Erich Thalheimer, BSME, INCE Bd. Cert., Acoustical Engineer

Mr. Thalheimer has performed dozens of site studies and permit applications to support new developments and/or facility expansions. These studies often require ambient noise measurements to be performed and expected operational noise levels to be modeled.  Noise levels are then evaluated against State and local noise ordinances. When necessary, noise mitigation measures are developed to ensure compliance and to gain permit approvals.

Example site studies and permit projects that Mr. Thalheimer has conducted include the following:

  • Solar Panels Acoustical Consequences, Energy Development Partners, Hopkinton, RI – Used the Cadna-A noise model to assess the acoustical consequences associated with installing a solar panel array between Main Street and I-95 in Hopkinton, RI.The concern was that traffic noise from nearby Interstate I-95 might be redirected or increased by the solar panels which were replacing fully grown trees.
  • Fall River Gun Club Solar Panels, Energy Development Partners, Westport, MA – Used the Cadna-A noise model to assess of the acoustical aspects associated with the installation of a large solar panel array with respect to potentially shielding or reflecting gunshot sounds from an outdoor shooting range into the surrounding community.
  • Penn State Health Buildings Helicopter Noise Predictions, HKS Architects, Lancaster, PA – Performed helicopter noise predictions using the Cadna-A model for use in selecting appropriate external windows and facade design for two new hospital buildings.  Used the FAA’s AEDT Model to get sound emission levels for an AirBus H155 helicopter that was expected to land on top of the hospital for emergency patient transport.
  • Bio-Printing Laboratory at Walter Reed Hospital, Uniformed Services, Bethesda, MD – Performed a series of ambient noise and vibration measurements to quantify existing conditions in support of the design for a new laboratory within which particularly sensitive equipment would be housed. Proposed sensitive equipment included bio-printers, fine scales, and magnetic resonance image machines.
  • 303 Hamilton Avenue Condenser Noise, Pecora Brothers, Greenwich, Connecticut – Performed a noise assessment of HVAC condensers as part of a proposed new apartment development.  Evaluated the differences in noise by using condensers made by Trane and Carrier in accordance with the Greenwich City Ordinance limit of 45 dBA at night.
  • Wegmans Food Market, Nouvelle Condominiums, Natick, MA – Wegmans Food Market was proposing moving into the Natick Mall. Residents living in the Nouvelle Condos, some 150 feet away, were quite concerned about potential nighttime noise associated with the market’s delivery trucks, HVAC units, and trash dumpster removal.  Critically reviewed Wegmans Market’s acoustical report, presented findings before the Natick Planning Board, and performed ambient noise measurements outside several floors of the condo building. Guided the condo trustees on how to deal with construction and operational noise concerns.  Later, once Wegmans Market was completed and operational, performed 1-month long operational noise measurements at Nouvelle Condos to document exceedances of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection noise regulations.
  • 250 Howard Street Park Tower, WSP, San Francisco, CA – Performed an assessment of potential exterior HVAC noise associated with a new high rise building project in San Francisco, CA.  Performed ambient noise measurements to determine applicable noise limits in accordance with San Francisco Noise Code Article 29.  Used the Cadna-A noise model to predict and show compliance of building HVAC noise levels at the site’s property lines.
  • Open Industrial Use Study, New York City Planning Department, New York, NY - Participated on a team of environmental mitigation experts to device prototypical noise control options for open industrial land-uses such as concrete plants, auto salvage yards, scrap metal facilities, and waste recycling facilities.  Suggested suitable noise control measures applied to the sources, pathways and receivers.  Estimated the effectiveness and cost of noise control measures.
  • Peer Review: Federal Express Ground Transit Facility Noise, Natick, MA – Performed peer review on behalf of the Town of Natick of a noise study conducted by others involving a proposed new Federal Express Ground trucking/shipping/distribution center. Submitted written comments supporting and/or questioning the adequacy of the noise study, and presented the same before the Planning Board.
  • Surveillance Radar Program, US Department of Defense, Taiwan – Performed review of operational noise requirements for a new radar facility being built in Taiwan. The facility had to meet strict Taiwanese noise criteria for being in a noise-sensitive nature preserve area. The insertion loss performance of silencers (selected by others) was re-evaluated for six Caterpillar 2,500 KW generators required to provide emergency backup power. The Cadna-A model was used to refine noise predictions (performed by others) using more current sound emission data and site configuration information. The updated results indicated compliance with project-specific noise variance limits.
  • Encore Music Academy Community Noise Compliance Study, Franklin, MA – Performed a community noise evaluation for Zoning Board approval for a proposed new music academy that would include musical instrument lessons and recording studios.  Performed ambient noise measurements, wall transmission loss measurements, and example music source level measurements.  Predicted noise levels in the surrounding community using the Cadna-A noise model. Evaluated the results in accordance with 310 CMR Part 7.10 and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) Policy 90-001. 
  • Rose Kennedy Greenway Acoustical Support - Greenway Conservatory, Boston, MA – Was retained to advise Conservatory on all noise-related matters. Performed an ambient noise survey covering the entire Greenway corridor in downtown Boston. Long-term (dBA) and short-term (octave band) noise data was collected at a total of 24 locations. Advised on appropriate locations for outdoor music events, and brokered an acceptable music loudness limit with Boston Environmental Department. Monitored music levels during an outdoor concert event on Earth Day 2010 which did comply. Developed a base acoustical model of the Greenway corridor using Cadna-A in order to be able to proactively evaluate future proposed music events.
  • Rochester Asphalt Plant - Mintz Levin P.C., Rochester, MA – Working for the team in opposition to the project, developed a noise impact study using the Cadna-A model of a proposed Gencor Model 400 TPH Stationary Ultraplant asphalt plant to be built next to a residential neighborhood. Performed peer reviews of proponent’s acoustical reports. Presented findings, interpretation of 310 CMR 7.10 and Mass DEP Policy 90-001, and critical comments before the Rochester Planning Board.
  • Sachs Residence Chiller Noise Evaluation, Martha’s Vineyard, MA - Performed a noise evaluation in accordance with Mass DEP Noise Regulations of a chiller being installed in a new residential development on Martha’s Vineyard.  Evaluated the chiller noise and the design of its housing vault using the Cadna-A environmental noise model.  Selected IAC Noishield Louvers for chiller vault rooftop. 
  • MathWorks Campus Expansion, Rizzo TetraTech/Spagnolo Giness & Associates, Natick, MA – Performed a traffic noise analysis as well as an analysis of potential mechanical/ventilation noise associated with the expansion of the MathWorks headquarters facility in Natick, MA. The analyses focused on a controversial open-walled parking garage. Ambient noise measurements were performed and future noise levels were predicted using the FHWA TNM model for traffic noise, the FHWA RCNM model for construction noise, and custom empirical/analytical models for mechanical/ventilation noise in accordance with Mass DEP Policy 90-001 (310 CRM 7.10). The results were presented before the Natick Planning Board. Additional work was provided to reconfirm noise compliance in the community from the rooftop HVAC units on the building at Apple Hill 4 using the Cadna-A model. Noise from rooftop and penthouse HVAC equipment was also analyzed using the TAP model to ensure that upper floor conference rooms would have acceptable interior noise conditions. 
  • Review and Critique: D’Ambra Concrete Plant Noise Study, Cranston, RI – Assisted a community group opposed to the development a proposed concrete plant in Cranston, RI.  Performed a technical review and provided a written critique of another firm’s noise study.
  • Peer Review of Dunkin Donuts Northeast Distribution Center Noise Study, Bellingham, MA - Acting on behalf of the Town of Bellingham, reviewed an acoustical study performed by Cavanaugh Tocci Associates for a proposed Dunkin Donuts warehouse and trucking distribution center.  Reviewed the study for clarity, appropriate use of noise monitors and noise prediction models, and reasonability of findings.  Also provided additional recommendations for alternative truck noise mitigation measures for the Board’s consideration.  Successfully presented the peer review findings at a Bellingham Planning Board hearing on 4/22/04 at which time permission was granted for the project to commence. 
  • Auburn Inn & Suites Hotel, Shaw Environmental, Auburn, MA - In support of a proposed hotel to be built on Route 12 in Auburn, a noise study was performed to predict noise consequences in accordance with Mass DEP noise regulations.  Noise prediction models were developed to assess potential unit air conditioner noise affecting nearby residents. The results were presented before the Auburn Planning Board and the project was approved. 
  • Ernie’s Auto Wash, Millennium Design Group, Auburn, MA - In support of a proposed car wash to be built on Route 12 in Auburn, a noise study was performed to predict noise consequences in accordance with Mass DEP noise regulations.  Ambient noise measurements were collected, and noise prediction models were developed from source emissions at other similar car wash facilities.  The results were presented before the Auburn Planning Board but the proposed action was denied due to traffic concerns. 
  • Porter Paving Noise Compliance Study, Andover, NH (1996) - Prepared and presented before the City Planning Board a noise impact study evaluating the potential for a proposed asphalt plant to cause adverse noise impact when evaluated against the local noise ordinance in Andover.  Noise prediction modeling indicated noise impact was likely, and candidate noise mitigation measures including enclosures, noise barriers, and stack silencers were recommended to achieve compliance with the noise ordinance.
  • Andover Saw Mill Noise Compliance Study, Andover, NH (1996) - Prepared a noise impact study evaluating a proposed saw mill and the potential for adverse noise impact or annoyance at several surrounding residential receptor locations.  Noise models were developed through spectral noise measurements performed at a similar saw mill in operation in Epsom, NH.  The results of the model were evaluated against a local noise ordinance in Andover, and with respect to potential noise annoyance.  The study was successfully presented before the City Zoning Commission and affected residents, and the saw mill was granted a construction permit.   Post-construction noise compliance tests were also conducted before City officials and residents.  Saw mill operation noise was proven to successful comply with the City Ordinance.
  • Brookside Village Retail Complex EIR, Sumner Schein Architects and Engineers, Norton, MA (1995) - As part of an overall EIR, a noise impact study was performed to predict noise impact associated with the proposed development of a retail complex.  Ambient noise measurements were performed at 5 nearby residential receptors including a nursing home.  Proposed stationary noise sources included rooftop HVAC units and idling delivery trucks.  Stationary noise propagation models were developed to predict noise impact on identified receptors, and the STAMINA model was used to predict additional highway traffic noise along Route 140.  Noise impact was determined against MDEP, MHD, and FHWA criteria guidelines. Noise mitigation strategies were recommended to control the anticipated impact conditions. 
  • Fairfield Maintenance Facility EA, DeLeuw Cather Company, Fairfield, CT (1994) - Performed operational and construction noise evaluation of 2 proposed maintenance facility site locations on behalf of ConnDOT.  Ambient noise monitoring results were evaluated against operational noise prediction model results.  Attended several public meetings to support findings.
  • BFI Landfill Site Survey & Permitting, Browning & Ferris Gas Services, Houston TX (1993) - Responsible for all related noise and vibration permitting, impact assessment and abatement control for several landfill sites in Massachusetts where trash gas (methane) is collected and used to fuel electric motor/generators.