Category Archive: Noise and Mental Health

Why Is Noise Reduction Necessary in Construction Equipment?

According to a study performed by the American Industrial Hygiene Association in the early 2000s, over 500,000 construction workers are exposed to noise levels that pose a potential risk to their auditory health and well-being. In addition to affecting the working conditions for these workers, the sound produced at construction worksites affects the living quality of the surrounding communities and environments. One of the most significant contributors to these elevated noise levels is the construction equipment employed, such as excavators and bulldozers.


By implementing noise reduction measures—such as damping foam, acoustic absorbers, and acoustic barriers—in construction equipment, industry professionals may not entirely eliminate noise pollution, but they can reduce sound to more tolerable levels. While these materials are available as aftermarket products, it is much more efficient for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of construction equipment to keep in mind acoustic design—including noise reduction—when developing and constructing their products from the beginning.

At Technicon Acoustics, we have the industry experience and knowledge to deliver high-quality equipment noise reduction and soundproofing solutions to OEMs. By bringing the noise produced by their equipment to more acceptable levels—minimizing the impact on machine operators and the surrounding environment—we improve the marketability of their products, enhance consumer perception, and facilitate compliance with regulatory standards.

Benefits of Noise Reduction in Construction Equipment

The integration of noise reduction and soundproofing components in construction equipment translates to significant benefits in the workplace. For example, lower noise levels in construction worksites can lead to:

  • Greater concentration and better communication. Reducing the amount of sound generated by construction equipment enables workers to concentrate and focus on the task at hand without being distracted by equipment noises. Additionally, it facilitates better communication between individual workers during collaborative tasks and/or potentially hazardous situations.
  • Lower rates of error and injury. The greater concentration and better communication achieved in quieter worksites also result in a lower risk of worker error and injury.
  • Reduced worker stress. Sound significantly affects a construction worker’s physical and mental health. Elevated noise levels can lead to hearing loss and other ear-related issues as well as cause emotional stress that results in diminished worker productivity. Lower noise levels in the worksite alleviates these concerns.

Construction equipment that facilitates these benefits are more appealing to consumers, so it is in the best interest of OEMs to integrate such acoustical solutions in their equipment.

Using Technicon Products to Reduce Noise

At Technicon Acoustics, we provide a variety of products to help customers manage the noise produced by their equipment in economical ways, including:

  • Vibration damping, for reducing noise from vibrating metal panels. Panels can be treated with our materials to disrupt the resonant frequency, reduce secondary sound generation, and limit structural vibration. Damping material is extremely light and effective, allowing for the reduction of noise without adding too much weight to the equipment’s components.
  • Acoustic absorbers (Product: Polyether Foam AF-021), commonly used for unwanted noise in engine compartments, this reduces airborne noise by absorbing the sound waves.
  • Acoustic barriers, blocking noise transmission. While absorbers reduce the amount of sound reflecting off a hard surface and spreading through the air, barriers stop sound waves from getting through the material to the other side of an equipment enclosure. Barrier composites are crucial for machine operators as they are placed around the base of control levers to block sound leaks and prevent them from reaching the cab.

Partnering With Technicon Acoustics for Noise Reduction

At Technicon Acoustics, we produce solutions for sound reduction and thermal transmission problems. We work with original equipment manufacturers across North America to design, develop, and deliver products that protect consumers from excessive noise and heat transmission.

For additional information about noise reduction, download our Heavy Equipment Acoustical Treatment eBook. If you need help reducing noise in your new and existing equipment lines, request a quote today.

Acoustic Design for Dementia Care Facilities

People with Dementia are particularly affected by Acoustic Environments. Overexposure to non regulated noise can cause confusion, illusions, frustration, and agitation. In this blog, we’re going to explore the world of noise and how it affects those with dementia. We’re also going to show you how not designing for Acoustics can contribute to increased levels of agitation and aggression among residents who have dementia.

Dementia Facility
Dementia Facility

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a single disease. It is a term used to describe a syndrome associated with more than 100 different diseases that are characterized by the impairment of brain functions, including language, memory, perception, personality and cognitive skills. Vascular Dementia which occurs after a stroke is the second most common type of dementia.   10 common signs are:

  • Memory
  • Communication
  • Language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and Judgment
  • Visual perception
Man with Dementia

Did you know that Dementia affects young people as well? Dementia is not just a disease of old age. Younger-onset (also known as early-onset) Alzheimer’s affects people younger than age 65. Up to 5 percent of more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s have younger-onset. Source: ALZ.ORG

The Impact of Noise


The ability to have a normal conversation typically isn’t a problem. However, high-frequency pitches become less audible along with sensitivity to lower frequency sound around the age of 40. This means a lesser chance of comprehension due to background noise. Most older people learn to compensate by reading lips and increased attention to what they can hear. This can pose a problem with someone suffering from dementia.

The physical and mental effect

Did you know that being surrounded by an unidentified noise makes a person suffering from dementia feel like their living in cacophony all the time? Unidentifiable noise makes a person with dementia feel even more disconnected from their environment. See the Experience for yourself:

Hearing, out of all of the senses is the one that has the greatest impact on people with dementia when it comes to their quality of life. With hearing being linked to balance, the risk of falls is even greater due to increase disorientation as a result of those diagnosed with dementia trying to orientate themselves in an overstimulated environment. Having high noise levels can lead to anxiety due to stress. Including but not limited to:

  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Fatigue

It has been demonstrated that noise can also impair immune function. See the conclusion of Immune Alterations Induced by Chronic Noise from

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Adopting EAT ( Environmental Audit Tool) and the 10 Design Principals

A tool selected to compare with TESS-NH was the most recent version of the Environmental Audit Tool (EAT) developed in an NSW Department of Health project on adapting wards in small, regional hospitals for long-term use by people with dementia. The EAT comprises 72 items that have been selected to exemplify a set of design principles first used in the development of the units for the confused and disturbed elderly (CADE) built by the NSW Department of Health in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Source: tool.aspx According to the EAT tool, the 10 Principals state that the environment should:

  1. Be Safe
  2. Be Small
  3. Be simple with good visual access
  4. Have unnecessary stimulation reduced
  5. Have helpful stimuli highlighted
  6. Provide for planned wandering
  7. Be familiar
  8. Provide opportunities for a range of social interactions from private to communal
  9. Encourage links with the community
  10. Be domestic in nature, providing opportunities for engagement in the ordinary tasks of daily living.

Controlling Airborne and Structure Borne Noise

Absorber Foam by Technicon Acoustics

Things like persistent intermittent noise (tap dripping) can trigger unpleasant memories, increase agitation and cause annoyance. There are sources that can potentially generate unwanted noise that should be considered during the planning and design stage. For example:

External: Road Traffic, Rail Traffic, Leaf Blowers, Unamplified Entertainment, Dogs Barking and Service Areas

Mechanical: Air Conditioners, Pumps, Air Compressors, Hydraulic Pipework, and Lifts.

Safety Systems: Medical Emergency Alarms. Wander -Guard Systems, Trolley Wheels, Dish Washing Machines, Photocopiers and Vacuum Cleaners.

Controlling Reverberation is important to ensure speech intelligibility is achieved, increase privacy and reduce agitation and confusion.

Recommended Reverberation Times for Different Spaces

Sleeping Areas : 0.5

Common Areas: < 1.0

Staff work areas: 0.6 to 0.8

Corridors and lobbies: 0.6 to 0.8

Recommended Design Sound Level ( DBA)

Sleeping Areas: 35

Common Areas: 40

Toilets and Bathrooms: 45

Kitchen and service areas: 45

Staff work areas: 40

Corridors and lobbies: 40

Bedrooms should not open directly onto common areas such as the dining room, activity areas or large social spaces. Generally, the residents will be older and unable to open and close heavy acoustic doors fitted with acoustic seals. Tile flooring should not be used as residents can slip and fall and it increases noise should something fall on the floor. Timber or our floor mats can be used to reduce noise transmission and decrease the risk of a fall for staff and residents.

Did you know that textured floors can also assist with planned wondering? Acoustic Panels and Floors can be designed in bright colors and textures to assist with people diagnosed with Dementia to make a less confusing environment.

Having an acoustically absorbent ceiling recommended along with soft furnishings such as curtains and upholstered furniture can also control Reverberation. Keep in mind your HVAC equipment and ductwork and the recommended design sound levels mentioned above. Bigger isn’t always better. Smaller rooms can assist with lowering reverberation. Remember, most of your residents will have hearing aids. So increased television noise is a common occurrence.

Dementia Care Facilities typically have two types of kitchens, domestic style, and commercial style. Commercial style tends to be the loudest. You can reduce this with a Slip Resistant Rubberized flooring instead of tiles, and acoustic absorbent ceiling tiles. Incorporate acoustic attenuation into the exhaust systems and purchasing low noise equipment like the dishwasher and blenders.


This paper was created to assist you with Acoustic Design for those diagnosed with Dementia. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call on how we can assist you with your design and prototype needs.