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Soundproofing curtain blocks from Pyrotek Soundguard

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article image A massive soundproofing curtain stops noise from the Monster Skate Park escaping into the Sports Hall half of the complex at Sydney’s Olympic Park

Skateboarders performing their ollies, nosegrinds, indies, kickflips and fakies at the Monster Skatepark within Sydney’s Olympic Park precinct no longer disturb team sports players in the other half of the huge hall, thanks to soundproofing by the Soundguard division of Pyrotek.

The noise problem tackled by Pyrotek was caused not only by 100A durometer hard wheels dropping from a great height onto toughened floor and ramps but also by the loud music enjoyed by the young patrons using the 1000 square metre street course and several vertical ramps of international competition standard, one up to 6.6 metres high.

“Soccer and volley ball players in the Sports Hall half of the building had cause to complain about the noise of the skateboarders riding the ramps and particularly the click-clack as they hit the metal transitions between the wooden floor and ramps,” reports Sydney Olympic Park Authority’s contract manager, Harry Lloyd.

“I was under some pressure to find an effective solution quickly before the tenants took occupancy, which would have made impossible major installations of the kind called for. The solution posed by Soundguard’s Philip Cadwallen promised to be both effective and fast, taking only two weeks. And it cost far less than other options such as operable doors.”

Solving the problem was made more difficult by the desire for the ramps, floors and any sound barrier to be removable for Royal Easter Shows.

Foremost among the measures proposed by Pyrotek was the hanging of a massive 7-tonne curtain of Wavebar, filling in the entire space from wall to wall and floor to roof, to separate, acoustically and physically, the two halves of the cavernous space.

“The substantial mass per square metre of Wavebar readily dissipates sound energy,” Philip Cadwallen explains.

“The barium-loaded vinyl composite — whose flexibility lends itself to wrapping, shaping, and draping — boasts high tear and tensile strength, enabling it to support many metres of its own weight.

“SOPA’s 50 metre wide curtain is hung in two drops: one from a crossbar at wall height spanning the hall about 9 metres up, the other, a 6 metre drop from a curved structure designed to carry an infill of Wavebar from the crossbar up to the curve of the roof.”

Such a draped sound barrier of course makes it possible to satisfy SOPA’s requirement for removal to turn the two spaces into one great exhibition hall during Royal Easter Shows.

It took just six days to install the curtain. Although the Wavebar was suitable for stopping airborne noise, further measures were needed to deal with transmitted noise.

“Because concrete is very good at transmitting noise, we supplied Sylomer — from our vibration isolation technology range — for mounting under the base plates of the ramp support structure,” says Philip Cadwallen.

“We also proposed installation of Sorbertex 2D — a long lasting, non-woven, fine-fibre polyester — under the ramps to take the echo out of the space, and Soundpaint under the steel fairings between floor and ramp to reduce the impact and wheel click noise as the skateboarders transition.”

The dramatic improvement reported by occupants of the Sports Hall is only subjective at this stage, although Harry Lloyd plans to ask Peter Knowland of PKA Acoustic Consultants back to take some after decibel readings to confirm objectively the success of the soundproofing measures.

The frame to support the Wavebar curtain was designed by Hyder Consulting and made and installed by Inten.

Monster Skatepark is said to be the large indoor skateboarding facility of international standard in Australia.

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