The Price of Acoustic Fencing

  1. Why Quality and Certification Matter
  2. Diligence Sourcing Acoustic Barriers
  3. Premium Quality Acoustic Barriers

The True Cost of Cutting Corners: The Importance of Quality and Certification in Acoustic Barriers

Noise reduction is a science, and there are a specific set of requirements that need to be achieved for an acoustic barrier to be effective. We cover these in more detail in this blog post, but to summarise: height, mass density, construction, the type of noise, distance from noise source, and distance from receiver all need to be assessed and coordinated to reduce noise. This means that 9 times out of 10, a bespoke solution is needed, and generally, an acoustic consultant will be used to determine the specification for your site. If you’ve managed to find a set price for acoustic fencing online without providing any details such as what it’s for and where it will be installed, then unfortunately it may be too good to be true. The height or type of barrier could be completely wrong for your needs. In addition, there are regulations that need to be adhered to such as UKCA marking for acoustic barrier systems used for the reduction of road noise. Certain factors must be changed such as the use of steel posts, and this can’t be regulated when ordering a product online. Acoustic fencing is not a one-size-fits-all product and should be specified by a reputable architect, aided by a noise consultant to work out the dimensions of the barrier and installation placement, and therefore the cost of the acoustic barrier.

In the pursuit of cost savings, many individuals and organisations may be tempted to opt for cheaper alternatives when it comes to acoustic barriers. However, the repercussions of choosing substandard materials and workmanship can prove to be not only financially draining but also detrimental to the intended functionality of the barrier.

Often organisations will go a step further than just sourcing a cheap barrier, and will also break specification provided by an acoustic consultant or architect, to try and save money at the construction phase of a project.

This cautionary tale serves as a stark reminder of the importance of due diligence when sourcing acoustic barriers.

The images vividly portray the aftermath of choosing a cheaper, alleged acoustic barrier. Installed just a few years ago, this 3.5m high, 540m run of acoustic fencing now stands as a testament to the perils of cutting corners. The steel posts are under-engineered, compromising the structural integrity of the entire barrier. The boards, inadequately secured into the web of the beam, fail to provide the necessary acoustic performance. Cover boards are fraying, and the entire fence is in disarray, necessitating immediate repair or, more accurately, replacement. Not only does the barrier look unattractive and fails to reduce noise effectively with its many gaps that now let sound through, but it is also a health and safety and sustainably issue. Over half a kilometre of poorly designed fencing will now make its way to landfill less than 8 years later.

What may seem like a prudent decision to save perhaps 50k upfront has resulted in a much steeper price to pay. The client now faces an additional cost of 200k to rectify the situation by dismantling and replacing the entire barrier. The financial burden aside, the disruption caused by such a retrofit can be extensive, impacting operations and the environment, and creating an inconvenience that could have been avoided with a proper initial investment.

Premium quality acoustic barriers

This cautionary tale underscores the importance of thorough due diligence when sourcing acoustic barriers. Don't be swayed solely by the allure of cost savings. Ensure that the chosen barrier comes with all the required certifications, guaranteeing both acoustic and structural performance. Look for reputable suppliers with a track record of delivering quality solutions that stand the test of time.

The true cost of cutting corners in acoustic barrier selection can be staggering. By prioritising quality materials, expert workmanship, and proper certification, you safeguard your investment and avoid the headache of costly replacements. Choose wisely, invest in a fully engineered and certified acoustic barrier from the outset, and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your acoustic needs are met with reliability and longevity.

Browse Jacksons’ range of acoustic barriers, featuring kiln dried and pressure treated timber with a 25 year guarantee against rot, insect attack, rust, and manufacturing defects.

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