QFC to quiet noisy fans on roof

Neighbors of the new Ballard on the Park apartments have been complaining for the past several months about QFC’s noisy HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system on top of the building. “I live nearby and the sound permeates the walls of my apartment with my doors and windows closed. It sounds like an airplane is constantly hovering over the top of my building,” Schaaster wrote in the forum back in January.

Today, QFC and developers are responding to the noise complaints. A crane (above right) offloaded the base and steel required to build a solid enclosed structure around the noisy system, Jeanne Muir, a spokesperson for the developer tells us. “QFC has been very anxious to do the right thing with the neighborhood,” she says. Kristin Maas, a spokesperson for QFC tells us that putting a damper over the system needed to be done, “We understand that it’s impacting our neighbors,” she tells us, “It’s an expensive thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Muir expects the structure will make a noticeable difference because the company hired to engineer it specializes in noise dampening. She tells us the project should be completed around the end of the month.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

29 thoughts to “QFC to quiet noisy fans on roof”

  1. I really hope this does a lot of good. I filed a DPD noise complaint and got a response. It looks like they've got a case open on the QFC noise, but they've already decided that the noise levels are in tolerance for the zoning.

    They oughta come up to my house 8 blocks away and measure the noise there. We're not zoned for this crap.

  2. Not only did I did not know there were fans of the noise, I did not know they were on the roof? And in this environment where QFC is constantly under criticism, wouldn't you want to fire up your fans to raise the roof and drown out the haters as opposed to putting them on the roof and quieting them? And how come there was no public comment on this?

    QFC Dumb move, Dumb move indeed.

  3. Sorry, but you should have checked the zoning before you moved in. You're in a drunken hooligan zone. But on the bright side, the drunks don't have the permits to build a hobo tent there.

  4. I went by the library yesterday and they were playing what sounded like vampires screaming, over the PA system out front, around noon.

    Did anyone else here it? Is it a hobo defense system?

  5. Hopefully their engineer is a good one. Noise / vibration issues like this are tricky to resolve. And it won't be a cheap fix for QFC.

  6. that's exactly it. while it's conceivable that the noise is in tolerance at the source, it bounces around the neighborhood in weird ways – it's very faint in front of the QFC itself, but at our house 5 blocks away it is hard to get to sleep!

  7. I live across the street from QFC and honestly haven't noticed any noise, even though I sleep with my window open… The only noise I found troublesome was the construction noise when they were putting the building up in the first place!

  8. I can believe that — noise travels mysteriously. But haven't you ever walked up the eastern side of the park and wondered why Harrier jets were allowed to buzz us that close?

  9. I walked by the QFC the other day. When you are next to the building, near the skate park, you can't really hear the fans…but then as I walked east on 58th, the fans got more and more noticeable. I could hear them almost all the way to the post office. And yes, it sounds like a jet plane taking off in the distance. What a drag for everyone who live w/in earshot!

  10. “It sounds like an airplane is constantly hovering over the top of my building,”

    I hear the same thing on regular basis but in my case it the KING 5 helicopter routinely hovering above my place in Queen Anne while they do live shots for the evening news. If I had a rocket launcher ….

  11. I live on 24th and 59th and i have never heard anything. I think a lot of residents in Ballard just like to make things up so they can have something new to complain about. That seems like a common theme on myballard, nothing else to do so I will go and make a moaning comment on a story. Each time I read myballard I sit laughing at the many ridiculous over the top comments, its very entertaining. Living that close I think i would notice “a jet airplane hovering over my head”.

  12. Good news! I live a block away and can hear this pretty well (though I'm pretty sensitive to noise like this). I thought maybe they had the fans running loud and all the time to flush out the new carpet smell or something. Didn't realize it would be permanent – glad their mitigating.

  13. Yeah! Thank you – I live 3 blocks away and was getting worried about sleeping with my windows open this summer! I am much more likely to patronize this QFC store now! – Nancy Osborne

  14. Folks in the building (the soon-to-be tenants) and neighbors directly across the street are in the noise shadow, and therefore do *not* hear the noise from the roof.

    Check it out yourself. Stand at the corner of the park. You don't hear the roof fans. But by the time you get to the edge of the park, you hear them.

    I'm 4 blocks away, and even at 4:00 in the morning, behind closed windows, the fans are the loudest thing in my bedroom.

    I've spoken numerous times with Bob Goodman, the store manager at QFC. He's moving as fast as he can on the issue. Unfortunately, his management (and it's a tall hierarchy at Kroger) are have not been moving very fast.

    To their benefit, the first design was scrapped during a review as being insufficient to solve the problem, so they took another shot at it. The delay was partially due to them wanting to do it right the first time. Bob has been very understanding about the problem, and understands that it's a QFC responsibility to get it right.

  15. BTW. Fixing the fans on the *roof* is only 1/3 of the problem. There are 2 noise generators on the NE and SW corners. They're fairly dormant now because they're on a carbon-monoxide sensor to remove the auto exhaust. Because there are no tenants, they don't cycle often, but while they were doing construction, they were overpoweringly loud. Too loud. The NE corner noise bleeds directly into the park.

    That's park as in pastoral, as in peaceful, as in community respite. Loud fans are an inappropriate intrusion into that community space. To my knowledge (and to Bob Goodman's knowledge – manager of QFC), nobody has stepped up to these noise sources.

    They *will* have a detrimental effect on the park, just in time for its peak usage.

    I have requested, but not received, a call from folks at the condo lease center.

    Strangely enough (this according to Rob Mattson) nobody at the parks department has gotten involved. Does anyone know who at the parks department would be interested in keeping noise pollution out of the park?

  16. I can still here the humming and i live on 67th and 21st. I didn’t notice it ever becoming quieter. I feel sorry for the people who live closer than me!

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