This paper looks back on the designs and ambitions of ARA in resolving a long term acoustic noise problem which threatened ARA with closure. This paper today briefly looks back to the original issues but deals more fully with the later phases of a two phase project implementation and construction. ARA is now a truly ‘silent site’, where closure was once threatened, ARA has achieved the implementation of a bespoke noise reduction enclosure where 24-hour running has proved to be a reality. This paper looks at the design and construction phases, the ‘before and after’ noise footprints and at some of the financial benefits ARA has achieved.
The ARA transonic wind tunnel is sited on an industrial estate on the north west perimeter of Bedford. When it was first built it was on an original farm site with no appreciable residential houses in close proximity. Since the early 1950s there has been considerable residential development around the ARA site resulting in the local householders complaining about the wind tunnel acoustic noise. In early 1999 ARA was obliged to consider several options for noise reduction measures to reduce the noise to within UK government statutory requirements.
This paper deals briefly with the original noise nuisance characteristics and footprint, the noise reduction design and method that ARA selected and shows the construction phases, the further noise treatment ARA had to do on other major ancillary equipment to make ARA a truly quiet industrial site.
The paper shows how ARA has utilised the resulting benefits of these investments to increase productivity and reduce costs, and the influence it has had on ARA’s financial health.