Noise Control-Passing City Noise Ordinances

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The Cambridge Chronicle recently ran a report titled “Neighbors make some noise over noise: Company seeks variance to keep rooftop machinery going.” All parties involved in this noisy proposition might have saved themselves a lot of aggravation if a noise control product had been part of the equation.

As it turns out, a “Hampshire Street pharmaceutical company’s plan to skirt the city’s noise control ordinance” has residents all up in arms. After all, what’s the point in passing such ordinances if they’re just going to be bypassed? The debate resulted in Idenix Phamaceuticals being fined $300 a day for violating the ordinance for its loud rooftop equipment, a sanction the company didn’t take lightly.

The newspaper went on to report, “Representatives from the company are seeking approval from the License Commission to sidestep the city’s noise control ordinance, but neighbors said the city’s current limits on noise should stay for the sake of a good night’s sleep.”

In the company’s defense, “Idenix spokesperson Teri Dahlman said they have made an effort to muffle most of the facility’s sound, and hopes the city will recognize it.” On the opposite side of the fence, “Peter Lindquist, a Market Street resident and direct abutter of Idenix, said the noise – generated from heating and cooling units and exhaust systems – has been a 24/7 ordeal.”

Companies that are in a position like Idenix might want to make sure that their equipment is armed with custom molded rubber and rubber-to-metal bonded parts to control both noise and vibration. That way, they can avoid noise ordinance issues altogether. The Vibro-Insulator line of isolators and mounts, which are used for the control of noise, vibration and shock, are a particularly good option for companies like Idenix, whose buildings are located in cities where their equipment generates more noise than the locale allows.

From insulator pads, mounts, isolators, bobbins, buffers and bumpers, a whole range of vibration and noise control products are available. Best of all, these custom molded rubber and rubber-to-metal bonded parts can be tailored to the precise needs of the equipment involved.

In the case of Idenix, the Vibro-Isolator pads would be a good choice. These square molded pads can be used to effectively control noise and vibration, particularly in applications involving heavy machinery and equipment. The pads are available in both single and double sided ribbed construction. They can be easily cut to any desired shape and can be used in multiple layers to increase deflection. They are available in 60 durometer Neoprene.

Low frequency ring mounts might also be an important consideration. Your Dictionary defines audio frequency as “the band of audible sound frequencies or corresponding electric current frequencies, about 20 to 20,000 hertz.” Under most city ordinances, anything above around 60 decibels, depending on the time of the day, is considered a violation of the noise ordinance. At about 120 decibels, one starts to feel the sound as a tickling sensation. At about 130 to 140 decibels, sound starts to produce pain. Ring mounts can help prevent the reaching of such levels.

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