• June 15th, 2023

Noise control performance in distribution center sound walls

Lightweight PVC is the material of choice for distribution center sound walls

The trucking and distribution industry is growing rapidly, driven by a rising e-commerce penetration rate and a growing demand for more modern warehousing and logistics centers, which are the critical support nodes for this vast sector.

Logistics centers offer drivers and transport operators points at which to store loads, transfer shipments, hold drop trailers and inspect loads. With such immense volumes of cargo constantly coming in and out of these facilities, truck noise is an obvious part of their operation. 

In addition, there are many other sources contributing to the overall noise level, including forklifts, yard spotter trucks (or terminal tractors) and other machinery or equipment. While noise is never desirable, it can be especially problematic when distribution centers are located near residential areas. 

Mitigating unwanted noise with distribution center sound walls

There are many solutions that can be implemented to minimize and even eliminate the threat of displeased neighbors. A quick and highly effective solution is the installation of sound walls to control the noise level emanating from the distribution center. 

An important factor to consider when erecting a distribution center sound wall, however, is the barrier’s noise-absorption capabilities. Any sound reflected off the sound barrier has the potential to adversely affect people at the truck terminal, so it is critical that the sound wall material be highly absorbent.

The Silent Protector (Absorptive) system from AIL Sound Walls

Silent Protector is a lightweight, absorptive PVC sound wall system from AIL Sound Walls that offers superior noise control and long-lasting performance. Unlike sound barriers made from metal, concrete or wood, the PVC panels in the AIL Sound Walls system are impervious to rain, snow and ice and they are unaffected by de-icing salts. Plus, they won’t rust, rot or stain like the other materials. Add to this their nimble versatility to be fashioned into gates, doors, utility ports and the like, it’s easy to see why smart specifiers are moving to PVC systems.

Three examples of distribution centers using Silent Protector:

Example #1 – Unique distribution center sound walls solution for FedEx in Hampton, Virginia 

AIL Sound Walls has designed and supplied distribution center sound walls for many leading logistics centers and trucking facilities throughout North America. One unique distribution center sound walls solution was for the FedEx logistics center in Hampton, Virginia — as shown in the lead image in this article.

The design features a mix of Silent Protector (Absorptive) and Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) panels in a taller sound wall that wraps around the busy facility. Our lightweight PVC sound wall systems can sit close to underground utilities or aboveground features like equipment or light poles.    

About AIL Sound Walls’ Silent Protector (Absorptive) system

Made from recycled and recyclable PVC perforated panels and filled with acoustical mineral wool, Silent Protector Plus from AIL Sound Walls is one of the industry’s top-performing sound walls, with a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of up to 39 and a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of .90. Silent Protector Plus adds a sound-absorbing backer board behind the mineral wool batt for a heavier absorptive panel with higher sound-mitigation properties.

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls


Example #2 – 30′ tall distribution center sound wall connects to buildings

For a major freight carrier distribution center in Bolingbrook, Illinois, AIL Sound Walls designed and supplied a 30′ tall Silent Protector (Absorptive) sound wall that connected two warehouses and enclosed the loading area.

By using the Silent-Protector system from AIL Sound Walls, the facility owner was able to maximize the sound-mitigation properties of the new sound wall. We worked closely with our project partners to come up with the optimal design, layout (including a few angles) and connections for the 270′ sound barrier wall. To close off the turning yard area, we had to design custom attachments to connect the sound barrier wall to the tilt-up precast concrete buildings at either end. Explore this project >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

Example #3 – Wall-mounted sound walls control noise from busy loading dock area

This project for a facility in Leesburg, Virginia, illustrates the design versatility of our lightweight PVC sound wall systems. Noise from the trucks was bouncing off the concrete block walls in the loading area and impacting nearby residents. A wall-mounted solution from AIL Sound Walls was selected to absorb the noise that was previously reflected and amplified by the concrete walls. Our engineering and manufacturing teams developed specialized mounting hardware for this sound wall installation.

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

Explore AIL Sound Walls’ portfolio of distribution center sound walls 

The AIL Sound Walls team has been successful in building an extensive portfolio of distribution center sound walls projects throughout North America. 

In Florence, New Jersey – AIL Sound Walls’ savings sway customer off competitor’s product 

This 943′, multi-height sound barrier wall project for the IPT Railroad Logistics Center in Florence, New Jersey, is a great example of how the AIL Sound Walls team can value-engineer a solution. The contractor had originally submitted a bid based on a competitor’s product. However, they decided to re-submit once they understood the many benefits of the AIL Sound Walls value engineered proposal featuring our Tuf-Barrier XL panels:

  • Longer 16′ panels with fewer posts and foundations (competitor was limited to 8′)
  • Faster, more economical installation
  • Shorter manufacturing lead time than competitor

This distribution center sound wall needed to navigate around some underground utilities and included two large sliding gates that were each 16′ tall by 15′ wide. Explore this value engineering case study >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

Tuf-Barrier XL and Silent Protector XL mean lower installed costs

The innovative XL Series from AIL Sound Walls goes the distance for better value and lower installed costs in sound barrier walls. Able to reach lengths of up to 16′ between posts, it means fewer posts and foundations and fewer panels to handle and place, which dramatically reduces installation costs. 

In New Brighton, Minnesota – Two AIL Sound Walls adjoin FedEx logistics center building 

This is another project in AIL Sound Walls’ extensive portfolio of logistics center noise barrier walls, this time for the FedEx Ground Distribution Center in New Brighton, a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The project consisted of two separate Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) noise barrier walls navigating through tight layouts and a few obstructions to connect to different sides of the building. The walls totaled 905′ in length and were 17-19′ in height. We were able to add value in this project by using our new longer XL Series Panels on much of this project. Explore this project >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

In Woolwich, New Jersey – AIL Sound Walls wrap around new business park to control both construction and operating noise

Prologis Commodore Park North is a new multi-phased commercial business park under construction in Woolwich Township, New Jersey —  close to the Commodore Bridge and the I-95. Phase One of the development is also close to a neighborhood whose residents insisted on protection from both the construction noise and the operating noise. So, AIL Sound Walls’ extensive run of Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) sound walls had to be installed before any other construction could begin. 

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

The 1411′ sound wall snaked around one side of the property, incorporating curves, angles and grade changes. Wall heights varied between 18′ and 25′. And, because of the lightweight PVC construction of the AIL Sound Walls system, the wall was able to occupy a smaller footprint and preserve more of the mature hardwoods that provided additional buffer for the neighbors. Explore this project >

In Montana and Idaho – AIL Sound Walls installed for three more FedEx logistics centers

This group of projects further expands AIL Sound Walls’ extensive portfolio of logistics center noise barrier wall solutions, this time for three FedEx ground distribution centers in Havre and Livingston, Montana, and Bellevue, Idaho. Explore these projects >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

In Sydney, Nova Scotia – FedEx Distribution Center Sound Wall 

Take a drone-video tour of this Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) sound barrier from AIL Sound Walls that blocks and deflects unwanted noise coming from truck traffic and loading docks at this facility. Take a video tour >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

In New York State – Tuf-Barrier Plus XL delivers extra performance and value for logistics center

This project packaged two AIL Sound Walls product upgrades together to deliver more performance and value for the Matrix Logistics Center in Newburgh in Orange County, NY. Using our Tuf-Barrier Plus panels offered a higher Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating than our standard Tuf-Barrier reflective panels. Plus, producing the panels in our longer XL Series lengths of 16 meant fewer panels, posts and foundations for the project, which lowered the overall installed cost. Explore this project >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

In Westampton, New Jersey – Series of AIL Sound Walls quiet large distribution center 

This project for the Westampton Logistics Center was completed in two phases. Phase One included two walls: one near the main entrance to block sound for a nearby hotel, and one L-shaped wall in the back right corner of the site. Phase Two was an addition to the wall at the back. Explore this project >

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

“We were very pleased to collaborate with the AIL Sound Walls team again on this project. They kept pace with us every step of the way and the product was very easy to work with. The overall quality of their system is second to none and will truly stand the test of time for many years to come.”
— John Noone, Vice-President, Extreme Builders

AIL Sound Walls offer superior performance in distribution center sound walls

The AIL Sound Walls team is on its way to developing a niche market with our distribution center sound walls as more owners and project partners are turning away from concrete, wood and other sound walls when they understand the key benefits of our lightweight PVC systems:

  • Sound-mitigation performance
  • Lower installed costs
  • Durable and low maintenance
  • Sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • Enhanced aesthetics and design versatility

Distribution center sound walls with AIL Sound Walls

There’s an AIL Sound Walls specialist ready to help you value-engineer a better solution for your sound mitigation project — the sooner they get involved in the process, the more you may save. Call toll-free at 1-866-231-7867 to get started.

The AIL Group of Companies