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The Committee on Design (COD) was founded to promote design excellence among members of the AIA, the broader design community, and the public at large, both nationally and internationally.


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Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

  • 1.  Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hello-

    Scene- Small restaurant in old mixed use DT has its rear yard butt up to a pocket of single family homes. New owner of restaurant wishes to add outdoor seating at the rear. Neighbors expressed concern about noise- owner will work out hours of operation and if or when music might be played outside- will work with neighbors and village government.

    However, we have been asked to present noise control options. We showed a wall that was 6-6 high. The planning board would like to see some back up for the material choice.

    Before going to an acoustical engineer, has anyone had experience in this type of question. Recommendations for  a product? A place for guidance that is DIY?

    Thank you

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    Kathleen Sullivan AIA
    Trio Architecture pllc
    Hastings on Hudson NY
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  • 2.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 11 days ago

    I would get an acoustical consultant involved right away. From preliminary discussions of s large single family housing development adjoining an Interstate highway it appeared that  a wall or an earth berm would have to be very high to have any significant effect on the noise level. The project did not go ahead so we did not get into detailed solutions. 



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    John Hayes FAIA
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  • 3.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 10 days ago
    I second the advice to get an acoustical engineer to look at the situation. You did not mention how tall the adjacent residences are or how tall the back face of the restaurant structure is. Will the music be coming from speakers mounted above the patrons? All of those items will impact where direct and reflected sound will be received beyond the rear dining area. A canopy over the dining area would certainly help contain some of the sound. If the neighbors don’t use AC they will legitimatelylikely have windows open in the evening and that will make it tougher to contain amplified music nearby to a tolerable level.


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  • 4.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hey Kathleen Sullivan,

    Frasch! is an innovative acoustic screening designer and manufacturer; while many of their products are for the interior, you might be able to find an exterior application for some of the PET screens. Custom closed cell basotect isn't a bad design solution either. I don't suggest people use wood anymore, especially after ZGF proved that there is already too much wood at Architecturally demanding sites. Good luck!

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    Seth Trotter
    Prescott AZ
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  • 5.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 10 days ago

    Depending on the closeness and height of the adjacent houses, a six-foot wall may not be tall enough. Way back, I worked on an acoustic wall at a loading dock adjacent to a neighborhood and it ended up being over nine feet tall to absorb all the sound waves that didn't go up over the houses. I believe it ended up being heavy timber to absorb the sound waves but that was 30 years ago. I'm sure there are a lot more product choices now than we had. We did work with an acoustic engineer, and I highly recommend it.

     

    Regards,

    Pamela

     

    Pamela Leonard

    District Architect 

    U. S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi 

    c 662-202-6867

     

    For urgent issues please call my cell 

     




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  • 6.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 10 days ago

    Sounds travel outward in all directions. Can't imagine any wall of reasonable height (6' +-) will do much of anything for you.  I'm guessing this is way more than owner wants to get involved in, but a canopy of some kind will do more than any wall can do. Then you're going to get into fire ratings et al. 

    CA's infamous highway sound walls wound up bouncing sound into neighborhoods a mile away in the opposite direction. Unintended consequences.  If you wind up with a wall line with foam used in recording studios or Anechoic chambers. 



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    Eugene Ely AIA Emeritus, LEED AP
    San Jose, CA
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  • 7.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 10 days ago
    "If you wind up with a wall line with foam used in recording studios or Anechoic chambers"

    If you do this, you need to check the flammability and smoke generating characteristics of the foam. The use of unsuitable acoustic foam was blamed for one of the most deadly nightclub fires in the USA. 

    For basic details see the Wikipedia article "The Station Nightclub Fire" 

    John Hayes 
    Sent from my iPad



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  • 8.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 8 days ago
    I have heard that a box of some depth or a fence with depth filled with (maybe) RockWool (doesn't burn and doesn't absorb water) might absorb the sound.  Anything soft (like soft sculpture or material banners hung about 2-3" from your wall or fence) will absorb sound (trap it behind).

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    Nelson B. Nave AIA
    Owner
    Nelson Breech Nave, AIA Architect
    Kalamazoo MI
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  • 9.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hi Kathleen,
    I know from having worked at IBM in Poughkeepsie, that mass best stops sound.  The heavier the material the better the sound deadening.  When we built an isolation room to test radio frequency, it had to completely soundproof from the outside.  The walls, floor and ceiling were lined with lead sheets, then anechoic foam on top of that.  The anechoic foam consisted of about 3' deep spikes.  It was in this anechoic chamber that they could test their equipment.  You could not hear a thing outside.
    In a restaurant a heavy wall, along with shrubs would act in a similar fashion.  Of course agreeing to limiting db of music also wouldn't hurt.  In my opinion they ruin it for me when we have to shout to hear each other, so we just avoid those places even if the food is great.
    Best of luck with your project!

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    William Figdor, AIA
    Art & Architecture, LLC
    Maplewood, NJ
    Figdor@mac.com
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  • 10.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 9 days ago

    On traditional city blocks that are ringed by four or five story townhouses, the back yards of the houses are usually separated by six foot high wood or brick walls. 

    if your neighbor has a party in their backyard, you will hear people talking and moving around. It doesn't matter whether the wall is wool or brick, the sound just comes over the top. And if your neighbor has a house near an inner corner of the block, the sound will be reflected toward you from the backs of other houses. You put up with it as just one of the trade offs for living in the city. If a neighbor has a band in once or twice s year for s birthday party, you accept that too as long as they shut down at a reasonable time.

    But if s band bought s house and started playing in their own backyard every night, you and your neighbors would complain to he city to get it stopped.  Short of moving them inside or enclosing their whole backyard in soundproof structure (if code permits) I don't see how outdoor music and neighbors in a residential visit could coexist

    Now, none of us has seen your site  That's why I suggested getting an opinion from an acoustical consultant right away. Paying for a few hours of an expert's time now may be the most economical way to get ahead.  



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    John Hayes FAIA
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  • 11.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 9 days ago
    John Hayes,
    It sounds like your hypothetical situation really needs a pneumatic band stand out of ETFE pillows.

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    Seth Trotter


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  • 12.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 9 days ago
    Grimshaw used that at the Eden Project in Cornwall


    Don't know about the acoustical properties, though. 





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  • 13.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 9 days ago
    I commonly like the work of Grimshaw, even though they appear to be missing too important of a detail at Patsaouoras Plaza at LAX by removing the multi-cultural dome in a proposed design. ETFE has an interesting characteristic of transparency with a membrane volume less than kg/m2 (1). Designing with ETFE can include invisible baffle layers to trap sound in a pillow on the sound side and absorb on the design side.


    Reference: (1) vectorfoiltec (2021). Texlon ETFE - Vector Foiltec. Retrieved on July 22nd, 2021 from https://www.vector-foiltec.com/texlon-etfe/#acoustic-benefit

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    Seth Trotter

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  • 14.  RE: Outdoor Acoustical Control for Outdoor Small Restuarant

    Posted 5 days ago
    Edited by David R. Proffitt AIA 5 days ago
    One of the most quiet venues I've seen in a mixed use neighborhood was in a outdoor restaurant in San Jose. They used tall fencing (which only does so much) and built sort of a "green wall"... but most importantly was the treatment around the tables and seating area. They covered the space with trellis' and vines (grape mainly) and they let lemon or lime trees intertwine throughout the trellis.  It was done in such a nice pleasant way that each table or two had their own trellis system. It allowed for a rather muffled sound in a space well suited for an outdoor Italian restaurant. They also had music too. They played soft music from speakers set in and or on the ground and not up high. They were all  focused  away from the neighbors too. That way the patrons became sound buffers... As I left the restaurant I could barely hear the sound. However a the tables it was quite enough to still  be able to carry on a conversation. Like many of those included here, its best to get a sound engineer to help. Mass is good but unless you build a 20' high wall most likely nothing is going to be prefect. You also have to think about any vibration too. Even with Mass, vibration is also a concern. Not sure the db level of your music. Best wishes and good luck!

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    David R Proffitt, AIA
    Nashville TN
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