News Release

New Wall Successful at Reducing Plane Engine Noise

May 20, 2013

(West Palm Beach, FL) – A new wall separating a north end neighborhood from a company which uses an airplane engine for wind testing has reduced the amount of noise reaching the homes.

Architectural Testing Inc. (ATI), the company that has been the topic of recent discussion over noise ordinances in the City of West Palm Beach has now installed a 40 foot high wall on its property. The wall separates the neighborhood from a plane engine that is used to perform the testing.

New sound tests performed by City of West Palm Beach Code Enforcement officials have indicated readings below 75 decibels, which is a drop from previous readings. Readings a few houses into the neighborhood showed the sound level dropped to the mid 60’s.

ATI operates a large plane prop engine as part of its testing of new construction.  The plane engine propels water at high speeds into structures to test how resistant various construction methods and materials are to strong winds and driving rain.

Neighbors who live near the business have complained about the noise generated when the engine is running. The tests are done once every few weeks and last for a short period of time during the day.

The work being done by the business is allowed by city code as long as the noise remains below a certain level. But before the wall was installed, the city told the company that all testing needed to stop because it generated too much noise.

In addition to building the wall, the company also continues to look into other methods to reduce the noise, including putting a NASCAR-style muffler on the engine.

During a Mayor / Commission work session today, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio asked about the vibrations in the neighborhood.

ATI is looking at running the engine at lower RPMs to reduce the vibrations.

The company continues to work with the city on making further improvements, and at this point no one views the wall as the complete solution. Instead, it is a step in the right direction.

Last month the West Palm Beach City Commission voted to reject the idea of freezing all construction activity on industrial properties across the city as a way to address noise complaints surrounding this single business.

 
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