ANC member companies will have a wide range of experience in the acoustic design of residential developments, offering advice from the initial stages of a project, through to detailed architectural design advice and practical completion.
Concept Design and Planning
Acoustic consultants are commonly engaged from the beginning of a project in order to secure planning permission and to offer advice which can lead to significant cost savings.
ANC member companies will undertake acoustic impact assessments for planning which consider the suitability of the site for residential development in terms of noise. An environmental noise survey will often be required to establish the existing noise levels across the site, in order to provide design advice on the layout of the development to locate noise sensitive spaces away the existing significant sources, i.e. nearby roads or industrial sites.
Consideration will also be taken on the operational impacts of the development on the existing surrounding noise sensitive receptors, i.e. increased traffic flows on the local roads or new plant items associated with the development.
Further information can be found in our Planning and Noise section.
Residential Internal Noise Levels
Acoustic consultants will make contact with the applicable Local Authority for the residential development to discuss their recommendations for suitable internal ambient noise levels. Reference will often be made to guidance found within BS 8233 and WHO guidelines.
Based on the external noise levels at the site, advice will be given on the recommended sound insulation performance of individual elements of the proposed external façade, in order to achieve the required internal noise levels.
Consideration will also be given to any building services plant items serving the habitable spaces, to ensure that fan noise from these items to not exceed the required internal noise levels.
Sound Insulation within Residential Developments
Approved Document E ‘Resistance to the Passage of Sound’ of the Building Regulations primarily sets out the requirements for achieving requisite sound insulation between and within residential dwellings. Minimum requirements are stipulated for new build dwellings, converted dwellings and rooms for residential purposes (such as hotels etc).
ANC members will recommend suitable floor and wall constructions to achieve the requirements in Approved Documents E, and provide guidance on junction details in order to control flanking noise.
Often residential developments will aim to achieve higher sound insulation than the requirements in Approved Document E to achieve Code for Sustainable Home credits. Credits are awarded for a commitment to sound insulation testing and by achieving improved sound insulation between residential units. Further information on sound insulation testing can be found in the Sound Testing section.
Approved Document E also states that the common internal parts of residential buildings shall be designed and constructed in such a way as to prevent more reverberation than is reasonable.
ANC members can recommend suitable acoustic absorptive materials within common stairwells, corridors and entrance halls/foyers that give access to residential dwellings, in order to control reverberant noise.