Residents aggravated last year by a high-pitched hum emitting from a chiller unit atop The Summit long-term care facility must wait until the weather warms up to learn if efforts to eliminate the noise have worked.
The Capital Regional Hospital District board voted Wednesday (Jan. 13) to approve spending up to $30,000 to resolve the noise concerns. The funds would include $22,000 plus GST for the purchase and installation of a sound attenuator kit, and up to $8,000 in contingency funding.
The installation of this new equipment will follow work done last fall, when CRD staff, service technicians and independent sound consultants spent time researching the problem after dozens of complaints were received from neighbours of the Hillside Avenue facility.
Michael Barnes, senior manager of health and capital planning strategies at the CRD, told the board on Wednesday the previous work included adjustments to the variable speed drives, in an attempt to change the unit’s tonal sound.
Testing found the equipment operating at optimal efficiency, including the sound blankets installed during the construction phase. As well, noise measurements done at various places around the neighbourhood were found to be well within the city’s noise bylaw limits.
Neighbours have reported the hum is worst on warm days over 18 C when the chiller kicks in. But as Barnes acknowledged under questioning from board member Ben Isitt, the testing work and adjustments were done when the weather had turned cooler.
“By the time the complaints came in and we investigated and brought the consultant in to do the testing, (we) missed the window of opportunity to test during the hottest periods of summer,” Barnes said.
CRD staff will report back in the springtime on the effectiveness of the adjustments and the installation of the sound attenuator.