Industry award for acoustics engineers

By Sep.25, 2015

Throwing noisy barbells around in gyms may be good for your health – but spare a thought for the neighbours!

Noise and nuisance caused by the proliferation of gyms in apartment blocks is causing a backlash with neighbours complaining of vibrating floors and walls, noise from loud music and the crashing of weights.

In the US, clashes have already reached the courts with gyms facing enforcement orders and even eviction.

Now engineers at the University of Salford in partnership with Hoare Lea Acoustics have developed a better way to predict the decibel count in and around gyms before the equipment moves in.

And the project has received professional acclaim as one of six UK winners in the national Acoustics and Noise Consultants Awards 2015.

The university’s Dr Andrew Elliott, a vibro-acoustics researcher, and associates at Hoare Lea worked on a project for the budget fitness firm The Gym Group, which has 60 gyms and 350,000 customers in the UK.

The new method predicts sound and vibration with modelling techniques without the need to measure actual installations in situ. The technique can be used in many other fields of application and demonstrates a significant advance in analysis methods for building noise.

Judges said the consultancy experience with academic research was a “winning combination”, which was a clever way of dealing with difficult structures. “This work represents acoustic consultancy at its best,” they said.

Consultant Martin McNulty of Hoare Lea is himself a University of Salford alumnus, graduating in 2005 with a MSc in Acoustics.


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