Meeting Notes : Sensitive Facilities Committee

Committee notes reflect the views and opinions of the committee members and not necessarily those of the Noise Compatibility Study Group, Coordinating Council, Regional Airport Authority of Louisville and Jefferson County, or the Consultant Team.

Pending Committee Approval

back to NOTES      
August 16, 1999

This meeting, held at RAA facilities, began at 7:10 p.m. Members in attendance were Donna Lawlor, Ellen O'Leary and Luanne Rice. Our guest speaker present was Robert Caudill, a local businessman who was recommended to us by the Louisivlle Home Builders' Association.

Robert described to us his lengthy professional experience and history with commercial and residential acoustical work. He explained that noise attenuation presents a greater problem than people generally envision. Jet noise, he said, is a larger problem than average acoustical methods on the market are capable of combating. Robert explained further that he lives in Audubon (a neighborhood adjacent to the airport) and has had to noise insulate his own home, with mixed success. He replaced his windows with thermal (thick) paned glass, added insulation and caulked around all openings, even the light fixtures. In effect, he said, you have to make your house "hold water."

Ellen worried: "Then it does hold water!"

Donna asked about costs to sound-insulate, especially schools and churches. Robert's response was: "Those buildings are already very sturdyÖquite a lot can be done with them, like sound-proofing panels and other sound insulation. Up to 90% of the noise can be absorbed in such buildings." He said that Hampton Inn, near the airport, installed double walls to stop the noise. New buildings can easily incorporate great sound-proofing; existing ones present another challenge. Churches should get the same treatment as schools. Large, open spaces present a lot of possibilities with good results attainable.

Donna asked further about churches with angular ceilings. Robert stated that suspended panels and "sound bat" works well. Donna informed us that Bethlehem Baptist has done a noise abatement project but she doesn't know the details. Ellen asked about "air space."

An older type of roofing material called "Techum" was found to be an excellent acoustical medium, Robert explained. It's also extremely tough and not overly expensive, though not as effective as a high-end acoustical tile with a high NRC (noise reduction coefficient). Sound bats with 3 1/2 -- 4 lb. density, he said, will soak up 50-55% of the noise. Fiberglass or mineral wool may cost around 30 - 35 cents per square foot, installed. Cellulose insulation can be blown into walls and ceilings with nearly the same NRC as sound bats. It is also flame-retardant .

Luanne asked about "sick building syndrome;" Robert answered that you need to open buildings up, take in fresh air and allow old air to escape regularly during times when a building is closed up for extended periods.

Donna asked about electronic interruptions when planes were overhead. Robert, though not an electrician, stated that proper wiring and grounding should take care of that problem. He stated further that, from where he lives, it's Delta Airlines, not UPS, that has the noisest planes. He continued: "I don't want the airport to buy out my house. I'm happy where I live. They just need to get control of their noise."

"Generally speaking, sound insulation is not thermal insulation, explained Robert, but Owens-Corning product is good for both." Donna asked what it would cost for an average home to be soundproofed, or what should be recommended to people who are already in the path of the planes, who can't just pick up and move. Robert's response was: "change windows and doors; put in weather stripping, (like you were treating for water), be sure to sound-treat your basement. The sound that gets to your basement goes through the duct work. Resilient channeling (RC-1) takes vibration out of the walls. But you have to strip out drywall and this only stops another 10% of the noise, at great cost. Here, there are little or no flight restrictions. Aircraft come and go pretty much as they please. It seems there's no controlled path, no flight restrictions. That's a big part of the problem that could easily be remedied!"

Donna opined that the lowest sound is actually in the middle of the LDNs -- if you land immediately adjacent to the LDNs, you don't get the sound that others do further out (which was her understanding from a conversation with a pilot.)

Robert stated that, in residential structures, you might be able to eliminate some 20% of noise fairly easily. It's easier to address noise problems in schools and churches than in homes. There's more room to work with in the larger structures. Donna asked: "Shouldn't the airport be required to compensate for the costs of acoustical treatment?" Robert answered, "Sure!"

Robert stated that he was not there representing any company. His own company strictly does new work. He has no financial interest in this, but is very interested, as a neighbor and as someone who has the same noise problems to live with. He stated he would be glad to assist us in any way possible while we study this problem and come up with some workable solutions.

We agreed to meet again when Peerless Products' representative comes to speak to us. The time and place will be published upon confirmation of that meeting.

This meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.


back to top