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Mechanical Equipment


Mechanical equipment nowadays is a regular part of a building. One needs to be aware of the possible noise and vibrations that may be transmitted to the living quarters of a building, or even radiated in the outside environment.

This chapter will review a few usual types of mechanical equipment as well as comment and advise on their acoustical aspects.


Mechanical equipment can be covered by several law texts:

  • • Regulations pertaining to community noise control or to equipment classified for the protection of the environment as concerns noise radiated in the outside environment
  • • Regulations pertaining to the noise exposure level of workers as concerns the maintenance workers
  • • Regulations and standards pertaining to the work conditions in the rooms nearby
  • • Regulations pertaining to the noise levels generated by mechanical services inside dwellings and public receiving spaces

Usually those regulations will distinguish between permanently operating equipment (e.g., a heating boiler) and sporadically operated (e.g., the flushing system of the toilets); for example, in the French regulations [1] for the acoustics of dwellings there is a requirement of 30 dB(A) for permanently operated equipment and 35 dB(A) for sporadically operated equipment. In Switzerland, there also is a requirement for impulsive sounds generated by equipment [2]. In addition, some standards require minimal acoustic performances for the walls or floors on which equipment is mounted [3] (cf. Section 3.4.10).

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