Shielding Residents from Noise Disruption – On a Grand Scale

Shielding Residents from Noise Disruption – On a Grand Scale

Locating a large supermarket within a dense residential area makes a great deal of sense in terms of serving consumers living in the local community. But it brings with it a unique set of considerations, not least in shielding local residents from the noise associated with the running of a major mixed retail outlet this was the conundrum faced by the management of a major UK supermarket chain at their store in Hinckley, Leicestershire, which is located in the middle of a flourishing housing development.

The supermarket provides a vital service to the local community but there was growing concern in relation to the unavoidable noise created by the constant flow of delivery vehicle traffic and movement of goods within the site.

The architects and sound engineers acting for the client recommended the installation of acoustic fencing, both around the perimeter of the staff car park which backs onto housing, as well as around the service yard where deliveries for the store are received. In addition two new acoustic gates were required, one to span a 9m opening to enable HGV access to the main loading bays and an additional gate to provide authorised personnel with easy entry to the waste compactor.

The client’s principal contractor on the project, recognised the specialist and bespoke nature (not to mention scale) of the task in hand and were keen to deliver a solution that met performance and aesthetic considerations. Their Contract Manager contacted Jacksons Fencing, the designer and manufacturer of the revolutionary Jakoustic acoustic barrier system.

Following an initial site visit by Jamie Reeson, one of Jacksons Regional Fencing Managers and an Acoustic Engineer, the design team at Jacksons reviewed the outline plans. Their feedback, led by Senior CAD Draughtsman Jon Roach, highlighted a number of critical issues which needed to be considered in relation to the project, the most significant of which related to the 4m high gate to span the 9m opening. The substantial size of the opening dictated that the original double automated swing gates specified would prove to be unsuitable for the application as it would be subject to high wind loading and potentially pose a health and safety risk.

In addition, the gates would have failed to meet the required acoustic levels and represented a less than perfect solution in a situation where space was restricted.

The smaller gate on the plan which was to provide access to the waste compactor also required further deliberation. Initially it had been suggested that a single leaf automated gate should be installed. However, the experts at Jacksons Fencing were able to flag up that the planned 3m opening would not be sufficiently wide enough to enable the easy manoeuvring of the skip housed behind the gate.

Following meticulous loading calculations to ensure the structure would remain stable in high wind conditions, Jacksons Fencing recommended a double-skinned automated sliding gate solution, featuring reflective barrier properties to the service road and absorptive properties facing the loading yard.

The A profile steel track for the gate was set into a channel and secured onto a 45 tonne concrete footing that runs to 0.5m deep, 23.5m long and 2m wide. The running track was fixed to the footings using a total of 94 bolts. The acoustic gate itself is constructed with a tailor-made galvanized internal steel frame fixed to a substantial running tube and capped with a 300 x 100mm steel channel weighing in excess of 650kg. The steel frame was lined with Jakcure treated timber battens and on the reflective face, clad with 34 mm thick Jakoustic timber boards, securely screw fixed to the structure. The gate is fully automated with access via a remote control key fob device.

The project also involved the installation of 185 metres of 2.4 metre high Jakoustic reflective barriers to segregate the staff car parking area from neighbouring housing.

The entire installation took approximately 5 weeks and represents a major engineering feat achieved as a result of combining the skills of the architect, external acoustic consultant, contractor and perimeter security specialist, to deliver a highly effective, attractive fencing and access solution.

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