Concerns about traffic noise affecting the neighbourhood around the new Bayfair Shopping Centre in Tauranga, New Zealand made the architects look for a solution that would resolve the noise issue and also meet the standards.

Home to more than 100 different retailers, Tauranga’s premier shopping mall opened recently in Mt Maunganui on the South East coast of New Zealand. Featuring supermarkets and department stores with longer operation hours and a carpark with over 1600 spaces, the centre needed to address traffic noise concerns near the loading docks.

Residents on the Farm Street side would require a solution covering a large frequency range to address the problem of engine noise from local traffic. Without proper acoustic treatment, the hard, reflective surfaces would also amplify street noise. This constant exposure to unacceptable noise levels would impact pedestrians, neighbours and shops or other small commercial premises in the vicinity.

Pyrotek worked with Woodhams Meikle Zhan Architects to specify Reapor acoustic panels for the Countdown exterior wall near the driveway.

Being a potential high wind zone, mechanical fixing using powder coated ‘J’ channels was chosen as the preferred method of installation by Foster Construction.

Constructed from small aerated granules, Reapor acoustic panels are suitable for use outdoors and in loading docks. When wet, the panels are capable of draining freely. The granules are fused together through a patented high temperature sintering process to form a hard, lightweight, fibre-free, non-combustible stone-look panel to effectively absorb a broad frequency range of noise produced by local traffic.

The use of Reapor on the exterior of the building not only addressed the sound absorption requirements but also met the aesthetic objectives with its modern, lightly textured concrete surface look.

The Reapor wall was constructed next to the driveway to reduce and control reverberation from the traffic noise into the adjacent property. Reapor is a porous, high performance material with good success rates absorbing noise from driveways, commercial thoroughfares, railway and infrastructure tunnels.

Reapor acoustic panels have a high NRC (noise reduction coefficient) of 0.95.