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The experts at Jack Barry & Associates, Inc. understand the art of system designs for tunnel ventilation and sound attenuation. Years of combined experience and research have placed Jack Barry & Associates, Inc. at the forefront of the tunnel and mining industry. They are the experts in designing engineering solutions for ventilation and noise control. Jack Barry, President JBA, Inc. began his career as a student in 1955 with hands-on experience working on the Chelsea to Deer Island tunnel in Boston. As a mechanical engineering student at Northeastern University, Jack worked in the heavy construction industry as a hoisting engineer. This on-the-job experience early in his career has made Jack a valuable resource to contractors. He has a real life understanding of the problems and dilemmas faced daily in underground construction. Jack Barry has expanded his knowledge, engineering skills, and expertise gained by actual underground experience to deliver solid solutions for sound and ventilation systems.

Unique training and experience enables Jack Barry to state, "There is no one else in the industry providing ventilation systems and sound attenuation with my years of tunneling and unique mechanical engineering background". Jack understands the problems his many clients present to him because he understands the complex workings of fans and ventilation systems from the inside out. Jack manufactured and designed fans for the tunneling industry (Bonanza Fans, Inc.) early in his career. As a fan manufacturer, Jack went to the man who invented the vane axial fan, Dr. T. Troller, and hired him. Dr. Troller suggested Jack also hire C.L. Tinker who had worked closely on ventilation design with Dr. Troller. Jack worked with both Dr. Troller and Chuck Tinker for over fifteen years, and learned the art of ventilation from these two masters. He came to know that underground ventilation is 50 % art and 50 % science. It takes an unusual ability to understand underground conditions, to evaluate them and determine which ventilation system will provide solutions to ever changing underground conditions. During their fifteen-year association with Jack, Dr. Troller and Chuck Tinker were able to instruct Jack in the science of designing the right ventilation system for any given project, as well as the art involved in evaluating underground conditions. Dr. Troller was instrumental in designs of all fans used on Navy ships and aircraft in World War II. In fact, for many years, all fans used by the military bore a tag stating, "Troller designed". They designed the latest generation of vane axial fans for Chicago Blower Corporation. These fans are the last significant design in the vane axial fan. This complete line of fans, known as Design 47 were developed using knowledge gained during 45 years of research and development. Barry considers these fans to be on the cutting edge. 

There are many excellent ventilation engineers in the country, but very few if any with the application experience of JBA, Inc. When they look at a project, they look at selecting the fan most efficient for the application. They also consider the efficiency of the electric motor and the sound generated. They take all the information and come up with the most economical solution possible. The vane axial fan that is the choice of JBA, Inc. provides exactly the efficiency and economy Barry demands. The use of vanes rather than the traditional propeller blade turns the air and sets it in a laminar flow attitude, straightening the air out and doing 50 % of the work of the fan. So therefore, the design of the straightening vane is critical to the performance of the vane axial van. Figuring resistance of the air in the duct, friction loss is 2/3 less with a vane axial than a prop fan. The efficiency of an electric motor is something that should be considered since just 1 % loss in efficiency can amount to thousand of dollars in operating losses. Jack Barry &Associates, Inc. has been able to provide cost savings solutions to clients around the world.

Proper ventilation during a tunneling project is essential to the lives of personnel underground. Experience has taught Jack that if you have a good ventilation system, lighting is brighter, the air is cleaner and productivity increases. There is a solid scientific basis for Jack's expert reasoning; with proper ventilation and a properly designed ventilation system in place, the oxygen levels increase. Federal codes established by both OSHA and MSHA require specific working standards for the underground. These codes are easily met with JBA, Inc. on the job. Jack has the distinction of being certified by the City of New York DEP as an underground sound and ventilation expert. In fact, he is often called in on difficult cases to provide expert witness testimony. Jack's experience working below ground allows him to give credible accounts of conditions in a tunnel. At a recent deposition, Jack was surprised to find he was the only underground engineering expert who had actually been in a tunnel. 

Tunnel ventilation is technical and ever changing. It is a challenge to evaluate the changes that develop daily in driving a tunnel or mining. JBA, Inc. has the advantage of knowing first hand what changes can occur and can address these problems quickly and accurately. Contractors may believe they have natural ventilation simply because they have tested the quality of underground air at a single elevation. The experts at JBA, Inc. know that the instruments used to test quality of air underground are two-fold. They first test for gasses and then test for velocity (measured in feet per min. fpm). Jack explained, "I've seen many instances where velocity readings are taken in one location directly in front of a box type fan where they will read a high velocity, but obviously the code is written for the entire project and the box fan will only circulate the contaminated air. This is especially important in large structures where you will have gas that comes in and lays at various elevations." It is cost effective for contractors to supply good ventilation on a project. Poor ventilation creates poor lighting, dirty air and low oxygen levels. These conditions result in low productivity, lost workdays and accidents. Jack Barry & Associates, Inc. is able to design ventilation systems to address any problem or situation that may arise. Their applications are innovative in design and are designed to solve problems. Jack Barry and the experts on his team stand behind their designs and applications. With JBA, Inc. on the job, contractors know they have experience and industry knowledge that will save both time and money. JBA, Inc. gives the contractor a true and complete picture of their ventilation system needs. They calculate the complete system resistance from the face to the portal. They review ventilation design and will make suggestions where required. They assure their clients that all projects will meet code. They can design ventilation for TBM or TSM to include wet or dry dust collection systems. They offer a complete line of ventilation equipment from the smallest fans and blowers to the largest mine fans. They also provide dust control wet scrubbers as well as bag houses and fogger nozzles. JBA, Inc. provides the contractor with one source of responsibility for all tunnel ventilation needs.

With a complete understanding of tunnel ventilation solution, JBA, Inc. is in an ideal position to also understand the noise that accompanies the work being done underground. Sound attenuation solutions are readily available when you understand the equipment used in construction. At JBA, Inc. each piece of equipment is analyzed to supply the proper noise mitigation. The Federal Government uses a dBA scale to measure sound. This is a logarithmic averaging of the basic eight octave bands. Government codes require that the dBA be no higher than 90. It is possible to have an overall dBA reading well below the safety standards and still have an offensive sound. An example of this might be a backup alarm on construction equipment. The alarm might be below 90 dBA, yet still bring about complaints from neighbors or nearby workers. The experts at JBA, Inc. can successfully address these problems in projects as small as a tabletop enclosure in a manufacturing plant to a 3,500-foot long by 20-foot high sound wall that wraps around a construction site. They can engineer and tailor sound mitigation systems to fit the need of any project.

Sound, like ventilation, can affect the personnel on a project. Studies have shown that exposure to unacceptable dBA readings can cause fatigue, disorientation and accidents. Unwanted noise is a problem on job sites as well as in neighborhoods. Jack Barry recalls, "One of the best calls I ever received was from a satisfied mining customer who said that when operating the Chicago Blower fans with the proper sound traps attached, he could stand below the fans and carry on a conversation in a normal voice". Jack's dual expertise in both ventilation and sound attenuation allows him to solve problems. Most types of rotating equipment such as compressors, engines, blowers and fans generate spikes in the fundamental frequency spectrum known as pure tone. These pure tone spikes are elevated above other frequencies and if not addressed properly can be the source of neighborhood complaints. Jack understands both the equipment that generates the tones and the source and dynamics of the pure tone itself. JBA, Inc. has distinct advantages over other engineering consultants who do not see the entire picture in underground ventilation and sound control systems. Jack Barry & Associates, Inc. presented a noise control submittal for the MTA Red Line that became the standard for owner, Parsons/ Dillingham. Parsons/Dillingham sent copies of the submittal to all con- tractors, instructing them to follow JBA, Inc. guidelines.

In addition to expert engineering solutions, JBA, Inc. provides KH acoustics sound traps and sound control rooms, sound seal barrier walls, flexible noise control, quilted blankets and drive through barriers.

Experts in ventilation and sound mitigation, Jack Barry & Associates, Inc. have designed systems for most of the tunnel contractors in the United States. One of the founding fathers of the ventilation group within The Society of Mining Engineers, Jack Barry has been a guest speaker at universities and the Bureau of Mines Safety School. There are many prestigious projects using the engineering and practical experience of JBA, Inc. 


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Last modified: March 16, 2007