Why are so many commercial gyms receiving noise abatement orders? Is soundproofing the answer?
As Gyms across the UK reopen and clients flood back in, seeking all the benefits a commercial Gym can bring physically, socially and mentally, it should be the prime opportunity for gym owners to celebrate. After an extremely difficult 2020 and first half of 2021, the doors are finally open and we can begin to get back to the business of fitness as normal. However, unfortunately this is not everyone’s experience. The iKoustic team are regularly speaking to gym owners and managers that have found their opening celebrations have been cut short by conflict with neighbours or even worse - noise abatement orders, a sign that they could face legal action if they don’t find a way to keep the noise down. This is a task that can be more challenging than simply suggesting to your clients to keep the noise down!
Why is sound such a problem for gyms?
The close proximity of a Gym to living, working or retail spaces is often the reason gyms find themselves in this position. The number of new commercial gyms is constantly growing with statistics suggesting that there are over 7,200 health and fitness clubs in the United Kingdom, with over 10 million combined members. As the number of additional gyms continues to grow , to service the pent-up demand, owners, chains and franchises are tempted by empty units in mixed use properties. With reduced rent, these properties look very appealing. iKoustic has worked with a large variety of commercial gyms, often in the same building as, or right next to, retail shops, residential property, banks and more.
However, the challenge that comes with a mixed use property is the impact this has on the ability to reduce noise. The experience you have of sound inside a gym can be completely different to the noise your neighbours can hear, whether they occupy a space below, above or to the side of the gym. Loud impulsive noises such as weights being dropped on the floor, create high amplitude (loud), across multiple frequencies that can transmit throughout the building structure, resonating through the ceilings, floors and walls.
In addition to this, there are airborne noises from group classes with loud amplified music that transmits directly through the wall into the building structure. Be aware that sign off from a planning officer inspecting the property before use does not prevent a neighbour raising a complaint if they feel any of these noises are disturbing them. And the truth is, whilst it’s different when you are inside the gym, these noises can be very disruptive to your neighbours.
There is a psycho-acoustic “Flight Or Fight” element to noise and the sounds that commonly upset people the most are sudden, unexpected high volume noises that disturb or surprise people. Noises commonly associated with gyms.
So what can be done about this?
iKoustic has many unique gym soundproofing products and systems that can help reduce the impact of noise in a professional gym. MuteStop™ for example, is a set of highly resistant, designed impact reducing rings that are retrospectively fitted directly to the guide-shaft of weight machines without having to take apart or reassemble the apparatus. This reduces the significant impact noise found in pulled-weight stations or metal plate machines. To quote one customer when asked about their experience regarding MuteStop(™) “Now THAT is a Hero Product, it’s just saved my business”
Similarly, our MuteMat® Gym range is perfect for reducing noise transmission through gym floors.
However, the best advice and the most effective tool is our team of experts.
Every gym is different
Every commercial gym has a unique challenge with noise reduction. Our solution starts with a conversation where a member of the team will find out about sound levels, how many classes you have, what time they occur, how many people are doing what exercises, your gym layout, the structure of the building and more.
We offer genuine advice that goes beyond our range of products, for example you may want to consider the layout of your gym – is it possible to put all the weights and machines that are likely to create loud noises in one area? Perhaps there is a section of the gym which doesn’t contain shared walls and simply moving equipment will help with noise reduction. These are the kinds of solutions our team will discuss with you.
Book a call with one of our experts, give us a call on 01937 588226 or send a message via the chat function on our website.