Victorian Ministry Focuses on Noise Reform

January 29th, 2014

Noise reform seems to be all the rage these days, with international debate, especially in music and clubbing areas.

Melbourne is well known for being the hub of the music scene throughout Australia. Complaints about music and noise are also a huge problem. A lot of struggling bars and venues have had huge problems with complaints, some of them leading to court, fines, and subsequent venue closures.

Reform to noise regulations would change all of that by applying a “Agent of Change Principle” to the situation.

This principle would make it the responsibility of the person who changes the landscape of the neighborhood in question responsible for soundproofing. In other words, if a bar moves into an otherwise quiet neighborhood, the bar will be responsible for making sure there are no sound issues. But if you decide to rent an apartment in a music venue neighborhood, you’re out of luck and will have to soundproof your own apartment.

The costly concept of soundproofing will make new home developers think twice before building too close to the entertainment district, for sure.


New York City Residents are at War – Over Sound

December 12th, 2013

I grew up in the suburbs. I’ve beenĀ to the city on hundreds of occasions. I’ve noticed the “don’t honk your horn” signs in NYC; or the signs hear local hospitals in Philadelphia that tell ambulances not to use their sirens. Truth be told, I’ve never really given much thought as to what it must be like to live in a high-rise apartment or condo building, constantly surrounded by echoing noise.

That’s why I was so interested by this article I just read in the New York Times. In cities like NYC, the art of getting around sound is turning into outright warfare. The article starts with a story about a couple living in a $1.2 million condo where they can’t open the windows at night because of the sound from a neighbor’s air conditioner. The soundproofing expert he hired offered to build boxes to fit over the neighbor’s unit, rerouting some of the sound. These things, though, come at a cost – a $1,000 per box cost.

And that’s just one example.

Bus breaks, people talking, and major construction projects are leaving residents wondering if they’ll ever experience peace again. This is despite NYC codes that require contractors to put noise plans into place before starting projects – IF they can identify a need before they start (which many fail to do).

Construction workers all around major cities are now looking for new ways to construct newer buildings that are friendly to live in. They’re using decoupling materials and vibration absorption materials to reduce noise and the “feel” of the rumbling of trains or construction explosions.

Only time will tell if the changes will work. Until then, apartment dwellers are looking for their own solutions – soundproofing their own apartments, and sometimes those of neighbors!

Glen Cove Schools Need Soundproofing

November 25th, 2013

The Glen Cove area representatives have the backs of the citizens. Representatives Grace Meng and Steve Israel are working together to spearhead a campaign to help get soundproofing work done on some of the schools in the area.

The noise from airplanes flying over the northeast section of Queens is becoming intolerable. They’re petitioning the Port Authority’s director, specifically asking for assistance at the Douglaston and Bayside schools.

Noise is a huge problem in a lot of areas and can have significant negative impacts on the quality of human life, ranging from fatigue to other more serious health complications. Students who can’t hear their teachers or who are constantly distracted don’t do as well in school and can become cranky and irritated.

Noise levels are so bad at points that some students need to wear earplugs to class.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for news regarding this petition. Hopefully they can get the same help other residential areas get when airport noise becomes a problem.

Soundproofing on a Budget? A Few Simple Tips

October 30th, 2013

While you may be balking at the idea of completely soundproofing your home, I personally feel it’s a great investment. It doesn’t take much to throw up some drywall with Green Glue.

If that’s really not possible, though, there are a few things you can do to dull the sounds you hear throughout the home on a regular basis.

First, consider the fabrics you have around your home. Rugs and carpeting can mute the sound of footsteps; and heavy drapes can dull some of the noises coming from outside your home.

Next, consider the furniture in the room where noise is most bothersome. Adding heavy bookshelves and thick chairs will block and absorb some of the noise, too.

Finally, check for cracks around your doorways, windows, and baseboards. Sound loves to travel through open spaces and the tiniest spaces can cause quite a bit of damage.

While these aren’t optimal soundproofing tips, they’re things that can help you a little bit – if the problem isn’t huge or if you simply can’t afford to do anything else. Try to save towards a real solution, though. You’ll definitely sleep better at night if you do!

Rutgers Students Start the Year with New Housing

September 9th, 2013

In New Brunswick, NJ, university students are coming back to school and will find a slightly changed atmosphere. Local developers have noticed the lack of safe and affordable housing for off-campus college students and have started to make changes.

Construction Management Associates is a local group dedicated to building new apartment buildings in some of the areas surrounding the college, with at least 3 in the works. He hopes the apartments will be ready by the beginning of the 2014 school year. The group is also building a house that will be used for a sorority or fraternity.

While the group is targeting Rutgers students, they’re not working with the university. Security systems, soundproofing, garbage services, and nice looking homes are not only going to draw in students but will hopefully encourage the owners and landlords of surrounding homes to clean up their residences. The entire area will become more competitive and, hopefully, nicer for all students.

Even Cruise Ships are Looking at Soundproofing

August 27th, 2013

Well, that’s only a partial truth. Some cruise ships are looking at soundproofing, but only for their signature suites.

Take, for example, the Celebrity Selection ship. This particular cruise line has opted to focus on the inclusion of a few luxury suites. They’re located on the 14th deck and take over what was once an observation lounge.

The suites have a sleek contemporary design, inspired by the creators from BG Studios in trendy New York City. Not only do the suites have a stunning new design, but they feature higher ceilings and one even has two bedrooms. We’re talking about gorgeous wrap-around balconies, showers with sea views, butler service, and in-room electronics.

The location was of concern, though. Because of the proximity to the ship’s nightclub and very popular observation lounge, the designers had to work extra hard to make sure the rooms were soundproofed enough to remain quiet and private. They did this by creating double walls and by using some serious soundproof insulation tools. They’ve used this method between the suites themselves, between the suites and the nightclub, and on the ceilings to protect visitors from the basketball court sounds from above!

Go figure!

Can You Soundproof a Bedroom Door?

August 13th, 2013

I recently found this video and wanted to share it with you as an example of what NOT to do when you need to soundproof your bedroom. Theoretically, this guy is right in adding mass to soundproof his room, including the door. I’m just not so sure that tacking foam insulation to a door is really the way to go. Check this out first:

So what would we recommend? The good news is that you can probably do something a bit simpler -and definitely more eye appealing. My first piece of advice would be to make sure your door is solid. If it’s hollow, consider replacing it. My second suggestion would be to make sure you have good deals around all of the edges of your door. I have a hunch these little changes will work more effectively – and look a lot nicer – than some pink foam.

Booming Business in Melbourne May Not Be Great for Music

July 18th, 2013

In Melbourne, heart of the Australian music industry, you’ll find more then 400 different live music venues. Radio stations are still popular; street teams are the norm; and the public – of all ages – simply loves music.

That’s why the future of the music industry is so shaky. The city itself is growing by leaps and bounds, and this includes an influx of residents moving into the city. This poses a problem for the hundreds of live music venues. Without tons of local neighbors, noise complaints were at a minimum. As residential and commercial construction grows, though, new neighbors will mean new noise restrictions.

This could cause huge problems for some of these popular small business. The Cherry Bar, on ACDC Lane (don’t you love that name?), is a prime example. It’s a must-play venue for new bands, but if noise become an issue, the bar will be looking at spending up to $100,000 for proper soundproofing. That’s a year of profit!

One of the co-owners of the bar, James Young, is campaigning for change, though. He maintains that since the district was primarily geared towards music, the bars should not be responsible for paying for change to accommodate newcomers. He feels the developers who are changing the scope of the district should be responsible for making the upgrades. He feels that if he had built a bar in a residential community, the problem would be his, but this instance is different.

What do you think of his proposal? Should the government take him seriously? I wonder if they’ll be influential in driving this sort of change.

Even Writers Need Soundproof Space

July 4th, 2013

Sue Miller may be a best selling writer, imaginative and full of quirks, but she’s just as human as the rest of us. She writes in different areas of her house, loves her dogs, and has her own odd book collection. She, not unlike many of us, doesn’t enjoy keeping strict work hours, but she does love writing first thing in the morning.

My opinion? She can write how she likes. She’s written a collection of 10 stunning novels, one of which even made it into Oprah’s Book club.

The part of the Boston Globe interview that caught our eye, of course, was her office environment. She and her husband are adamant about keeping their work lives separate, so they have individual offices in the home. The soundproofing process was extensive, all the way down to door seals that prevent them from hearing each other while they’re hard at work in their individual studies.

Personally, I love knowing that soundproofing is helping a fabulous writer extend her career. If only I could soundproof the office in my apartment!

Using Green Glue from a Large Pail

June 25th, 2013

While you’re probably familiar with using Green Glue from caulking-style tubes, you may not be as familiar with the concept of using Green Glue directly from one of their larger 5-gallon buckets. Buying in a bucket can be incredibly cost effective, especially if you have a large project spanning over a few hundred square feet.

If you’re working on a large job – especially a new construction project – you should check out this video so you can better prepare yourself for working with the bucket.