Noise Impact Assessment in London

Noise Impact Assessment in London 
Noise impact assessments are often required at the planning stage of developments that may generate noise, and noise-sensitive developments which may be affected by noise. Some developments, such as mixed use, fall into both categories. Potentially noise generating developments often require a Noise Impact Assessment to be undertaken. This normally requires existing ambient noise levels to be established, typically by undertaking measurements, and the impact of noise from the development to be established. For large developments, it is often necessary to consider secondary effects, such as the impact of increased traffic on existing roads.

Noise Impact Assessment In London 

Sound_Testing_Flats

A BS 8233 Noise survey report; or, noise impact assessment should be submitted during pre-application discussions or more commonly during a planning application. In some circumstances, a planning condition will be included on the planning permission requiring the submission of a noise report.

In many cases it will be the planning officer or the local environmental health team that will inform a client that they are in need of a noise impact assessment, this will typically be due to the fact that a complaint or concern has arisen around the increased noise and/or the perceived increase in noise due to a change of use or an increase in licencing hours.

Noise Assessment in Central London 

BS8233-Noise-Survey

Our noise impact assessment will measure and predict the effects that the new/proposed noise source will be likely have on the current noise climate. This is achieved by firstly establishing a baseline measure of the existing noise climate and then comparing this with the introduced noise. If this comparison cannot be achieved due to practical purposes, then a reasonable prediction can be made through various modelling methods.

There may a number of requirement that may be present during noise impact assessments; with this in mind it is important to liaise with the case officer and environmental health team, in order to ensure that the appropriate legislation and British Standards are being adhered to at all times.

If you would like to know more about or noise impact assessment service, please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk  or contact me (Darren) directly on 07775 623464. Alternately please visit our website at www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

BS8233 Noise Surveys

BS8233 Noise Surveys  

In large cities, there is far more noise pollution than ever before; this comes from a huge range of noise sources such as traffic, alarms and music/sport venues. As cities populations get larger, people start to inhabit an increasingly compacted space the work of acoustic consultants is becoming ever more important to help reduce excess noise levels. This can be done through a variety of means and methods, one of the most important methods in the context of busy urban environments in the noise impact assessment.

Noise Survey Equipment

BS8233-Noise-Survey

The main purpose of a BS8233 noise assessment is to measure and predict the impact that a development will have on the surrounding environment, residents and whatever noise sensitive receptors happen to be within the vicinity of the development.

The local authority may require a noise impact assessment for a number of reasons, this can include the opening of an entertainment premises in a sensitive area, the installation of new mechanical plant such as a new air-conditioning unit or a change in opening hours of a premises that already has permission to operate from the local council, such as a bar/nightclub wanting to extend its licence from 23.00 to 02.00.

A noise impact assessment may be required at the application stage or once planning permission has been granted. A noise survey and report are required if:

  • The proposed development with commercial areas that may create noise which may affect nearby noise sensitive properties. For example, a new commercial activity near existing residential properties.
  • The proposed development location will be sensitive to noise and is likely to be affected by existing noise sources i.e. busy roads, railway, airports or commercial activity.

=The noise impact assessment is to demonstrate that:

  • The source of noise is evaluated and quantified
  • Nearby noise sensitive receptors identified
  • Noise receptors have been determined with reference to noise standards

The BS8233 noise assessment may also set out control measures where it is necessary to reduce noise to acceptable levels. For example, the installation of different glazing e.g. from double to triple glazed panels or acoustic trickle vents are installed so that internal noise standards are met.

If noise levels are shown as NEC category B and above, the local authority will look for noise reduction measures that will achieve the “good” internal noise level criteria in bedrooms and living rooms set out in BS8233:2014.  Where the noise levels are shown as NEC category D, the local authority usually recommends that planning consent be refused.

If you would like to know more about or noise impact assessment service, please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or contact me (Darren) directly on 07775 623464. Alternately please visit our website at www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Sound Testing for Leasehold Agreements

Sound Testing for Leasehold Agreements

One of the main reasons for neighbour disputes is down to the fact that floor modifications may have taken place without the flat owner, first consulting his/her leasehold agreement. In many cases the lease agreement contains something similar to the following conditions:

Sound Testing through Floors

Part-E-Sound-Testing

‘If the tenant wants to change the floor construction within his dwelling he shall’:

  • Commission an independent acoustic consultant to carry out a pre installation test, design the new acoustic installation and carry out a post installation test and provide the results to the landlord’s surveyors for approval; and
  • Invite the Landlord’s surveyor to inspect the acoustic insulation before it is concealed; and
  • Accept that the Landlord, whilst granting this Licence, does not accept any responsibility for the design or performance of the insulation provided and that if any issues arise the Tenant will address these immediately. In the event of reasonable complaint being upheld by the Landlord or his agent concerning noise affecting other Tenants within The Building, the Tenant will arrange for carpeting (the provision of which shall be determined by the Landlord) to be positioned and maintained at the Tenant’s sole cost;

We offer a comprehensive acoustic service to let our clients comply with their leasehold agreements.

  • Pre-works Sound Testing of the existing construction. This offers an accurate overview of the acoustic performance of the existing floor partition/s prior to the commencement of construction works. It also enables us to offer a targeted acoustic design using the sound insulation performance of the existing construction.
  • Acoustic design review – once we have the performance figures from the sample sound testing have been established, we can forward a design that should improve the performance of the existing floor partition – even if you are changing the floor from a carpet to engineered timber floor finish!
  • Site Survey Visit – This allows us to check that the installation team is installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Final Precompletion Sound Testing in-line with Approved Document E. This provides an accurate overview of the acoustic performance of the upgraded partition/s, the results of which can be handed over to the relevant person for sign off.

If you are about to make changes to your apartment floor, and you require acoustic design advice, then please contact us now at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk  or phone me directly on 07775623464.

 

Noise Complaints in Existing Apartment Blocks

Noise Complaints in Existing Apartment Blocks

Over the last few years we are noticing a rise in noise complaints in existing apartment blocks. There may be many reasons for this. Noise problems range from airborne noise transmission from voices TVs and music to footfall impact noise caused by high heels on wooden/tiled floors – it is usually the impact noise that is noticed most by the residents if the unit above has changed their floor finish from carpet to wood.

Excessive-Noise

In many cases even if the floor assembly has been designed and constructed to provide adequate airborne isolation, impact noise can still be a major problem. One of the main problems is if works to the floor finish have been undertaken, changing it from carpet to timber. Even if it passes the sound test, the perceivable rise in impact noise often leads to complaints, as carpet and underlay normally provides a good degree of impact sound isolation. Taking this into account it’s very important that impact isolation design, is taken into account before the installation of a hardwood and/or ceramic tile finish.

If you think you may have a problem with sound in your dwelling and/or you have encountered complaints from a neighbour due to changes you have made to the floor finish then please contact us now. Try to describe the noise problem in as much detail as possible. Describe the nature of the sounds, when and where you or your neighbour can hear it. Is it impact noise or airborne noise or a combination of both? The more information you can provide us, the quicker we can try to determine the nature of the problem and find a solution. It may be as simple as the installation of an acoustic resilient membrane to the floor.

Acoustic_Site_Survey

In our experience, if careful consideration is shown to the acoustic element of the floor upgrade, it should reduce the chance of complaints at a later stage, which will also avert costly legal battles at the end of the project and which often leads on to expensive remedial works.

We can come in prior to works commence and undertake a sample sound test of the existing floor partition, thereafter we can advise on the acoustic design of the floor. once the works have been completed we can then undertake a final precompletion sound test to show compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

If you are about to make changes to your apartment floor, and you require acoustic design advice, then please contact us now at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk  or phone me directly on 07775623464.

Planning noise survey

A planning noise survey may be required at the application stage or once planning permission has been granted. A noise survey and report are required if:

  • The proposed development with commercial areas that may create noise which may affect nearby noise sensitive properties. For example, a new commercial activity near existing residential properties.
  • The proposed development location will be sensitive to noise and is likely to be affected by existing noise sources i.e. busy roads, railway, airports or commercial activity.

A planning noise survey is undertaken to demonstrate that:

  • The source of noise is evaluated and The noise impact assessment is to demonstrate that:quantified
  • Nearby noise sensitive receptors identified
  • Noise receptors have been determined with reference to noise standards

The planning noise survey may also detail the control measures which are necessary to reduce noise to acceptable levels. For example, the installation of different glazing e.g. from double to triple glazed panels or acoustic trickle vents are installed so that internal noise standards are met.

planning-noise-survey

Where the noise levels are shown as NEC category B and above, the local authority will look for noise reduction measures that will achieve the “good” internal noise level criteria in bedrooms and living rooms set out in BS8233:2014 (shown Below).  For outdoor garden areas, noise levels should be less than or equal to 55 dB(A) as recommended in the World Health Organisation Guidelines on Community Noise. Where the noise levels are shown as NEC category D, the local authority usually recommends that planning consent be refused.

There can be a large variety of scenarios and requirements that may be present during noise impact assessments, with this in mind it is important to liaise with the case officer and environmental health team, in order to ensure that the appropriate legislation and British Standards are being adhered to at all times.

If you would like to know more about or planning noise survey, please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or contact me (Darren) directly on 07775 623464. Alternately please visit our website at www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Noise Impact Assessment Surveys

Noise Impact Assessment Surveys

In the large cities like London, there is more noise pollution than ever before; this comes from large range of noise sources, from sirens and alarms to noise traffic and music/sport venues. As more people move into cities and start to inhabit an increasingly compacted space the work of acoustic consultants is becoming ever more important to help reduce excess noise levels.

Noise Assessment in LondonNoise-Assessment

This can be done through a variety of means and methods, one of the most important methods in the context of busy urban environments in the noise impact assessment.

The primary purpose of a noise impact assessment is to measure and predict the impact that a development will have on the surrounding environment, residents and whatever noise sensitive receptors happen to be within the vicinity of the development.

There are many reasons that the local authority may require a noise impact assessment, this can include the opening of an entertainment premises in a sensitive area, the installation of new mechanical plant such as a new air-conditioning unit or a change in opening hours of a premises that already has permission to operate from the local council, such as a bar/nightclub wanting to extend its licence from 11pm to 2am.

Nightclub Noise Noise-assessments-nightclub-noise

In most cases a planning permission officer or the local environmental health team will be the first person involved in informing a client that they are in need of a noise impact assessment, this will typically be due to the fact that a complaint or concern has arisen around the increased noise and/or the perceived increase in noise due to a change of use or an increase in licencing hours.

Our noise impact assessment will measure and predict the effects that the new/proposed noise source will be likely have on the current noise climate. This is achieved by firstly establishing a baseline measure of the existing noise climate and then comparing this with the introduced noise. If this comparison cannot be achieved due to practical purposes, then a reasonable prediction can be made through various modelling methods.

In our experience, there can be a large variety of scenarios and requirements that may be present during noise impact assessments, with this in mind it is important to liaise with the case officer and environmental health team, in order to ensure that the appropriate legislation and British Standards are being adhered to at all times.

If you would like to know more about of noise impact assessment service, please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or contact me (Darren) directly on 07775 623464. Alternately please visit our website at www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Sound Testing for Approved Document E

Sound Testing for Approved Document E

Approved Document E – ‘Resistance to the passage of sound’ became part of the building regulations on July 1st 2003 and provides minimum sound insulation Building Regulation requirement for new build and conversion dwellings. Properties include houses, flats, hotels, student residences, care homes are all now required to be sound tested under approved document E.

Part E Sound Testing

Part-E-Sound-Testing

Approved Document E is a government issued document providing guidance for developers, architects and building control bodies as well as other bodies involved in the design and conversion of buildings for residential purpose. The document explains the testing requirement for each type of project and provides some good advice and details about building procedures and materials that affect test results.

In Part E it defines the two types of sound – ‘airborne sound, which is sound generated and transferred directly in the air by talking or home entertainment systems such as music systems or Televisions) or ‘impact sound, such as sound generated by the impact of an object striking the floor and transmitted through it, such as footfall noise).

Excessive Noise Problems

Excessive-Noise

The objective of Approved Document E is to raise sound resistance standards and reduce excess noise for tenants for both airborne and impact noise, which in turn will to provide reasonable living conditions and improve the well-being of tenants. Sound insulation testing may also be required in non-residential buildings such as schools, hospitals and workplaces to ensure that noise sensitive areas such as classrooms, wards and meeting rooms are suitably insulated from noisier areas, notably BREEAM projects usually require sound insulation testing. In rare cases the sound testing of external facades may also be  a requirement.

APT Sound Testing are a UKAS and ISO accredited company.

If you would like more information in regards to our sound testing services please contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

The Different Types of Sound Insulation Testing

The Different Types of Sound Insulation Testing

Sound Testing has been mandatory requirement since July 2003. All new build dwellings and conversions which were built after this date require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested.

Sound Insulation Tests needs to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls or floors, i.e. in block of flats you would undertake airborne testing across the walls and floors; and impact tests across the floors.

Sound_Testing_Flats

You usually try to undertake testing between the two main habitable rooms, such as living rooms and bedrooms. The sound test procedure involves setting up a noise source in a room on one side of the party wall or floor and measuring the noise on both sides of the partition with a class 1 analyser.

Airborne Sound Insulation Tests

Airborne sound insulation tests may be required between horizontally and vertically separated pairs of rooms. The sound tests are undertaken by using a sound source, amplifier and loudspeaker to generate a high noise level in one room (the source room). Noise measurements are then taken in both the source and receiver rooms using a prescribed number of source and microphone positions.

Sample_Sound__Testing

The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

Impact Sound Insulation Tests

For vertically separated rooms Impact sound Insulation testing may also be required. This sound test is undertaken using a “tapping machine”, (as above) which drops a series of weights onto the floor of the upper room. The noise level in the lower (receiver) room is measured for a prescribed number of source and microphone locations. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the impact sound insulation (L’nT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

Impact Sound Testing

We use the latest Norsonic equipment, which is class one rating and UKAS calibrated. We are a UKAS and ISO accredited company, so you can be assured all our testing is carried out to the strictest quality controlled standards.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk/, or contact me (Darren) on 07775 623464 ot email us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Sample Sound Testing

SAMPLE SOUND TESTING 

Sample sound testing is the cornerstone of acoustic design when it comes to the conversion of commercial buildings into residential developments. We can undertake sample sound testing to the existing buildings walls and floors to check the sound insulation performance of the existing dividing partitions. Thereafter, once the sound levels have been established and targeted acoustic design can be undertaken to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

Sound_Testing_Flats

We offer a proactive approach to acoustic design, onsite construction checks and sound testing. This ensures your company receives professional advice every step of the way, with an on-going continual consideration of cost. Our main acoustic services consist of the following.

Sample Sound Insulation Testing

We undertake sample sound testing to identify the sound levels for the existing partitions. Thereafter a more targeted acoustic design can be undertaken to the partitions saving time and money through the construction process.

Sample_Sound__Testing

Acoustic Consultancy  

We have considerable experience in all matters related to architectural acoustic design and detailing. We can help develop the initial acoustic design of the project from the initial design scheme stage, in particular acoustic isolation, and interior acoustics. We also use the latest Norsonic equipment analysers and sound sources for conventional and binaural acoustic measurements.

Site Visits

We offer site visits which allow you (the client) and your contractor to feel confident about the outcome of testing at the end of the build. The site visits let us check that the installation teams are installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturers avoiding crucial onsite mistakes. You can often have a compliant design which still fails due to poor workmanship; the site survey visits negate the risk of sound test failure.

Acoustic_Site_Survey

Precompletion Sound Insulation Testing

We undertake the final precompletion testing to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E and achieve building control sign off for the acoustic elements of the project.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing or acoustic design, please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk/, or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or Darren on 07775623464, or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Excessive Noise Flanking can lead to Sound Test Failure

Excessive Noise Flanking can lead to Sound Test Failure

Noise Flanking is a term used by acoustic engineers to describe where passes sound over the top or under the primary partition separating the two spaces under test. Noise flanking usually appears due to insufficient isolation of materials thus allowing sound to travel through the partition. Unfortunately excessive noise flanking can lead to a sound test failure.

Noise_flanking

One way to reduce the chance of noise flanking transmission is through a careful consideration to the acoustic design from the start of the project.  Unfortunately, by simply specifying high performance wall and floor partitions it is no guarantee to adequate sound isolation and successful sound testing, extra care must be shown to the mass, isolation and absorption values of the acoustic construction.

APT Sound Testing offer both preconstruction and post construction ‘remedial’ design solutions to achieve a successful sound insulation testing in-line with Part E of Building Regulations. We also offer onsite inspection services to ensure that the sound insulation elements are being installed as per manufactures guild-lines.

Acoustic_Design_Service

Also, in our experience it is never safe to assume because the architect has specified high performance walls, windows and floor/ceiling assemblies that the materials and onsite workmanship will result in compliance with the anticipated results. You should usually reduce the acoustic target by at least 4-5dB due to onsite construction. When the construction assembly is tested in the lab, it is also certified and the installation techniques are described in detail and the construction is undertaken within Laboratory conditions, which is a far more controlled and scrutinised environment. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to replicate Laboratory conditions on site due to its more chaotic nature with multiple trades working next to each other. This is the reason why a 5 point difference is allowed between the construction design on paper and the actual on site sound testing performance.

We have undertaken hundreds of acoustic design reviews on all types of projects to help our client achieve compliance with Building regulations Part E, we provide a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic requirements.

If you would like more information in regards to our acoustic design service and/or sound testing service, please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call me ‘Darren’ direct on 07775623464.