One potential issue that should not be overlooked is the level of noise within a facility.
Can you hear me now?
Unlike other areas of facility management, simply measuring noise levels can be something of a challenge and may fall outside the level of experience of some administrators. However, FMLink reported that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health compiled data from 16 years of study on standard noise levels and benchmarks throughout a variety of industries. The source noted that NIOSH's health hazard evaluation produced almost 1,300 personal and area-specific noise measurement readings, compiling the information into a database that FMs can then use in their own noise benchmarking procedures.
This database is a useful tool for FMs to use in conjunction with their own data tracking. A CMMS can help gather information on noise levels in particular areas of a facility during different times in order to paint as clear a picture of usage patterns as possible.
Building maintenance solutions
Creating a benchmark for a facility's noise levels is one step, but FMs also have a variety of tools at their disposal to control and reduce noise through building maintenance and strategic materials selection. Different industries have different needs according to their occupants as well as the industries associated with them. For example, Health Facilities Management reported that hospitals have turned to glass fiber acoustical panels in ceilings for effective and unobtrusive noise reduction. As an added benefit, these panels can be fitted inside microbial sheaths to conform with important sterility standards as well.
Other industries, such as landscaping and manufacturing, face their biggest challenge in noise levels with engine noise. While protective hearing can be useful - and is required by many regulations - there are steps companies are taking to reduce noise at the source. According to FacilitiesNet, diesel engines can lead to fewer revolutions per minute, resulting in less noise emitted from operation.