Student silences noise violations

Noise violations may be history thanks to Full Conversions, a new student-run business on campus started by junior marketing and entrepreneurship major Andy Rianhard, soundproofs basements and dorms. The idea originated when Rianhard and his housemates wanted to have a party but were concerned about receiving a noise violation, Rianhard said. Rianhard learned about soundproofing through his car interior business, where he used it to reduce vibration and road noise. He took the idea behind soundproofing cars and applied it to a basement, he said.  There are three different materials that can be used for sound proofing a space. Mass loaded vinyl is the best soundproofer, but it is also the most expensive.  “It’s the best soundproofer next to lead,” Rianhard said.  The mass loaded vinyl is very effective. “You can’t hear anything from outside,” Rianhard said. Closed cell foam is second best and Styrofoam can also be used though neither work as well, Rianhard said. “It depends on how much you want to spend,” he said. Investing in the soundproofing can pay off.  “It costs a fraction of what a noise violation does,” Rianhard said Because the material is expensive to purchase, renting is an alternate option, which Rianhard suggests for students. All of the materials cost less than $1 per square foot to rent for a year, which is more affordable than purchasing them.  It also works in reverse.  “The music inside is even louder,” Rianhard said. The soundproofing technique can also be applied to dorms.  “I soundproofed my bedroom door,” Rianhard said.  It keeps the room quiet and blocks out any noise people are making outside the door.  “I think it seems like a really cool idea,” first year Zack Stevens said. “I never thought of something like that, but I think it could be really useful.” Senior resident advisor Emily Magarian said she has mixed feelings about soundproofing dorm rooms. “I think there is a good side and a bad side. It could be beneficiary for residents who have different sleeping patterns and with different lifestyles,” she said. “But I also think it poses a danger. If there was an emergency you might not be able to hear it and it can also close people off from the community.” So far Rianhard has soundproofed his basement and bedroom, he said. He has also given two people quotes. Even though the business has just started, Rianhard is already thinking about expanding. Rianhard plans to take his idea to other schools in the area such as Champlain College and Saint Michael’s College to start. He then hopes to expand to colleges around the country, he said.  “People can contact us and we’ll come to their house or dorm and give them a quote,” Rianhard said. So far there have been no incidents with the UVM Police.  “The police don’t really know about it,” Rianhard said.  Rianhard said he thinks that people in the Burlington community would be happy about his soundproofing.  “We want to have our parties and just not be so loud,” Rianhard said. “We don’t want to disturb people.”