Today marks the opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Preparations for this event spanned years and required an enormous amount of money, but a few of the structures built specially for the games still required some last-minute acoustical problem solving. Noise control issues are commonly overlooked in the design and construction of buildings, especially when they go up quickly.

The International Broadcast and Media Centre built for this summer’s games will house thousands of journalists and hundreds of broadcasting organizations from around the world. It is an impressive structure and the acoustical deficiencies probably would have gone unnoticed if it were not for the large amount of rainfall the UK experienced earlier this year.

The metal roof on the International Broadcast and Media Centre rang out when each drop of rain caused the structure to vibrate. If you have ever lived in an old home with a metal roof you are familiar with this sound, but imagine it amplified to an extreme – the roof is 28,000 square meters.

Sound is just a vibration transferring through a medium. That medium can be solid or otherwise, i.e. noise can be either airborne or structure-borne. Someone yelling to you across a field – you are hearing airborne noise. Someone’s stilettos on the hardwood floor above you – you are hearing structure-borne noise. So, the rain on the metal roof is structure-borne. To reduce that noise, you are going to have to keep the roof from vibrating due to the rain. Luckily, as those in the acoustics industry know, there are a few products designed to do exactly that.

Acoustical Solutions offers a few different options that can reduce the ringing of various substrates:

VibStop Vibration Damping Sheet

All of these products achieve the same goal, but you may prefer one over the other depending on your specific noise issue and budget.

The sheets have an adhesive backing and are stiff to prevent the transfer of vibration. The compounds are a viscoelastic material that can be troweled, brushed or sprayed onto a material, and dry stiff to stop vibration like the damping sheet.

Check out this video where we used damping compound on a cymbal:

According to The Construction Index article on the aforementioned Olympic facility, the game’s organizers called in a soundproofing company and used damping sheets similar to our VibStop Vibration Damping Sheets to solve the problem.

Have you experienced an issue with structure-borne noise? Are you still unsure of how to solve this problem? Ask a question below!