent hearing loss if exposed to for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, any type of office area in this environment would ideally have some sound deadening properties or materials. For Panel Built, this can include, but is not limited to, adding soundboard to the wall panel, increasing the overall thickness of the panel, or a combination of both of these.
In many cases, these heavy machinery offices are used for supervisors or managers of the facility. Not only will these office space need to provide enough protection to provide safety for the person’s ears, but it will need to create an environment calm enough for the supervisor to focus and plan for the future.
Our next application for our soundproof wall panels is for machinery enclosures. This application is similar to our scenario above, but with one slight difference. In heavy machinery offices, the goal of the soundproof wall is to keep the sound out of the office. For a machine enclosure, the soundproof wall is going to keep the noise inside the enclosure. The main benefit of enclosing your machinery is to provide noise reduction for a larger area in your facility. Plus, the enclosure could protect the machinery from damage and help keep it at a stable temperature for peak performance.
Precision Measuring Rooms
Another unique application for our soundproof wall panels is their use in precision measuring rooms. These rooms require an environment that is strictly controlled in nearly all aspects. They must keep at a constant temperature, have little to no particles in the air, and must have little to no vibration due to noise. The environment is so controlled because these measuring rooms use a CMM (or coordinate measuring machine) in order to exactly measure the “physical geometrical characteristics of an object.” In order to do this accurately, the object being measured can not expand or contract due to heat or vibrate due to noise. So, in this instance, soundproof panels are just one of the many requirements that must be met for this application.
This application most aligns with OSHA’s guidelines on decibels levels in a work environment. A breakroom in a manufacturing, warehouse, or construction environment is typically the only way that a company will be able to fully satisfy these regulations. However, having a comfortable break area away from the often-chaotic manufacturing floor can provide added benefits outside of just satisfying OSHA codes. As we talked about in a blog post from 2016, “The Importance of Breakrooms in Your Warehouse,” a stressful and chaotic work environment can cause what is known as “brain fog” or brain fatigue in employees, creating a dulling in mental awareness. Whenever an employee is affected by brain fatigue, the chances of workplace errors and injuries increase tenfold. For this reason, providing employees with a calm, comfortable break area not only allows them to take a break and relax but could potentially reduce the number of workplace accidents that occur.
This application uses our soundproof wall panels in a completely different setting and for an almost entirely different purpose. A SCIF room (or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility room) is a US Department of defense term for a fully secure room. The purpose of this room to completely suppress and eliminate the possibility of data leakage from the inside of the room. This is accomplished in a few different ways from the construction and layout of the room to the protocols of the people inside of the room. For sound suppression, the SCIF rooms must meet ICD/ICS 705 Technical Specifications for STC 45 and STC 50 requirements. Ultimately, these rooms have to be secure enough to keep people, data, and sound from involuntarily entering or leaving the room.
Each of our wall panels will have a varying amount of sound reduction depending on which of the panels you are looking at and how much sound reduction is needed for the project. The STC rating of the structure or room is going to have the greatest impact on the reduction of sound inside/outside. STC stands for Sound Transmission Class. The higher the STC rating of the room, the more sound reduction the room will have. To the right is a listing of the STC ratings for our panel types.
Pre-Assembled Buildings which are also known as ‘Chattels’ were first documented being used in Adelaide, Australia many years ago back in Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Three. The Religious Order of Friends, a Quaker church, was built right beside Saint Peters Cathedral, and was supplied by Henry Manning of London. The pre-assembled building still stands strong today, here in 2014, and is regularly used and serves as a meeting house.
Chattels were also used to provide a shelter for many emancipated slaves, in Barbados, who were not able to legally own land there, but the portable structures allowed them to easily relocate their shelters if requested.
Today, we have companies like Panel Built who provide many similar structures to the old fashioned chattels, who now offer a wide variety originating from Henry Manning’s ingenious idea. Pre-assembled modular and In-plant office(s), as well as, guard booth(s), shack(s) and house(s) are shipped back and forth every day in Twenty Thousand and Fourteen’s busy world of industry and security.
Build A Little Guard House in Your Soul
Pre-fabricated guard booths are most commonly found serving their purpose at a gatehouse entrance. They are loaded with closed circuit television monitors to survey the surrounding areas of the entrance to make sure that no person or vehicle makes it through into the assigned territory the security officer has been assigned to keep watch of.
Often at times the places which need guards stationed at their gate are private home owners and their communities and so the guard also operates a mechanical barrier arm to let vehicles pass. Some communities may use auto gates but more often than not, depending on the area and situation, intruders will disrespectfully lift the arm to drive below It or just simply drive through the gate arm destroying it and costing the land owner great amounts for repairs and reinstallation.
These days many guard shacks are portable and the best you can buy can be found online sold through companies like Panel Built. You don’t have to purchase a standard or basic guard shack, they are fully customized to the customers personal requirements including their choice on colours, interior and exterior design, specific safety features and internal design of electrical, communication and data ports.
As these guard houses are portable and very easy to move they may be used on the fly to accommodate guards that are stationed for long periods of time in areas where environments are harsh or quite often suffer from bad weather.
Better Than A Hard Hat
In-plant offices are not always used within a plant or factory. Most common pre-fabricated buildings are used on construction sites. Not only do the pre-fabricated offices keep administrative employees safe and clean from debris and dust that is most commonly found on plots that are under heavy construction, but they also make for clean break rooms where all employees can store their personal items, make a cup of tea or coffee and eat their lunches preserving them from exposure to the many construction sitecontaminants in the air.
Those who have not been on a construction site might be surprised to learn that many foreman for some clients or jobs might find themselves loaded down heavily with paper work, plans or blue prints. Having pre-fabricated houses on site during these jobs are a highly necessary means to those working there.
This house would enable the workers to be able to fill out or review the paper work and discuss the logistics of the job in a building away from the loud noises on the site, and also a safe place to store documents which could get lost on the site, destroyed or blown away in the wind.
With A Tool Like Mine…
Equipment is costly and although this is stating the obvious some equipment is so costly that it is wise to invest in a modular enclosure when you find that you have to leave some equipment out at your site or place of business overnight. More cost effective and practical than setting up full on guard booths, why not protect that equipment instead?
Pre-fabricated shacks or sheds are sound means to keep your best equipment locked away from possible overnight theft while no one is on site or a place to haste-fully store the equipment if the weather suddenly turns bad and heavy storms bring in rain over your work area and exposed expensive tools, machines, materials and devices.
Even for home use – Long term modular sheds can be insulated to house lawnmowers and gardeners equipment keeping it safe from rust. A generous one time expense may pay off over the years by extending the half life or your favorite sheers, hoes, rakes, plows and mechanical lawn management devices which might short during use if wet from having been left out in the rain or under automatic sprinkler systems.