• Enclosures—encasing or enclosure of localized and stationary noise sources
  • Increased distance—location of noisy activities farther from receivers or offsite

As an example of a path control, Thalheimer mentioned vinyl noise curtains (available from several manufacturers) that are about one-quarter inch thick and typically have an absorptive side that is placed toward the source of the noise. The curtains can be tucked, hung, and wired together as needed. The absorptive side also reduces reverberant buildup. Noise insulation can even be put around individual pieces of equipment such as jackhammers so long as the device can still be used safely and without damage to the equipment.


Receiver controls limit the amount of noise received or prepare people for what they will hear. They include:

  • Window soundproofing—installation of double- or triple-pane windows or storm windows
  • Air conditioners—window units or a central system
  • Receptor noise limits—establishment of cumulative noise limits at receptor locations
  • Stakeholder meetings—open dialogue to involve the affected stakeholders and share information
  • Noise complaint process—capacity to log and respond to noise complaints
  • Temporary relocation to hotels—for use only in extreme, otherwise unmitigatable cases

As an example of a receiver control, Thalheimer noted that informing stakeholders of work requirements and schedules can increase their tolerance of noise. Information can be provided on a website, in print, in person, or through social media (e.g., Twitter, text messages), with contact information for complaints. With respect to air conditioners, the associated closed windows and presence of background noise may reduce the level of unwanted sounds, but the conditioners themselves increase the outdoor ambient noise level.

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