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TOPIC: Kenilworth Noise Concerns
DATE: July 24, 2018

Please attribute statements to:

Rowena Buffett Timms, SVP, Government and Community Relations

QUESTION 1: Does Mission plan to do any more to abate noise Kenilworth residents say is disturbing
their neighborhood.

RESPONSE: Mission Health has demonstrated a great deal of understanding and has gone to great
lengths to address the concerns of the Kenilworth residents while still providing lifesaving treatment for
our community members in western North Carolina. To date, we have taken the following direct

1. Re-routing of MAMA flight paths wherein MAMA crews are cognizant of the concerns from the
neighbors and avoid flights over the residential areas around Mission to the maximum extent

2. Mission sent out notifications to other Medical Helicopter Services requesting that they remain
sensitive to residential areas nearby and adjust their flight paths to the maximum extent

3. Mission instructed the contractor to keep the East gate (closest to the residences) closed and
locked until 7am, thus preventing deliveries which were usually the source of early morning
equipment use.

4. In addition, Mission asked its contractor to utilize the West side of the site for the concrete
pours (which often start at 2am) so that the sound of concrete trucks backing and offloading is
blocked from the nearby residences by the building structure.

5. Mission had the contractor adjust their start time during the excavation phase to 7am. The
contractor had applied for and been granted permission from the City to start earlier than this
time, but when the concern was raised, Mission adjusted the start time to comply with the
typical times published by the City.

6. During the site excavation phase (Fall 2016), rock was encountered requiring blasting. These
blasts were set to occur at the same time each day and calendars were sent to the nearby
residents to alert them to the planned dates to blast. Email communication was maintained
with the residents throughout this period to keep them apprised on when blasts would occur.

7. The mechanical equipment located closest to residences on the East side of campus is the Chiller
Plant, which has cooling towers on top of the plant. Understanding that these could be a source
of sound, Mission built a sound wall between these cooling towers and the residences in order
to reduce the transmission of sound. Further, in the summer of 2017, this wall was enhanced to
provide additional sound absorbing materials and to block openings in the wall, further reducing
the transmission of sound.

8. In 2017, a new policy was enacted to require the roll-up door to stay in the closed position,
which further decreases the sound transmission from equipment within the building.

9. A new Central Energy Plant was constructed on the South side of campus to add mechanical
equipment necessary to support the new building, and Mission had large mufflers installed on
the generators to minimize the sound produced during operation.

10. In 2017, a bearing on the exhaust fan in the Biltmore Parking Deck was going bad and causing an
increase in the sound produced. This bearing was promptly replaced, and nearby residents
indicated it made a noticeable improvement in the soundscape.

11. In 2018, the mechanical equipment on the radiology roof was assessed to determine if
adjustments could be made to lower sound output. The Air Handlers were adjusted to a lower
speed and nearby residents said it made a noticeable improvement in the soundscape. In
addition, ductwork was re-routed to reduce vibration and the Kathabar Unit was replaced with a
new unit.

12. The Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine (MHAM) rooftop mechanical design considered the
sound sources from the rooftop mechanical equipment and took the following steps:
a. The mechanical equipment is enclosed in a penthouse, so there are inherent barriers
between the equipment and the residences;
b. The mechanical equipment intakes and exhaust louvers were oriented North and South
so as to not point to residences East and West of MHAM; and
c. The exhaust fans, which must be rooftop mounted, are the quietest models made.

QUESTION 2: Rheb states Mission used the past year’s meetings with Mission Noise Committee of the
KRA, as a stall tactic and has not done sufficient work to abate the constant hum we do hear, standing
with residents in Kenilworth.

RESPONSE: We scheduled these meetings in order to have open dialog and ongoing communication
with the Kenilworth Residents Association. It is clearly outlined in the list provided above that Mission
Health has continued to evaluate the residents’ concerns and take action on an ongoing basis. We are
disappointed to hear that our extensive efforts that we’ve listed above do not seem sufficient as they
were made with every intention of exceeding the recommendations of the acoustical consulting firm
and addressing the concerns of nearby residents.

QUESTION 3: Do you feel Mission is in violation of the city noise ordinance. And if not, why.

RESPONSE: No, we do not. In May 2017, an acoustical consulting firm was hired to study the sound
sources from Mission and measure the decibel levels at the campus property lines. Recommendations
made by these experts were enacted, and the additional steps we’ve outlined that were taken were
over and above the recommendations from the consultant.

QUESTION 4: The residents allege, at times, Mission noise surpasses recommended levels of noise at
night for neighborhoods according to the American Public Health Association and WHO. Please respond.

RESPONSE: As we’ve stated, the steps we took were over and above the recommendations of
acoustical consulting firm.


Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. In 2018, for
the sixth time in the past seven years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health
Systems by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company and part of IBM Watson Health. We are the only
health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals,
numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care
provider Asheville Specialty Hospital and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With
approximately 12,000 team members and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving
the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please
visit or @MissionHealthNC.


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