McDonalds, Somerville NJ
The restaurant wanted to install a drive-thru window, and it had to meet the Borough's strict noise code. TNC conducted ambient sound level measurements across a range of dates and times at the proposed site. A study was conducted of numerous Customer Order Displays (COD) at other McDonalds to evaluate speaker dynamics and acceptable intelligibility levels. TNC worked with site engineers regarding placement and orientation of the COD, and design of a property line barrier. After installation, we conducted a calibration event for the COD system and a sound study at adjacent residential properties . A report was prepared and testimony provided at Planning Board hearing resulting in issuance of the permit. TNC returned 7 years later to conduct a study to determine if there would be any impact from extended drive-through hours. There wasn't and the application was approved. Similar services have been provided to several other McDonald's locations, as well as other restaurants, such as Wendy's and Taco Bell.
Bourbon Street Bar -
A bar on Bourbon Street was being sued by plaintiffs who lived 1/2 block away. The plaintiffs had also filed suit against six other bars/venues on Bourbon Street. This was the first case to be heard.
The acoustical studies done by plaintiffs' expert were significantly flawed. TNC performed numerous on-site investigations over a number of days, including extensive sound studies such as a TNC-designed court-ordered attenuation study of the plaintiffs' residence with the sound system in the client's bar at very high intensity.
Critical reviews of plaintiff's expert data and acoustical modeling refuted the methodology and findings. TNC conducted our own modeling in rebuttal. TNC worked closely with defense counsel to prepare for the cross examination of the plaintiffs' expert witness.
The trial lasted a week, and TNC President Eric Zwerling was on the stand for more than a day. Plaintiffs requested $20 million in damages. The jury deliberated for less than an hour and awarded none.
Street Performer -
City of New York Law Dept
A street performer in New York City sued the Mayor, Police Commissioner, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and others, challenging the decibel limits in the City's permits, amongst other claims. The City had lost a previous lawsuit by the same plaintiff. This time, the NYC Law Department chose TNC to defend the case in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. TNC conducted extensive sound studies of the ambient sound levels in the Times Square area, as well as covert surveillance and measurements of the Plaintiff. Mr. Zwerling was deposed for over 8 hours. The trial involved convening a session of Federal Court in situ on Broadway, to hear a demonstration designed by TNC. The matter was successfully adjudicated for the defense.
Banquet Hall -
A reception and banquet event hall constructed an expansion after which they were receiving noise complaints from one of the neighbors. The police determined the sound levels exceeded the limits in the local noise code, and enforcement documents were being served.
TNC determined that several remediation strategies needed to be employed in unison to bring the facility into compliance. A wall of windows provided little attenuation. TNC conducted analyses with INSUL software to assist the facility's engineer in designing custom window remediation. We recommended and specified the remounting design for the speakers and subwoofers with vibration isolation. We conducted a calibration study, utilizing a DJ and live ceremonial drummer, to determine the sound levels within the facility (dBC) which would result in compliance (dBC) inside the residence. We then installed a real-time monitoring system inside the banquet hall which both the DJ and management could observe. The system had thresholds set which illuminate a stacked lighting system green/yellow/red at levels corresponding to safe/caution/violation. An instruction sheet was developed for the transient DJs. A post-installation verification study was conducted, and a report was filed with the Township.