Industry - acoustics, noise and vibration



COWI has a long track record of carrying out workplace assessments concerning acoustics, noise and vibration as well as environmental impact assessments from industry.

Noise and vibration, are major issues when it comes to occupational health and safety. Noise and vibration from industry can also propagate from industrial and commercial areas into residential areas.

Workplace assessments

A company's health and safety department can ask for a professional consultancy company, such as COWI, to assist with the acoustics, noise and vibration documentation when they carry out their workplace assessment.

The COWI acoustic consulting team assesses acoustics, noise and vibration according to the environmental authorities' guidelines. Where the recommended noise limits are exceeded, we contribute to the subsequent action plan, identify the necessary noise and vibration mitigation measures and suggest the necessary changes to the acoustics.

Workplace simulations

Both for office environments and industrial halls, mapping of the acoustics and noise at the work place can be carried out using room acoustics modelling, in which noise sources are implemented into a room acoustic model. For large halls with coupled rooms, a room acoustic model is an ideal way to test different solutions in connection with refurbishment or new establishment of industrial halls or office environments.

Workplace measurements

Our workplace assessments typically include measurements such as sound pressure level, noise dose measurements for especially exposed employees and source level measurements concerning sound intensity or vibration. We also perform measurements of whole body vibrations or hand-/arm-vibrations and suggest solutions to vibration damping.

We often use room acoustic measures, such as reverberation time, speech intelligibility and attenuation with distance, to investigate the acoustical working environment and find solutions to noise problems.
External noise and vibration impact assessment

In order to avoid or minimise conflicts between industrial companies and their neighbours, we evaluate noise and vibration from all types of industries by performing measurements and/or calculations.

In special situations we evaluate low frequency noise and vibration with individual limits and methods. Where noise limits are exceeded, we identify the most feasible mitigation measures that can bring noise and vibration levels down to an acceptable level according to approved guidelines.

In development projects, the final approval of local authority plans often depends on a decision on noise levels. In this case, the COWI acoustic consultants evaluate if noise from industry will be a problem, for example before a new residential area is built.

External noise calculations

It is often most beneficial to predict noise levels based on carefully selected source data. In this way, disturbances from other noise sources or weather conditions are avoided in the final documentation.
COWI performs noise prediction modelling using commercially available software such as SoundPLAN or CadnaA. The primary noise sources together with topographical data, such as terrain elevation and buildings, are entered into the model. The resulting noise map and single point calculations document noise levels according to requested guidelines.

External noise and vibration measurements

COWI is certified by environment agencies to perform noise measurements of external noise from industry and traffic. The COWI acoustic consultants perform structural health monitoring to detect structural damage over time and for troubleshooting problems with vibration from industry.

LAST UPDATED: 12.12.2016