Yearly Archives: 2018

Trade association calls for more consistent approach to acoustics to help protect public health

A national trade association has called for a more consistent approach to acoustics to protect society from the impact of excess noise.


The move comes as a new White Paper, ‘Building Our Future; Laying The Foundations For Healthy Homes and Buildings,’ reveals that almost 40 per cent of the UK population is subjected to noise pollution, with a knock-on effect on public health.


Now, the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) says a greater awareness of how to build good acoustic design in homes and buildings from industry, coupled with knowledge of the key issues involved from regulators, is needed to address the trend.


The White Paper, produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Healthy Homes and Buildings, cites that the presence of noise pollution is reported to be suffered by 37 per cent of the population and that it can cause long-term health issues, notably increasing levels of stress hormones and increasing the risk of cardiovascular effects such as heart disease and hypertension.


It cites a number of exacerbating issues, including the fact that most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and that many modern homes and buildings are located in urban and brownfield sites affected by significant levels of noise. The noise impact of solutions designed to reduce overheating in homes is also flagged up.


Dan Saunders, Chair of the ANC, said: “The White Paper sets out a clear link between good acoustics and public health in the built environment.


“It calls on the Government to adopt a holistic approach to address the situation to ensure that future renovation of homes and buildings improves other elements vital for health and wellbeing in a number of areas, including acoustics.


“We would strongly support that message. Ultimately, there needs to be greater consideration and consistency given to acoustics in the built environment at an early stage of a project’s development to ensure a better outcome.”


The ANC points to the Professional Practice Guidance (ProPG) – referenced in the White Paper – as a key resource to help address the issue.


Launched in 2017 by a consortium of the ANC, along with the Institute of Acoustics, and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the ProPG complements the UK Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and Guidance to provide practitioners with an industry-recommended approach for the first time for new residential developments, both internally and externally.


Developed to encourage better acoustic design for new residential development and at the same time to protect people from the harmful effects of noise, the ProPG advocates full consideration of the acoustic environment through state-of-the- art design principles from the earliest possible stages of the design and development control processes.


It outlines what should be taken into account in deciding planning applications for new noise-sensitive developments, improves understanding of how to determine the extent of potential noise impacts and effects, and assists the delivery of sustainable development.


Mr Saunders added: “We’d urge the industry and regulators to get up to speed with the ProPG and understand how it can address the issues raised in the White Paper.


“Over recent years, we have seen the introduction of the Noise Policy Statement for England, as well as substantial changes in national planning policy, but these developments have not been accompanied by detailed technical acoustic advice.


“This lack of guidance can lead to inconsistent application of policy, and that may in turn result in unsatisfactory development and affect quality of life.


“ProPG has been developed to fill that gap and facilitate efficient and consistent decision-making in the development control process.”


More details about Pro PG can be found at


The White Paper can be viewed at

ANC campaign raises the voice of acoustics in Tomorrow’s Engineers Week

The Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) will be setting out the benefits of a sound career choice in acoustics as the UK gears up to promote the opportunities in engineering next week.



To mark Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which runs from 5-9 November, the ANC will be sharing experiences and insight from academics, graduates and those in the acoustics profession through its #ExploreAcoustics initiative.


Designed to attract more students in to the industry, #ExploreAcoustics has been created by the ANC to demonstrate the wide range of opportunities available to students interested in a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, (STEM).


Featuring video interviews and in-depth case studies, all the information can be found at


ANC is the professional body representing consultants in acoustics, noise and vibration in the UK – and many of its members are reporting a shortage of graduates.


In fact, in a complete trend reversal compared with other sectors, there are often more acoustics jobs available than there are graduates.


Returning for the sixth year in 2018, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (#TEWeek18) aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers and to inspire future engineers.


STEM Ambassador Vicky Stewart is one of the professionals featured in #ExploreAcoustics. Vicky said: “Tomorrow’s Engineers Week provides a great opportunity to highlight the opportunities in acoustics.


“Few people have heard of this as a career choice, which is why we have developed #ExploreAcoustics to raise awareness.


“Roles in the industry are wide-ranging and include openings in architectural and building acoustics, environmental noise, product design, cinema sound, even sonar and ultrasound.”


More details about Tomorrow’s Engineers Week can be found at

ANC to explore the balance between noise and natural ventilation at CIBSE event

Jack Harvie-Clark, immediate past Chair of ANC, a specialist in the management of noise, ventilation and overheating, will outline some of the acoustic challenges that emerge between external noise and natural ventilation in mitigating overheating.


His talk is part of Build2Perform’s ‘Acoustic issues in relation to natural ventilation’ session,’ which takes place on day one of the two-day event, being held at Olympia London on the 27 and 28 November.


As well as discussing some of the tensions between exterior noise and natural ventilation in dwellings, Jack will also discuss some of the state-of-the-art solutions being developed across the globe.


His talk will also highlight the importance of an integrated approach to embed passive solutions from an early project stage.


The session is being held in Theatre D, from 12 noon until 1pm. More details at


ANC is at the forefront of the debate in noise and ventilation, with an Acoustics, Ventilation and Overheating (AVO) Group focused on the issue.


Jack Harvie-Clark, who is founder and owner of Apex Acoustics, said: “The issue of noise, ventilation and overheating is a pressing one, particularly in light of the changing climate patterns and drive towards more energy efficient homes.


“It will be very useful to discuss the issue at Build2Perform.


“Working together with building services engineers and other professionals in engineering and the construction-related sector is the way forward to tackle these social, economic and environmental issues, which will only become more prominent in years to come.”


Earlier this year, ANC launched its draft AVO Residential Design Guide for consultation.


Introduced to bridge the gap in the interdependent, but currently fragmented, residential design provisions of noise, ventilation and overheating, the guide has been produced by ANC’s AVO Group to provide a resource for practitioners and designers.


The content signposts readers to a range of information to help avoid potential pitfalls including health and wellbeing risks for occupants, design risks for consultants and legal risks for developers.


The guide includes an explanation of ventilation requirements under the building regulations and in Approved Document F, along with typical ventilation strategies and associated noise considerations, as well as an explanation of the overheating assessment methodology described by CIBSE TM59.


Potential acoustic criteria and guidance relating to different ventilation and overheating conditions for both environmental noise ingress and building services noise are also included – and the guide concludes with a worked example of the application of the AVO Guide, including indicative design solutions.