To remain flexible in accommodating its growing student population, Val Verde Unified School District in Perris, Calif., employed modular-construction techniques for many of its buildings. Although relatively inexpensive to build, the structures were characterized by excessive noise.
“For a long time, we were looking at ways to improve … our buildings' … acoustical environment,” Todd Butcher, director of maintenance and operation for Val Verde Unified School District, said. “We … wanted to see if we could obtain quieter-operating air-conditioning units. Our goal was to reduce the overall decibel levels within each of our classrooms.”
Val Verde turned to Geary Pacific, the local distributor of Bard HVAC equipment.
“Based upon their needs, we quickly ascertained that Bard's Quiet Climate 2 series was the perfect option for them,” Dave Gorman, head of school sales for Geary Pacific, said.
Designed for classrooms, the wall-mounted Quiet Climate 2 heat pump provides operating sound levels 20 to 35 times lower than those of standard wall-mounted heat pumps.
The Quiet Climate 2 is a one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing. Additionally, it provides:
Higher (up to 40 percent) energy efficiency.
Additional sound-curbing accessories, including an isolation curb and return-air and supply-air plenums.
Enhanced indoor-air quality.
Val Verde tested the Quiet Climate 2 in its audiology laboratory, where students' hearing is tested.
“Working together with Geary Pacific, we were able to create a more quiet, comfortable environment in which our students can better hear and learn,” Butcher said.
Since the Quiet Climate 2 was installed, the overall ambient-noise level in Val Verde's audiology laboratory has dropped considerably, from 58 dBHL to 37 dBHL (decibels recorded 10 ft in front of the unit).
“The environment for evaluating our students has improved by at least 200 percent,” Randy Lerner, audiologist for Val Verde Unified School District, said. “With the old unit, I had to turn it off during a testing session because it sounded like there was a farm tractor outside the window. Now, students comment on how quiet the lab is — and that's when the unit is on.”
Because of its success with the audiology laboratory, Val Verde is planning to use Quiet Climate 2 units in its new May Ranch Elementary School.
“Geary Pacific and Bard overwhelmingly proved to us that they are able to help us reduce the sound levels in our schools' classrooms,” Butcher said. “If they can make our audiologist as confident as he is in the laboratory's ambient-noise level, we know the units will perform just as well in our regular classrooms.”
Information and photograph courtesy of Bard Manufacturing Company Inc.
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