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The Shard - noise nuisance

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Wednesday 6 July 2011 3.44pm
problem solved then!
Wednesday 6 July 2011 6.09pm
Tolstoy wrote:
Sound travels up

Please can you explain the science behind this claim - or post a website that proves your hypothesis?

See, the atmosphere gets thinner the further up you go - example - try shouting at the folks in the IIS.

I am not taking the p*ss (honest) but I really want to understand your statement.
Wednesday 6 July 2011 7.14pm
Yes, I debated whether I should place such a bold statement without the proof.

Ok that is an oversimplification; sound is propagated in all directions however it is dramatically affected by obstruction. It rolls out in concentric circles evenly as like a stone dropped into a pond but deflection off surfaces will dissipate the signal creating refraction, hence echo and reverb.

I should have actually thought this through before posting but my comment is based on the perception of sound travel from my perspective. I live in a third floor flat and have always noticed how I hear clearly what is happening below me, but very little from above. I got a chance to observe this when a neighbour moved out below and I asked if I could test the volume of my speaker system before anyone moved in. I cranked it up higher than I would consider acceptable and yet neither of us could even hear it in a room with bare wooden floors, which likely would have acted as a resonator; similarly I hear the tv from downstairs but not the one above me. I also have a fair amount of junk in my room, as an artist, which further absorbes the signal.

With respect of The Shard I imagine the sound is dampened by the proximity of the walls, floors and glass to such an extent that what is left would be considered acceptable at that height, evidently the locals wouldn't agree. Of course what noise remains will inevitably be more noticeable in the evening when ground level movement has tailed off. So strictly speaking I'm wrong (it happens), but the placement of the original sound source, time of day, atmospheric conditions and even temperature will have an impact on how it is perceived.

Having said all that, I'm thinking bass noise is likely the worse culprit on a site of this nature which carries much further through its material surroundings, also these are hard surfaces which will bounce the signal... hmm.

(Tolstoy shuffles away, muttering to himself...)
Wednesday 6 July 2011 7.16pm
Wednesday 6 July 2011 8.32pm
Let's go for a beer - you must be knackered after all that science!
Thursday 7 July 2011 8.05am
I'm in Leathermarket Street and I can hear the banging away at night...and also the announcements from London Bridge Station if the wind is in the right direction at any time of the day
Thursday 7 July 2011 2.51pm
The issue is how you dampen said noise given as it has to happen. Acoustic drapes, baffles and absorbers like those found in any cinema/theatre would be ideal as they soak up sound but the designs would have to be adjustable for the environment in which they were being used.  The technology is well used in the recording profession in various forms and I would have thought it could easily be adapted for use in built up urban environments.

A quick Google shows it exists but not widely, a possible business opportunity there.
Thursday 7 July 2011 3.03pm
But does it have to happen at 2 or 3 am....I think not....and even so at night I don't want heavy sound absorbing drapes when some airflow might be nice. This isn't about sound really its about working hours and the ignorant and selfish practices the construction of the shard has chosen....along with the conivance of the local planning department...unsurprisingly Southwark Council...ignoring the best interests of its inhabitants for its own glory.
Thursday 7 July 2011 3.48pm
I don't deny your point but I really can't see how they can be expected to complete the work strictly on a nine to five basis, which I guess would be the ideal for many people. I can only assume that they are working to an unrealistic timetable, namely the Olympic Games which is creating the need for extra hours, if so then someone has a case to answer to.

I had in mind the building sites using the acoustic materials not individual homes.
Thursday 7 July 2011 3.55pm
I take your point but the banging noise is coming from the welding of girders at the top of the can't insulate something that is open by its very nature...and whatever timetable they may want people are entitiled to some least during the night. If SC wont do anything about it they should be sacked to save a bit of council tax money (and for a whole host of other reasons but that too is another discussion) as a minor palliative to all who are suffering from sleep deprivation.
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