A mysterious noise was reported in a commercial building. This building has multiple levels of car parks with one single level of office space at the top. This top-level is the head office for Renault Australia, located in Mulgrave, Victoria. The office staff at Renault reported a dreadful “howling” noise around the office. It sounded like a huge convoy of trucks thundering past the office, especially worse on windy days. Specialist engineers, acoustic and wind engineers, were summoned to investigate the root cause of this noise. The initial investigation revealed that on windy days, the exterior aluminium Z purlin profile cladding created air turbulences, which resulted in this unwanted noise. After conducting tests in the Monash University wind tunnel, various recommendations were suggested and trialled. For example, removing some purlins to reduce the air-flow turbulence, attaching fibre cement sheets to seal the purlins, vibration damping treatment of the Z purlin cladding, and absorptive infill on the metal purlins. This case study presents the analysis of the noise, the results of the various tests and the successful practical resolution.

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