Computer server racks can produce continuous exposure to low frequency sound waves that can pose as a deterrent to worker productivity in an office space. Exposure to unwanted computer rack noise in an office environment can lead to absenteeism, turnover, and lower levels of quality output from even your best employees. The key to better controlling the exposure levels to computer rack noise comes from a combination of both “sound barrier” and “sound absorbing” acoustic products.
Let’s start with the “sound barrier”. Acoustic noise reduction blankets are ideal for combating sound exposure to loud computer rack noise. If your noise is bleeding through perimeter walls of a computer rack room, into adjoining office space, a set of custom cut sound barrier blankets, class A fire rated, can be easily affixed to the wall to deaden up to 90% of the noise bleeding straight through the surface. The blankets have a deafening impact on combating the bleed of the noise, protecting those employees working in an adjoining space to the server room.
There are also applications where the employees actually share the same room as the computer server, and need protection from the noise. The same sound barrier curtain systems can be vertically suspended, from the ceiling or floor mounted framing systems, to isolate the computer noise to one side of the room, and protect the employees sharing the same common air space. In either case, where blankets can be wall mounted to protect adjoining spaces, or ceiling/floor frame suspended out in front of the racks to protect employees working inside the computer room, these sound barrier blanket systems are the ideal means for lowering exposure to original sounds emanating from the computers.
In addition to combating the original sound with noise barrier curtain systems, acoustic panels can be the ideal compliment to the sound barrier curtain application. For server racks that back up to a corner or a nearby wall, acoustic foam panels can be wall or ceiling mounted in the perimeter area to effectively soak up the reflections of the echoes generated off these surfaces. Acoustic foam panels are popular for their ability to capture and convert unwelcome echoes from a space, lowering exposure levels inside the server rack room.
One key to the success of any server rack noise control project is to first understand which of these outcomes you are trying to enact. Are you trying to block noise from bleeding out of the room? If so, opt for the noise control blankets. Or, are you trying to lower exposure levels to noise inside the server rack room where employees are working? If so, put the acoustic foam “behind” the server racks, and drop the noise barrier curtains out front, suspended again either off a floor mounted frame or the ceiling.
Finally, consideration should be given to the ceiling if there is a drop grid ceiling tile system with open plenum space to adjoining offices. All the sound bleed protection in the world affixed to the perimeter walls of a server rack room with sound curtains cannot address the noise that will otherwise bleed through ceiling tiles and travel through the plenum space to spill down into adjoining rooms. For these ceiling scenarios, there are sound barrier Ceiling Caps that can be placed atop your existing ceiling tiles to place an acoustic “lid” over the room to combat the bleed of noise through the ceiling tile system.
Care must be given, when using sound barrier blanket systems to deaden exposure levels to computer rack noise, to ensure that the computers be allowed to breathe. For concerns related to ventilation needs of your computer rack, check with your computer supplier. Also note that the sound barrier curtain systems can be custom cut to match the profile needs of your project. Including cutouts, slits, patches, windows, openings, and ventilation grills that can be sewn into the quilt to help provide necessary air flow.
For more information on quieting your server rack, or better controlling your computer noise, call NetWell Noise Control’s help desk at 1-800-638-9355 or visit them online at www.controlnoise.com.