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Case study: Nightclub refurbishment to reduce noise risk
Refurbishment of two clubs located in one building provided an opportunity to redesign the nightclubs with the aim of reducing the employees' exposure to noise. Before the refurbishment the clubs had very little acoustic absorption in them and the lack of space made it difficult to introduce a quiet zone.
The following design changes were introduced as part of the refurbishment:
- A bar was moved to increase the distance between it and the dance floor
- All loudspeakers were oriented so they faced away from the bars
- Acoustic absorbent tiles were placed on the ceiling ensuring that they meet the required standards of flame retardancy
- Acoustic absorbent material was placed on as much wall area of the club as possible (durable coatings near the floor, spray coatings nearer the ceilings)
- Areas were finished with mineral wool absorbers behind galvanized perforated sheet steel
- A large toughened glass screen was positioned one end of a bar to shield it from the dance floor
- Vibration isolation was used to isolate the bass bins (loudspeakers)
- Narrow directivity loudspeakers were mounted in the ceiling above the dance floor and positioned pointing down
- DJ console was created which also acted as a screen for a bar behind
- The sound system was used to carefully equalise the music and set at a level of 103 dB on the dance floor.
The table shows the measured daily noise exposure before and after the refurbishment.
Significant reduction in the exposures of bar staff was achieved; however, hearing protection was still required. Glass collectors were required to wear hearing protection and DJs were encouraged to avoid using monitor loudspeakers and to use earmuffs with sound restoration or in-ear monitors.
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