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Natural Gas Sound AttenuationCase Study

City gate stations play a vital role in natural gas distribution. Consisting of metering and pressure regulating equipment, they are located at the custody transfer points where natural gas is delivered from transmission pipelines to distribution companies, such as CenterPoint Energy. From these station sites, lines in the distribution network move gas to the local area residents and businesses. Some of the components of a City Gate Station include pipes, valves, meters, and pneumatic controllers for monitoring and controlling gas flow. This can also be the point in the natural gas distribution process where the mercaptan is added, giving the natural gas its distinctive smell.

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Typically, city gate natural gas pressure reduction stations in the southern United States do not require protection from the elements. When CenterPoint’s station was constructed in Atascocita Shores there were no structures near the station. However, the station site was in a residential area. Later The Lodge at Westlake, a large apartment complex, was constructed in close proximity to CenterPoint’s City Gate site. Shortly after, the residents began to complain about the whistling noise produced by the station's regulators during peak consumption times, mostly noticeable in the winter months. This necessitated a solution that would eliminate the noise and a Shelter Works fiberglass building, with its standard 1.5" foam insulation provided enough sound attenuation to solve the problem. An added benefit was that the station was then hidden from view and the fiberglass shelter blended in with the residential environment.


The Shelter Works fiberglass building provided a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, and low maintenance solution for CenterPoint Energy. The building itself was 14' x 35' x 8' and included one door on each of the long walls, two vents for basic natural ventilation, and two skylights to assist in visual inspection of the station. Installation was fairly simple. A concrete foundation was constructed around the city gate for the building to be placed on top and anchored.

Dennis Hutchison, Operations Supervisor for Centerpoint Energy, first encountered Shelter Works at the TASK Oil & Gas Supply booth at a tradeshow in Houston where we were represented by Mike Calhoun of TASK. Hutchison determined that the shelter would solve his noise problem and worked with Calhoun to get the building. When asked if Centerpoint was satisfied with their shelter, Hutchison stated "We are very happy with the final product. I haven't received one complaint from a customer since the building was put in place."

CenterPoint Energy sells and delivers natural gas to more than 4.5 million homes and businesses in eight states, including Texas.