Acoustic conditioning in restaurant businesses

We give you the most important keys to take into account to soundproof a commercial premises according to its activity and situation.

Although it sounds obvious, when it comes to laws, we must make sure of the rules that we must abide by so that we do not have problems when carrying out our activity.

When buying a space that was already in operation, we tend to think that this condition has already been solved, but do we know for sure?

In Spain, there are different regulations depending on the municipality in which that space is located.

Soundproofing our bar, pub, nightclub, restaurant, workshop or gym through acoustic insulation specialists will avoid problems and in the event of any mishap we can always act with the regulations in our favor.

Step 1. Do I need to soundproof my premises?

Most activities require acoustic insulation, although there are businesses that do not require it due to the type of activity, their municipality and the commercial area, as a general rule, in order to obtain the opening license you will have to meet certain criteria.

To find out if you need to soundproof your business or premises, it is best to have an acoustic engineering company, such as Prolisur, where we will advise you on regional regulations and municipal ordinances on noise and vibration.

It is important that a specialist/engineer is the one who executes this intervention to ensure that the requirements of the DB HR and RD 6/2012 are met, through valid measurements. You can see a list of ninternational standards where acoustic measurement is essential.

Noise limits according to the local situation

As data, the area where the business is located gives us a clue of the limits that we must not cross, for example:

  • Sanitary zone: from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., the environmental noise level limit is between 40-50 dB. From 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. it drops to 35 – 45 dB.
  • Residential area: from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. the limit is 60 dB and from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. it is 40 dB.
  • Industrial zone: generally the limit is 75 dB.

Step 2. Know the necessary acoustic insulation

The soundproofing needs of a place or space are diverse, either because it has a certain machinery, because of the activity schedule or because of the construction quality.

Sometimes, we need to isolate our home from noise because it is located near a transport station or adjacent to highways or simply because we value our space of silence. Rest is a fundamental need and we do not realize its importance until our sleep and tranquility are affected.

At an industrial or production level, insulation and acoustic conditioning may be needed because it is a set, a recording or rehearsal room, for example. In these cases it is essential not to contaminate the acoustic signals within the premises or warehouse.

Logically, neither the same insulation nor the same materials are required to soundproof a home as an auditorium.

A specialist should always carry out different acoustic measurements and, on occasion, some related to the noise level of devices used such as machinery, loudspeakers, and the activity for which the site is intended: impacts and music (gym), restaurant (machinery of hospitality, etc.)

Knowing the specific needs in each case is complex, and for this reason it is always better to have it carried out by a specialized company that knows the municipal ordinances.

Step 3. What materials insulate acoustically?

The materials that can be considered insulating are those with the capacity to absorb a large part of the incident sound energy, which can also be easily combined with each other.

It is convenient that the company that is going to carry out the acoustic conditioning can offer you materials and panels that are also decorative and that integrate perfectly into the design of the space to be treated.

Step 4. Price to soundproof a room

The cost of acoustically isolating a space depends on variables such as the activity that is going to be carried out in that place (it is not the same how a rehearsal room is going to be soundproofed, a shop or a car workshop), the size or the materials that are required.

The price range goes from €1,000 (for example: acoustic windows) to approximately €15,000.

Step 5. How to choose the right acoustic engineering company?

Your business license depends on meeting certain requirements. In order not to incur in legal breaches, it is necessary to know how to properly choose the specialist, in addition, doing it in this way ensures an optimal result. It is not enough to have a sound level meter.

  • Make sure that it is a company accredited by official bodies.
  • A company with experience and multiple jobs that speak for themselves.
  • That they advise you on the requirements expressly adapted to your business, that
    is, that they are capable of proposing and executing customized solutions beyond the limited proposals of the manufacturers that sometimes do not respond to the specific needs of the client.
  • To issue a valid acoustic memory to obtain the license.

Step 6. You should know…

Differences between Soundproofing or Conditioning

Soundproofing a space means isolating it from noise with suitable materials, both sounds that go from inside the establishment to the outside, as well as those that come from outside.

When soundproofing a space, we must take into account each of the surfaces that transmit the sound that we do not want, such as soundproofing chambers, ceilings, walls, floors, doors, windows, air installations, etc.

Each material works differently and therefore, a prior study will be necessary to choose the right ones for each need.

Conditioning a room is preparing it acoustically with different techniques and materials that help to obtain a better sound. It will depend on the shape of the space, the inclination of its walls, angles, as well as the activity that is going to be carried out in it to obtain better perception in different sound frequencies.

70% of Spaniards do not return to a noisy restaurant

They say that we Spaniards speak louder than in the rest of Europe. And they are right. But it also bothers us to be in spaces where we have to shout or where we don’t understand the conversation well due to the noise that is formed. It hinders our relationships and makes us leave the place before looking for a better one.

The average payback time, in the case of a restaurant’s investment in soundproofing, is less than a year.


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