How an Insulated Steel Building Reduces Noise Pollution
The first three articles in this series covered the ways pre-engineered metal buildings improve indoor air quality. Steel is inorganic and does not outgas, promote mold, or attract termites. Better indoor air is just the beginning of the benefits of building with steel.
Did you know noise pollution also impacts your health and productivity?
A well-insulated steel building drastically reduces the din of outside noise from penetrating the building envelope.
Noise Pollution and Overall Health
Let’s face it; we live in a clattering, clamoring, cacophony of sound. The constant uproar of modern living takes a toll on our health without us even knowing it.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans cite noise as the greatest problem in their neighborhoods— more than crime or traffic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) regards environmental noise as a very real threat to public health.
It is well known that high noise levels increase stress. Constant noise increases fatigue and irritability. Concentration suffers.
Noise is the number one complaint of most office workers. A noisy workplace negatively affects performance. Comprehension, concentration, and cooperation decline. Motivation decreases.
Employers suffer from raucous work environments, too. Employees are ill more often, distracted, stressful, irritable, and moody. Workers exposed to loud noise levels frequently have more accidents, too.
Several studies show workers subjected to noise are less productive. They have difficulty in completing complex tasks or retaining information. Workers express a lower satisfaction with their jobs and experience lower morale. They lose ability to function well in executive capacities that require planning, reasoning, and self-control.
It is not just emotional and behavioral problems. Long-term work in a racket-filled environment inflicts real physical signs of stress.
Chronic exposure to noise persistently raises both stress hormone levels and blood pressure. “The New England Journal of Medicine” reports noise-induced stress can cause— or aggravate:
- Immune system dysfunction
- Coronary disease
- Decreased bone mass density
- Headaches, including migraines
- Hearing loss
- Insulin resistance
Even moderately high environmental noise levels inflict hearing loss.
Recent studies confirm that children bombarded by sounds— like busy highways or nearby airports— experience learning problems. Their reading and language skills score lower on tests. Behavioral problems like aggression and poor cooperation develop. Children living in noisy neighborhoods show ominously higher pulse rates, blood pressures, and stress hormone levels than children living in quieter areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) links low infant birth weight to high sound levels. Starting at only 15 days after conception, loud noises can change an unborn child’s heart rate.
Reducing Noise Pollution with RHINO Metal Buildings
Sound reduction is accomplished by mass. The more bulk you put between you and the noise, the better. Meticulously installed insulation creates mass.
Pre-engineered steel buildings have much deeper wall cavities than ordinary wood framing. Filling that wall cavity with high-quality insulation not only drastically cuts utility bills, it also significantly reduces outside noise.
Other building materials lack the mass of commercial grade steel framing.
RHINO’s Pro-Value insulation, for example, is a four-part premium grade insulation package, which includes:
- Steel retainer straps
- High-strength vapor barrier fabric
- Full batt insulation to complete fill the deep steel exterior walls and roof cavities
- Plus a second layer of protection that acts as a thermal break
To reduce noise levels generated inside the structure, consider adding sound control insulation to interior walls.
Wherever practical, dense carpeting with thick padding also helps to decrease interior noise. Carefully sealing around all doors, windows, outlets, switch boxes, and plumbing limits sound travel. (Placing plants around the room also helps disperse interior sound vibrations.)
Turn Down the Noise with a RHINO Metal Building
Find a quiet spot. Breathe deeply. Listen to the sounds of silence. Feel yourself unwind.
Then build with steel. Do it for yourself and for those around you.
Call RHINO now at 940.383.9566 for your next commercial, industrial, or residential building. Be sure to ask about the RHINO Pro-Value insulation package, too.
RHINO’s well insulated steel buildings will be music to your ears.