TRE by Roberto Rella
TRE by Roberto Rella is located on the 49th, 50th, and 51st floors of the Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road. The upscale, three-level restaurant has a bar and lounge on its two additional floors. Each level has its own distinct theme. The restaurant is marked by a lava stone sculptured centre table that seats 20 people, symbolising togetherness.
Being a luxury restaurant, atmosphere is of the utmost importance at TRE. That includes the lighting, artwork, spacing, music, and of course, the noise level. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines noise as a serious health hazard. It can damage hearing, spike blood pressure, and decrease productivity, all while increasing stress and fatigue. Unwanted noise makes any establishment uncomfortable and less productive for guests and employees alike, especially when it interferes with speech and concentration.
There are practical and economical solutions to almost all noise problems in the built environment. To approach the solution for the noise issue, we needed to:
- Understand the basic principles of acoustics and how noise or unwanted sound is produced, how it propagates, and how it is controlled.
- Learn the basics of noise control, and how to approach the problem from three standpoints: the source of noise, the path it travels, and the point of reception.
- Become familiar with the treatments and modifications that can be applied to HVAC system to reduce unwanted noise and vibration.
Being on the most upper floors of the Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai, the restaurant was in close proximity to the mechanical air conditioning equipment serving the restaurant and other floors. These equipment generated excessive noise levels that were transmitted to the restaurant through structure and ductwork. The sound measurements in certain locations in the front-of-the-house areas exceeded 55 dBA, which was not appropriate for a prestigious seven-star location.
Dealing with an existing systems and structures was one of the major challenges that limited the feasible options to the minimum. So, we had to think out of the box and find appropriate solutions that will be acoustically effective, while not degrading the performance of the existing systems. Another challenge was the fast track pace of this project, which requires to deal with available products and solutions that can be sourced and implemented within the completion timeframe of the project.
In such challenging situations, one should go beyond the edges. Specific questions were raised repeatedly to collect as many different answers as possible. This brainwashing exercise propagated until a set of recommendations were concluded. The matter is sound-related, while the cause is a design issue of the mechanical equipment and structure.
Some of the noisy air handling units above the front-of-the-house areas were relocated within the plantroom to another space above the back-of-the-house areas, where noise can be withheld, especially that the kitchens are already equipped with hoods that generate more noise compared to the subject air conditioning equipment.
The vibration isolators of all the fans and air handling units, including those located above the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house areas, were replaced with properly designed and selected vibration isolators that will reduce the vibrations that can transmit noise through the building structure. The existing sound attenuators for the fans and air handling units serving the front-of-the-house areas were also replaced by properly selected attenuators based on the actual measurements of the equipment noise levels.
The noise levels within the restaurant front-of-the-house areas were completely reduced to satisfactory levels below 30 dBA. The performance of the air conditioning systems remained in accordance with the original performance prior to the enhancement works. The front-of-the-house areas were not affected, as the noise generated by the newly relocated equipment was below the overall noise generated by the hood.
Category: Enhanced Building Performance
Scope: Noise troubleshooting and remedial works
Client: TRE by Roberto Rella
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates